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3D tools open realms of possibilities

3D printers can produce tangible objects, such as an Eiffel Tower, in plastic.

3D printers can produce tangible objects, such as an Eiffel Tower, in plastic.

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3D printing is a process of making a three-dimensional solid object of almost any shape from a digital model. The cutting-edge technology builds the item layer by layer from the bottom up.

The first working 3D printer was invented in 1984 by Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corporations. Its popularity has grown over the years and prices have dropped enormously. The cost of a 3D printer was about $20,000 but since 2010, the average printer is roughly $1,000.

Peter Dilworth and Max Bogue, co-founders of WobbleWorks LLC, recently designed the world’s first 3D printing pen. The pen uses ABS and PLA plastic in a heating and cooling process to create strings of plastic, allowing the user to create an endless number of shapes.

“It would give me an angle I could not get on paper and provide me with a greater variety of possibilities,” said junior Katherine Perreira who currently exercises her drawing skills on paper.

Wobbleworks investors led a highly successful fundraising project on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. The inventors had originally set a goal of $30,000 but they exceeded their goal by raising a surprising $2.4 million in 34 days. The group is one of the first in crowdfunding history to raise over 100 percent of its initial goal.

“The idea for 3Doodler actually came from 3D printing on a ‘traditional’ 3D printer when it made a mistake,” according to Wobbleworks.

WobbleWorks LLC is currently taking pre-orders for the 3D drawing pen at the price of $99. The product is set for public release within the next two weeks.

 

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3D tools open realms of possibilities