It’s as much a part of the architect’s image as a drafting desk or a T-square: sitting around a table with a client when the moment of inspiration hits and the first image of a new building is hastily scrawled on a napkin. But why limit yourself to two dimensions in hatching your new idea? In the age of 3D printing, the napkin sketch could be completely transformed by a new instant-prototyper: the 3Doodler pen, which would allow you to draw your idea in real time rising up from the tabletop. And the public seems eager to give it a try, already contributing over $1.8 million to the 3D-printing pen on Kickstarter with nearly a month left to go.
The concept by robotics and toy-makers, Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue, uses the same fast-drying plastic strands as many commercially available 3D printers and operates much like a glue gun, allowing designers to literally lift the 3Doodler pen from a solid surface and begin prototyping in thin air. The project’s Kickstarter page also suggests drawing over stencils—a series of building elevations for instance—and piecing them together to create a model in minutes.