Back in September, we, with no hint of sensationalism, heralded the beginning of a ‘3D printer pen war’ as a number of companies rushed a slew of such devices to market. Though the 3Doodler from Wobble Works was the first, the launch of its staggeringly successful Kickstarter campaign (it ended with funding of $2.3 million) prompted the announcement of the very similar-looking 3DYAYA and swissPen models from companies in China and Europe.
Half a year or so later, with the 3Doodler ready to ship this month, it seems like the Wobble Works device is still the most recognised. Yet, on the eve of its official release, comes the announcement of another 3D print pen, the Lix designed by Anton Suvorov. Unlike the aforementioned competitors, however, this does not look like a mere carbon copy of the 3Doodler.
While the 3Doodler is fat and bulky, the Lix is as slim and neat as a ball point pen. This lightweight design could make it more adoptable for casual consumers new to additive manufacturing technology.
The basic methodology is the same: it melts and cools coloured plastic, which it extrudes through the nib of the device, allowing the user to simultaneously draw and sculpt thin, freestanding structures. Capable of printing in both PLA and ABS, it comes with two buttons that allow you to speed up and slow down the extrusion, while an LED heat indicator lights up when the pen has reached the right temperature to print. You just plug it in via USB and wait for it to flick on.
It’s about to launch on Kickstarter, where early birds will be able to snap it up for a mere £85 with a choice of white matte and black matte colours. The Lix will definitely be one to watch when the crowd-funding campaign gets under way.