New 3-D Printing Pen Will Let Artists Draw in Mid-Air

A 3D drawing created using hand-held 3D printer LIX. Photo: courtesy LIX.


A new handheld 3-D printer is leaving behind the notion of “putting pen to paper” behind, reports Colossal. Billing itself as the smallest 3-D printing pen in the world, LIX will liberate artists from the page, allowing them to draw in the air, creating vertical illustrations.

Like a large-scale 3-D printer, LIX produces a stream of melted plastic that instantly hardens, but there’s no need to program it with a specific design. Instead, the pen allows you to draw freehand. LIX only takes a minute to heat up, and seems to work instantaneously.

The project’s Kickstarter page has already exceeded its funding goal by more than £100,000 (rough $170,000). The first 100 backers to offer over £43 ($70) were promised a LIX pen and a bag of plastic “ink.” Those are all sold out, but you can still get a LIX with three bags of plastic for £82 ($135). The campaign is on through May 29.

If you’re interested in the technology that makes the device possible, here’s LIX’s official explanation:

LIX 3-D printing pen has the similar function as 3-D printers. It melts and cools coloured plastic, letting you create rigid and freestanding structures. Lix has a hot-end nozzle that is power supplied from USB 3.0 port. The plastic filament ABS/PLA is introduced in the upper extremity of Lix Pen. The filament goes through a patented mechanism while moving through the pen to finally reach the hot-end nozzle which melts and cools it down.

A similar device called the 3-Doodler was announced last year, but the pen was significantly clunkier, and LIX seems able to create much finer, cleaner drawings/sculptures.

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