Brittany Ballou on Harnessing Student Excitement + Winter Lesson Plan

In this blog post...
  • See Brittany Ballou’s New Winter Geometry Lesson Plan (elementary students) here!

  • To save time on grading, create student rubrics for project based learning (PBL) and grade them throughout the project process.

  • Hands-on activities will help you harness student excitement before the winter break. PBL will bring focused fun and keep students on the move, concentrated on a topic, and collaborating with others.

Brittany Ballou

December is such an invigorating time of year!

Both teachers and students are looking forward to the winter break, and it can be increasingly challenging for students to contain their excitement in the classroom.

We had a chance to catch up with STEAM teacher, Brittany Ballou, who not only wrote a superb winter lesson plan, but also provided some tips on bringing focused fun to your class before the holiday.

Be sure to check out Brittany’s Winter Lesson Plan here or check out a video of her class in action.

Q and A with Brittany Ballou

3Doodler: Thanks so much for meeting with us, Brittany, and for writing the winter lesson plan. Do you have any tips for other teachers on how to keep students engaged in the classroom before winter break?

The holidays are one of my favorite times of the school year because students are filled with excitement.

Harness that excitement and you’ll have them engaged. Fun hands-on activities will get your students focused on learning without even realizing they’re learning. Don’t give them another worksheet. Instead, use literature to connect STEM/STEAM projects. Collect all of the recyclables, use Legos, pull out your 3Doodlers, and let students have fun. Give them structure on a project topic and you’ll see excitement and learning abound in your classroom!

Do you have suggestions for how teachers can make time to grade papers at school while keeping students focused and happy?

Teachers should create rubrics that students can access for their project-based learning.

As students are working, have your rubrics on a clipboard, ask them questions, look at their products, observe the teamwork, and grade the rubrics throughout the project process. That way you are not stuck with grading the project at the very end. Pace yourself and you’ll find that project grading is easy, and it doesn’t have to take time away from either the lesson or your home life.

The weeks leading up to winter break can be stressful for teachers. Do you have any advice that can help teachers during this time of year?

Let yourself and your students have fun. You have spent the first several months of school building relationships with your students. Now, use what you know about their interests to focus their learning. I love project-based learning because students learn without even realizing it.

If you haven’t done a hands-on project, yet, this is the perfect time to try one. Don’t stress about it being perfect, but instead focus on giving students an opportunity to explore their learning in a different way. Let them get up and move. With all of that excitement, they get antsy and the last thing you want to do is keep them sitting in one place. Project-based learning will keep them on the move, focused on a topic, and collaborating with others.

Doodle Snowflakes: Geometry and Symmetry
Time Required: Two 45-60 minute sessions
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work individually using the 3Doodler pens to doodle a geometrical snowflake that is also symmetrical. Students will review the concepts of geometry, patterns, and symmetry.

Do you have tips for bringing focused fun to your classroom before the winter break?

Other teachers want to know! Share them with the EDU community on Twitter, and be sure to follow Brittany Ballou.

Tag Us: @3Doodler, #3Doodler, #3DoodlerEDU

The Youth of Today and the Jobs of Tomorrow

At 3Doodler, we believe in nurturing the youth of today so as to prepare them for the careers of tomorrow. As the entry point into 3D printing for students, we aim to empower our future leaders with tools that promote open ended problem solving – tools that will help the next generation with affordable housing, space exploration, prosthetics and much, much more.

Equip the youth of today for the jobs of tomorrow.

We care about empowering the students of today to be leaders of tomorrow. In support of this, we want to share a powerful way that you can help inspire your students and children to cultivate an excitement for their future careers through mentorship with the leaders of today.

On April 25, 2019, school children all across the United States will go to work with a parent or mentor for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. According to Forbes, over 37 million adults in the USA will take their children to at least 3.5 million workplaces on this day. This national event supports future careers through allowing children to experience different workplace environments first-hand, which supports them in cultivating professional aspirations.

How can you make the most of it this year?

The Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Foundation has put together some great ideas to help parents, mentors, and school teachers get ready for the big event. In addition to this, they have a complete guide on how to plan for the event that includes preparatory steps, suggested activities, key messages, and more.

"As you know, 3D printing is having a substantial influence on industries such as affordable housing, medicine, engineering, and manufacturing. As the entry point into 3D printing, 3D pens are a great way to prepare the children of today for the jobs of tomorrow. If you’re bringing your child to work this year, take a 3Doodler pen along for the journey and challenge them to Doodle a model of a tool they envision needing for their future career. Have them explain the functionality of the design and how it will add benefit in the workplace." Share

Are you participating in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year?
Share all of the details with us on Twitter!

@3Doodler #3Doodler #TakeOurDaughtersAndSonsToWorkDay

Top 10 Questions About How to Create 3D Pen Art with 3Doodler Create+

Prolific 3Doodler Printing Pen Artist, Grace Du Prez, has been Doodling since 2014 and has worked on record breaking projects, such as a life sized car for Nissan. She is also the host of our Bluprint 3D Pen Art series, which you can watch here.

Grace has been running 3D Pen Creation workshops for two years, so she knows all the best tips and tricks for beginners. She has gathered the top 10 most common questions she’s received since the beginning of her Doodling career, and answered them here.

1. How do I use a 3D Pen? What can I make with a 3Doodler?

There are three main ways to use a 3D pen like 3Doodler.

Use a 3D pen design Template or Stencil

This technique is great for beginners to draw flat designs. You can also use this technique to construct simple 3D shapes like a cube. Make 6 flat squares then join together to create the 3D shape. There are lots of 3Doodler stencils available for free online.

Using a Stencil

Freestyle Doodling

This involves drawing up into the air or building an object up by layering. This is one of the most common ways we’ve seen 3Doodler art being made. This technique can require a bit of practice as you’re using your eye to judge if it looks right.

Using Molds

This involves drawing over a pre-existing object, such as a salad bowl. The plastic will set in that shape and can be removed when you’re done, or remain on the object. If it’s something like a bowl it can be done in one piece. If the shape is something like a ball, you can make the two halves and then join together afterwards. Something like a balloon can be drawn over and then deflated. This technique is used in my Lantern Lights video. There are some great canvas mold 3Doodler projects available, or you can use any household object as long as it’s covered in masking tape – even a smartphone!

For more 3Doodler tips and tricks, take a look at my Getting Started video.

2. Why is there a red light on my 3Doodler pen? What do the different light colors mean?

Don’t worry, the red light is totally normal and just means that the pen is heating up to the right temperature. When it’s ready to extrude plastic, the red light will change to either blue or green. It’s important to have it on the right heat setting as each plastic melts at a specific temperature. Blue for ABS and Flexy, and Green for PLA.

Many people are concerned about 3D pen safety. The 3Doodler pen has a great safety feature – if you’ve taken a short break, the pen will start to cool itself down. This means that the red light will come on again. Simply turn the pen off, and then on again, and it will automatically start warming up to the temperature you set it to.

3. Why is the plastic not coming out of my 3Doodler 3D pen?

If your 3Doodler is not feeding, try giving the plastic a gentle push into the pen (but make sure you have clicked either FAST or SLOW first). When your filament has run out, just insert the next strand to keep the plastic flowing.

It’s better to push the plastic from a point on the strand that is close to the pen, otherwise you risk bending and damaging your plastic filament.

If the 3Doodler plastic is jammed, there are a few questions you can ask yourself: Are you on the right heat setting? Each plastic melts at a specific temperature so if it’s not on the right one it won’t melt. Is there a flashing blue or green light? You may have gone into reverse by mistake, a function that is engaged by double clicking on either FAST or SLOW button. To be on the safe side if you’ve done this, fully reverse the plastic out, snip the frayed end of the filament off with a pair of scissors or pliers, and try reinserting it.

4. Should I use FAST or SLOW mode when using the 3Doodler 3D pen?

There is no right or wrong option here, it’s about finding what feels right for you and adapting to the situation.

Benefits of FAST mode
  • It gets the project done in less time, and is ideal for those large-scale projects.

  • It’s good for welding two pieces of plastic together. As the plastic is extruding more quickly it stays hotter for longer, which helps to re-melt the plastic you’re welding and give you a more stable connection.

Benefits of SLOW mode
  • It’s better for beginners as you have more time to think ahead and control your 3D pen.

  • It’s great for drawing up into the air. When in SLOW mode, the plastic is making more contact with the cool air around it and setting in that position. This will really help you perfect those spirals and staircases!

  • When using 3Doodler Flexy plastic, it’s better to be on SLOW mode.

5. How do I start my 3Doodler 3D pen?

Simply click either FAST or SLOW once to start. To stop, click either button once again. A common mistake is to press and hold the button, which you don’t need to do, as the plastic will continually extrude with one click.

Something else to watch out for is that there is a slight delay between pressing a button and the plastic extruding. Avoid clicking multiple times as you’ll just be starting and stopping your pen repeatedly.

6. How should I hold the 3Doodler 3D pen?

Hold it like you would a marker pen. You can hover your index finger over the buttons so that you can easily start and stop. Some find it easier to turn it upside down so that the clear plastic window is facing up and your thumb is hovering over the buttons. What’s important is that you find a way that suits you.

Hold at a 90-degree angle

You might naturally want to hold the pen at a 45-degree angle and move it at the speed you would with a regular pen or pencil. This can result in an inconsistent texture in the plastic. Instead, try holding your 3Doodler at a 90-degree angle so that it’s vertical to the page. This will make sure that the plastic extrudes evenly – imagine that you are mimicking a 3D printing machine!

Try experimenting with the speed that you move your hand. The slower you move, the thicker the Doodled line, and therefore the stronger your creation will be.

Test to see the difference between pressing down onto the page, versus hovering slightly above the page. Making contact with the page will give you a more precise line that will stick to the template, whereas having the pen tip hovering will result in a random squiggly effect. Have a look at my Getting Started video for the 7 top techniques on using a 3Doodler 3D pen.

7. How do I change the plastic color in my 3Doodler 3D Pen?

There are two ways to change the plastic color in your pen. If the filament is sticking out of the feed port, you can reverse the strand and gently pull it out, then load your desired color. If the strand is too short to pull out of the feed port, you can carefully remove the hot nozzle with the mini spanner (be sure to do this with the pen turned on and heated up), engage the reverse function, and insert the unblocking tool through the nozzle end of the pen. This will push the short strand out of the rear of the pen. Then you can replace the nozzle with the mini spanner, being careful not to overtighten it, and load the new strand of filament.

Double-click to reverse strand, then remove

The plastic doesn’t need to go to waste! There are a lot of fun things you can make with half a strand of filament. You could even try out these projects to transform leftover plastic into beautiful jewelry and decor items!

Don’t try to apply too much force to pull the filament out, as you could end up doing some damage to the pen. Simply double click either the FAST or SLOW button, and the pen will do the hard work for you. Once it’s finished reversing, gently pull out the plastic. Watch this video to see how it works.

Reversed filaments may have a wispy ends, which can get tangled up in the mechanism of the pen. It’s important for you to snip it off before re-inserting it into the pen.

8. How do I get rid of mistakes in my 3Doodler art?

Mistakes are bound to happen, even for the most professional Doodlers. The nozzle tip can help you melt away pieces you don’t want on your design. You could also use scissors to create a super accurate edge. They need to be sharp, but don’t use your best sewing scissors as it may blunt them.

9. Why are there wispy strands on my 3Doodler creation, and how do I get rid of them?

You might notice that there are some ‘hairy’ bits on your creation. They can easily be melted away using the nozzle tip, but it’s better if you don’t make them in the first place (unless it’s intended)!

These might be caused by lifting the pen away from your work too quickly. A bit like mozzarella on a pizza! Once you’ve pressed stop, count to three and then pull away. You’ll get a much cleaner finish.

10. Is 3Doodler plastic environmentally friendly?

PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) is a biodegradable type of plastic that is made from the starch of plants such as corn, sugar cane or sugar beet. This means that it is environmentally friendly and sustainable. With the right conditions it can take approximately 6-12 months to break down compared to other plastics, which can take hundreds of years.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) can be recycled, but it is not widely accepted by local authorities. Don’t let that stop you, as you can do it yourself at home with a few easy steps!

Read more about 3Doodler’s Plastics Promise here.

For more tips on using the 3Doodler, take a look at our Hot Tips collection and you may just find the answers you need! Still can’t find what you need? Reach out to us and we will be more than happy to help you out.

3 Million Dimensions: Part 2

A Million Pairs of Hands: Q&A with 3Doodler Designers Faraz Warsi and Erin Song

When new design interns join 3Doodler, their first challenge is to teach themselves how to use the 3D printing pen. But “figuring it out” is more than a rite of passage at the startup, it’s a way of life.

Faraz Warsi, 3Doodler's Creative Director

Experimenting with different ways to use the category-defining tool – and articulating those uses to the market – has been central to 3Doodler’s evolution. And the company’s design team, including Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song, has been instrumental in leading that charge.

From testing new applications to building new products to growing the community of 3Doodlers, Warsi and Song have played integral roles in helping Wobbleworks hit its one million milestone. Here, the two designers reflect on the company’s growth and share their thoughts on its future.

Are we close to realizing the full creative potential of the 3Doodler? Or are these still the “early days?”

Warsi: I’d say we’re we’re just scratching the surface right now.
Song: 3D printers have been around since the 1980’s, but the technology has grown so much, and it’s only now that it’s become more consumer-ready.

Warsi: The way I see it, people are still creating so many beautiful pieces on a 2D surface with a regular pen or paintbrush. Add a third dimension to it, and everything changes. Education, home decoration, even small things like, fixing the battery cover on a remote control. The 3Doodler is intuitive like a pen but has uses we haven’t even thought of yet.
Just when I thought I’ve seen everything, there’s something new and incredible being done with it. I’m constantly impressed.

At a time when so much has moved to the screen, what’s the significance of creating “by hand” with the 3Doodler?

Erin Song, 3Doodler's Junior Designer

Warsi: Back in the day, people used their hands more. Nowadays, you just go buy what you need, or there’s an app for that. Even when it comes to making a list on a piece of paper, people don’t do it. They have a calendar, or a to-do list app.

Song: As a modern day graphic designer, I mostly work on screen. However, I have always preferred to use pen and paper first for coming up with new designs. The reason is because programs have too many tools and makes the creative process harder to concentrate on. Only once I’ve finished this process, I refine everything on screen, using graphic software.

Deriving from this, I think using the 3Doodler for certain projects is more significant than pen and paper since we can think in dimensions without using a complicated software. You get to see the results right away. There are no page or size limits to what you can create with the 3Doodler.

What are some of the most interesting ways you’ve seen people use the 3Doodler?

Warsi: Honestly, every week, through Twitter or social media, we hear about someone who picked up this pen and is doing something brand new that we never thought was possible.

Song: I think the biggest one was that the 3Doodler became a tool where someone was able to use it to help people those who are visually impaired (Read more about it here)

Where would you like to see the 3Doodler go next? What does its future look like to you?

Warsi: I want to get it in more people’s hands. Right now, it’s obvious, the users are home decorators, architects, artists …

The other thing is, right now, you can doodle in plastic, you can doodle in bronze copper, polycarbonate, nylon … but I would love to be able to doodle in anything. Why not doodle in beef jerky? Why not doodle in cheese? Why not doodle in sugar? I’d like to doodle in every single material.

What does it mean to you that there are 1 million 3Doodlers out in the world?

Song: I remember reading about how we sold our 100,000th 3D printing pen back in 2014! And now we’re on our 1,000,000th pen, we must be doing something right. There must be people that are definitely interested, and I think a lot of users are drawn to our EDU, our 3Doodler education system.

Warsi: The number’s obviously huge, but it’s not like 1,000,000 in only America. They’re all over the world – Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Germany … and they’re part of all these different cultures. Art and music are universal languages … and now people are creating things with our tool, and connecting.

I think, for me, a million conveys a sense of community. At the end of the day, it’s a tool – but it’s one that affects people and changes lives. That blows my mind.

This is the second in a series of conversations about the 3Doodler with the people who know it best.
Here you can find our first piece with co-founders Daniel Cowen and Max Bogue.
Here you can find our third piece with artists & early adopters Rachel Goldsmith and Louis DeRosa.

3 Million Dimensions: Part Three

Two Distinct Artists Break New Ground with 3Doodler

In the art world, there are hundreds of mediums you can use to express a creative concept conceived in the mind. Some people pick paint; others turn to clay and still more are constantly looking for a new way to express the designs they yearn to create.

Rachel Goldsmith is an artist who used to work mainly with water-based paints and permanent inks.

Louis DeRosa is an animator who specializes in illustration. These two creative minds each produce profoundly different work, yet both found their stride in recent years with a new tool: the 3Doodler, the world’s first 3D printing pen.

Both Goldsmith and DeRosa developed a passion for the 3Doodler within minutes of first picking up the pen.

Rachel uses the tool to develop intricately “woven” pieces of fine art and Louis uses it to create unique figurative objects, built up layer by layer.

The different ways these artists utilize the pen speaks to the product’s potential in the maker’s space. There’s no limit to what creations can emerge from imagination and steady supply of plastic.

Today, Goldsmith works as an artist that creates pieces with PLA plastic.

DeRosa is an advocate of the 3Doodler pen, traveling on behalf of the company to present live demonstrations of the tool and teach people how to use it. Both work closely with the 3Doodler founders, Maxwell Bogue, Daniel Cowen and Peter Dilworth, advising on educational materials, testing new product upgrades, and creating content for 3Doodler marketing materials.

UPWARDS sat down with the two artists to learn more about the unique ways in which they use the 3Doodler, and how it has shaped their artistic endeavors.

How did you first learn about the 3Doodler?

Louis

DeRosa: I was finishing up my last year of college for animation, and I was pretty interested in the whole maker movement and 3D printing, but it was not exactly something I could afford to just get into. I saw a Kickstarter ad pop-up for a handheld 3D printer, and decided to back the project right away.

What made it a no-brainer for me, was my interest in drawing. I always had a sketchbook with me. The notion of taking that new frontier of 3D printing and having it be handheld really appealed to me.

Goldsmith: I came about the pen having no knowledge of plastic or 3D printing. As an artist, I always had a sketchbook—like Louis did—and I was drawing constantly. When the 3Doodler Kickstarter launched, one of my good friends, as well as my dad, said “You need this.” And my dad immediately backed the project for me.

What was your first experience like with the 3Doodler?

DeRosa: Interestingly, the very first thing I doodled was a human figure. My approach was trying to be like a 3D printer. I had seen the way 3D printers worked—how they go layer by layer, building upwards—and tried to replicate that. I quickly realized that the pen could do way more than a 3D printer could do because the design was completely up to me.

Goldsmith: My first instinct was to use the 3Doodler directly on a canvas in the same way I’d use paint. I was “painting with plastic”: cross-hatching the lines so the colors would blend, thus expanding the limited color palette and playing with different textures. To this day, my work is still focused around the many ways of using the 3Doodler to create color and texture.

How did you first get involved with the co-founders, Max, Dan and Peter?

Rachel Goldsmith

Goldsmith: I posted the first piece I did with the pen on Twitter, and Dan reached out to me to ask if I was interested in helping them create a piece for the MoMA design store window display. I kind of lost my mind with excitement over the opportunity.

DeRosa: I had called customer service about the pen and, lo and behold, I was speaking to Max Bogue. That in, in and of itself, was awesome…that he was so involved.
Shortly after that, like Rachel’s experience, I had a little doodle of my dog that I posted on social media. Dan saw it and they extended the same invite to me: to come and be a part of the demonstration at not only the MoMA store, but the Kickstarter headquarters, which was beyond exciting.

Can you speak to the very distinct and different ways you each use the pen in your creations?

Goldsmith: I find these differences really interesting. Louis thinks of everything in a 3-dimensional way. For example, he thinks of the surface area, whereas I think of the contours, so it’s fascinating to me how differently we interpret the same idea.

DeRosa: I can say from an outside perspective, that Rachel occupies a very unique space. She’s solely responsible for elevating to fine art what you can do with the 3Doodler. As much as I would like to claim that what I’m doing is fine art, it’s not immediately perceived that way because a lot of what I’m making is mimicking things that you find in the real world—like action figures or little functional things. To me, I handmade it, so that’s exciting, but to the untrained eye it looks like something they’ve seen before.

Why do you think the 3Doodler is so revolutionary?

Goldsmith: I remember thinking “I’m creating a new form of art.” It blew my mind that I was one of the only people in the world doing something like this. It’s beyond amazing to me how many people are using it now. There’s so much talent.

DeRosa: It’s amazing to see this new, creative, technical tool for the first time, and seeing people use it in ways I hadn’t thought of yet. That aspect of it has been maybe the most exciting. To sort of be on this journey with people all over the world that are trying out something new.

Do you think we are anywhere near seeing the full creative potential of the 3Doodler?

DeRosa: The pen and pencil have existed for hundreds of years, and I believe that’s a medium that is still being pushed. So, I don’t think we are going to see the boundaries of what this device can do in our lifetime. Even the current iteration, I’ve spent so many hours using it, and even when I’m not using it, I’m thinking about new ways to use it. Then still, I see somebody doing something that I hadn’t thought of yet. I believe that as more individuals experience it, more intentions will come to light for it.

To see more of Louis’ work, check out his Instagram
To see more of Rachel’s work, check out her Instagram

This is the third in a series of conversations about 3Doodler with the people who know it best.

Here you can find our first piece with co-founders Daniel Cowen and Max Bogue.
Here you can find our second piece with Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song.

3 Million Dimensions: Part One

Sometimes, inspiration comes in the form of a misprinted dinosaur.

Troody, a robotic dino toy

In 2011, WobbleWorks was developing Troody, a robotic dino toy. At the time, the company’s business model was to develop toy ideas to sell to other companies. Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, founded the company together in 2010. They were using 3D printing to rapidly develop prototype toys. Unfortunately, the technology had some serious limitations.

A minor error caused the printer to leave part of Troody’s leg “blank.” Filling in gaps left by the printer should have been a minor problem, but at the time there was no easy solution. It was up to Bogue and Dilworth to come up with one.

“’Hey, it’s too bad you can’t just take the nozzle off [the printer] and use it to fill in the missing gap,’” Bogue remembered Dilworth saying. “And then we realized that you could totally do that.”

" ’Hey, it’s too bad you can’t just take the nozzle off [the printer] and use it to fill in the missing gap " Share

The pair quickly confirmed they were the first to have this idea, and then in only a few days put together a “quick and dirty” prototype of what would ultimately become the 3Doodler. Those prototypes grew more refined and in a short time, WobbleWorks transformed itself from a small toy company into the force behind the world’s first 3D printing pen.

Bogue and Dilworth knew they had a winner, but needed help launching the product via Kickstarter to enter fullscale production. As luck would have it, a willing partner materialized at the perfect time: Daniel Cowen, a lawyer turned entrepreneur Bogue had met years earlier in Hong Kong. Cowen happened to be in town, crashing on Bogue’s air mattress.

"‘Yeah. This is the next Crayola,’” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to help launch that? " Share

Cowen and Bogue had met in Hong Kong while Bogue was working for an established toy company and Cowen was a young lawyer completing his legal training at an international firm. Both had varied careers in the intervening years, but Cowen had caught the entrepreneurial bug, which took him to North America to launch a software company. Frequently in and out of New York, Cowen had become a frequent houseguest of Bogue’s.

For Cowen, switching gears to help launch the 3Doodler via Kickstarter was a no brainer. “I was like, ‘Yeah. This is the next Crayola,’” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to help launch that?”

A million 3D printing pens later,spoke with Cowen and Bogue about creating the 3Doodler, and the secret to their success. The most important ingredient to creating a new artistic medium? Building a community.

Where do you think the company will be when the billionth pen is sold?

Bogue: It’ll be as ubiquitous as the glue gun, envisioning a time when upcycling and self-repair is the norm. Actually, even more common, because you’re able to do more with it than what you’re able to do with a glue gun.

Cowen: What do we want people to think when they pick up the 3Doodler? “Nothing” is the ultimate answer. Ubiquity and invisibility go hand in hand. What do you think about when you pick up a pencil or a crayon? You don’t think much at all; you just reach for the perfect tool to do what you need.

What was it like in the earliest days of the company? Tell us an anecdote.

Bogue: I did all of the repairs of all the pens out of my New York office, which was also my apartment. For example, Rachel Goldsmith [one of the most prominent early 3Doodler artists], the first time we met, she said she lived in Brooklyn and I said, “Oh, well I’m over in the East Village. If you want to meet me in a coffee shop, I’ll come and fix your pen.”

I’ve done that with a lot of people who happened to be in the city. I was like, “If you want an instant fix, you can meet me at The Bean on 1st Avenue between 10th Street and I’ll come and I’ll fix your pen right there.”

You were really in the trenches and built a powerful community and committed team. How have you adapted and grown over time?

Bogue: Being in the trenches wasn’t exactly optional. But I don’t think any of us begrudged or minded doing it at any point. That has more to do with our personalities in general, that we like to be involved and understand what’s going on. Then it makes us better at helping everybody else in the company figure out what needs to get done and how it happens and how to help make it happen.

Cowen: A quarter of the company is now in some way devoted to either customer service or community building. We touch base once a week with everyone involved. It makes us a better team and a better company. If we’re not producing a product that’s great for our users, then something’s going a bit wrong. We’ve seen people come into the market trying to copy us and one of their biggest failings is a lack of quality and their attention to that.

Today, many startups you see tend to be software focused, and you both have some background in that field. But the 3Doodler is a physical product. Is that significant?

Cowen: I was never doing the coding of the software. I don’t have that skill set. I knew what the product was meant to look like, how it was meant to feel and work, but I wasn’t the one getting it there, which was often frustrating. Law is similar in some ways, you’re just the one doing the paperwork in the middle, not making things happen, which was one of the reasons I left.

Moving into physical product in many ways was a huge relief because we knew what it was meant to do. Max had a prototype and we knew how we wanted to improve it, and you can understand the physical a lot more quickly and easily. I had the benefit of coming from a family that did a lot of manufacturing. Both my parents and my stepdad had come from manufacturing backgrounds, so even though I hadn’t actually been in physical product creation before, in many ways it felt more familiar and it felt a lot more tangible and satisfying.

That said, you lose a lot of the huge benefits you have with software. You can’t just push an update and fix a problem that goes wrong. Once you’ve shipped tens of thousands of products, you’re stuck with the results of that no matter what, because recalls are expensive, and which thankfully we’ve never had to do.

How important is building a community of creators to the success of the 3Doodler?

Bogue: We work very closely with a lot of artists and support them as much as we can, because they’re the ones that are making truly amazing things with our product. We want to see how much further they can push this stuff using our tool. This is… a new industry, it’s a new concept. 3D pens didn’t exist until we brought them into the world in 2013.

Cowen: That last comment from Max really hit it on the head. Always front of mind from the very first days of Kickstarter all the way through to now was that this is a product and a market in its infancy, and if we don’t get it right, we would not only be ruining it for our own company but we’d be ruining for the whole medium.

Our best advocates are going to be our own users having a good experience with this the 3Doodler pen. So, we pay very carefully attention. That helps the product get better and helps the community grow, and in turn justifies the efforts.

Looking for more?

You can listen to Max & Daniel’s full interview here:

This article is the first in a series of conversations on the 3Doodler, its history, and its future between the people who know it best. Visitagain for more.

Here you can find our second piece with Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song.

Here you can find our third piece with artists & early adopters Rachel Goldsmith and Louis DeRosa.

A Whole New Way for the Blind to Create

“I always felt that if I could see, then I would enjoy painting.”

Margaret Wilson-Hinds, age 67, is participating in a special workshop at the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) main office in Peterborough, England. Along with several other blind and partially-sighted participants, Margaret has just tried the 3Doodler Start for the first time.

Beginning with the launch of the first 3Doodler in 2013, members of our community reached out to us to explore opportunities for using the 3Doodler to overcome a variety of learning obstacles. We spoke with community centres, teachers of non-traditional learners, physical rehabilitation specialists, and teachers of the blind—all of whom thought the 3Doodler could be used to make a real difference in individual lives. As our company has grown, so has our ability to focus on these needs, with our first challenge being to adapt the 3Doodler Start for the blind and partially sighted.

“The original thinking with the first version of the 3Doodler was that it could be used by teachers of the blind and partially sighted to make tactile learning aids,” explains 3Doodler President, Daniel Cowen. “This could include raised line graphing, maps and directions, shapes or objects a student could feel, quick braille markings, feeling handwriting, and more.”

"The real goal was to create a pen that blind and partially-sighted users could use themselves." Share

Daniel and 3Doodler CEO Maxwell Bogue took note as feedback came in from those who saw how a 3D printing pen could fill a gap amongst learning aids, and provide support for the blind.

“From our earliest discussions with interested community members, we also learned that existing aides, like swell paper, were expensive and could be inadequate for these needs,” says Daniel. “The 3Doodler offered a robust way to draw touchable learning aids.”

However, there was one significant shortfall—up until that point most of the discussions had been with teachers for the blind and had been focused on educators using the pen to make tactile learning aids for their students. The real goal was to create a pen that blind and partially-sighted users could use themselves—placing the joy and accomplishment of creativity and learning directly into their hands.

Three years later, the launch of the 3Doodler Start provided the pathway to make this possible. With no hot parts and a plastic cool enough to touch, we finally had a 3D printing pen that was safe for all users.

Shortly after launching the 3Doodler Start, our team began the process of understanding what changes would be needed to create a meaningful experience for blind and partially-sighted users.

“RNIB wanted to test the product because the whole idea of 3D printing is a revolution,” explains RNIB Head of Strategy Steve Tyler. “But this take on it is particularly interesting because it’s portable, it’s hand-held, and it’s a whole new way of being able to allow children, young people, and anybody who is vision impaired to be creative.”

With a proactive approach to new tech and how it could be applied to helping the visually impaired, RNIB was a natural fit for a collaboration with 3Doodler, and would ensure rigorous testing and feedback so that the product could be adapted and enhanced in a meaningful way.

Conversations with RNIB provided the 3Doodler team with useful preliminary advice—such as incorporating tactile markings on the pen instead of braille, and the importance of audio instructions for blind users.

Now, after a year of feedback and testing—which included individuals, as well as two schools for the blind and partially sighted—the 3Doodler Start has been given the official RNIB product endorsement, a quality assurance mark for products identified as “easy-to-use” for those who are blind or have sight loss.

And opening new avenues for the blind to express creatively isn’t just about innovation, it has a direct personal impact on people’s lives.

“Being able to draw, and being able to feel what you’ve drawn, or being able to create a product using this kind of manual 3D printing method is really new and innovative,” says Steve. “I’ve got a 5 year old son, and I spent an hour with him yesterday. A sighted son, and me as a blind father, and we were able to enjoy the 3Doodler together.”

"It’s a whole new way of being able to allow children, young people, and anybody who is vision impaired to be creative." Share

Back at the RNIB office in Peterborough, Roger Wilson-Hinds admits he was reluctant to participate in the 3Doodler workshop. “I came thinking I couldn’t cope with this kind of stuff, I had to persuade myself to come,” he says. But after experimenting with patterns on cups and forms, and creating a ring for himself, he’s glad he stepped out of his comfort zone. “I’ve come away with the idea that [the 3Doodler] could be really good, this could be good for lots of people.”

The official RNIB case study put the 3Doodler Start into the hands of both young students and adults, with participants aged between 8 and 78 and with varying degrees of sight loss and vision.

Through participant feedback as well as recommendations from RNIB, the 3Doodler Start now has tactile buttons, new audio instructions to help users get started, and will soon have full instructions in Braille.

“For me, I always enjoyed art but I could never fully see what I was doing,” says Mark Evans, at the RNIB workshop.

“And I’d have the idea in my head, and I’d draw it on the page, and it’d look awful! Because I’m not a great artist,” he laughs.

But with the 3Doodler, Mark didn’t feel the same sense of frustration he’d had in the past with traditional creative tools. “This would enable me to do things and be creative and produce a better quality of work and enjoy art a lot more,” he says.

Everyone at 3Doodler is immensely proud of the work done with RNIB, as well as the impact these product changes will have on the creative lives of our users. We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this project to date, and underscore our commitment to creating a world where every person, regardless of ability, can have access to the tools they need to create and learn.

To learn more about 3Doodler EDU products, click here:

LEARN MORE

Visit the official RNIB website to learn more about their work in supporting the blind and partially sighted.

The Best Creative Toys for Summer 2017

School’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean learning and creativity has to stop!

It’s no secret that 3Doodler is a big fan of tactile learning and imaginative play. And we’re not the only ones—the toy trends for 2017 show a strong focus on STEM and STEAM, promoting creativity and making education and discovery more fun.

Now that summer has finally arrived, here’s our recommendations for the top 11 toys to help kids continue to learn, explore, and create all summer long:

  • Get Your Move On

    Summer is the time for kids to seize the opportunity to get out of their classrooms and get their bodies moving with some outdoor play. Combining engineering and technical exploration with movement is a great way to do that! That’s the idea behind the Mover Kit from Technology Will Save Us. Kids build their own mover wristband, and then custom program it to react to all kinds of movements with different flashing lights. Kids can come up with new games and sequences to program into their movers to keep them engaged all summer long.
  • Take It Outside

    For kids who like to build and create, Flybrix lets you make your own drone using LEGO bricks. Kids can explore the different intricacies of drone flight with these kits designed for trial and error. Once completed, they can take their creations to the skies and see their creativity in action! Perfect for kids looking to jump start their career as a drone operator.
  • Tiny Tech, Endless Exploration

    When it comes to tiny tech, it doesn’t get much smaller (or cuter!) than the Ozobot. This pocket-sized robot comes to life with easy-to-use color codes that kids can draw.  There are also printable games and interactive missions and adventures through an app. The interface teaches kids the basics of coding and programming through fun, engaging games.
  • Lights, camera, action!

    For kids with a story to tell, there are several creative options which let them take the director’s seat for their own animations! StikBot Zanimation Studio helps kids create their own videos with creative characters and stories of their own design. Even in small spaces, kids can create scenes as boundless as their imaginations!
  • Light It Up

    Creating circuits is now as easy as drawing with the Circuit Scribe conducive ink pen. The included magnetic modules snap onto the circuits kids draw. Make simple or complex circuits or get creative and add lights, motion, or sound to your drawings!
  • Flex Your Imagination

    Bend, zip, connect, and snap to bring your imagination to life with Magnaflex. In these connectable kits, magnetic pieces connect in creative construction kits to help kids create everything from animals and vehicles to wearable accessories.
  • Be a Mini Mad Scientist

    Encourage your inner mad scientist with innovative tech toys that get kids looking at engineering in a completely new way. Turn a banana into a piano, or your favorite candy into a game controller with Makey Makey. The small circuit board can connect your computer with anything you can think of. With different apps and customizable programs, you can create your own drum kit with your leftovers from lunch, making learning about circuits and connectivity engaging and fun!
  • Creativity is a snap!

    Ready to ramp up your robotics, create your own connected devices, or take your engineering to the next level? The connecting blocks from littleBits offer 60 modules for combo creation, so kids can make their own gadgets to suit any purpose. Different kits let kids focus on smart home solutions, programming moving vehicles, and making music through tech. With tons of combinations, kids can explore how they can use technology in any setting.
  • Build It Your Way

    For budding architects who want to bring their fantasy house designs to life, Arckit lets you design, plan, and construct your own detailed building models. These free-form model kits let kids physically explore their design ideas and create realistic houses and building structures.
  • Turn Can't into Kano

    Create and code your own computer from scratch, build your own speaker, or construct a working camera. With the computer and coding kits from Kano, kids get hands-on experience on building, connecting, and coding as an easy and fun introduction to computer programming.
  • Do More With Doodles

    Of course, no toy list that focuses on tactile tech and creativity would be complete without our own 3Doodler. Our new 3Doodler Start Themed Kits let kids explore robotics, product design, and architecture while their imaginations are at their prime! For teenagers, the 3Doodler Create has endless possibilities for creative projects.

Looking to use this guide as a handy reference? Get the full guide as a PDF here.

5 Pieces of Real Life Star Trek Tech

It’s been over half a century since Star Trek first aired and amazed fans with a look into the possible future of technology.

And while Star Trek tech was only science fiction at the time, a huge range of the items used aboard the Enterprise are now commonplace today. Cellphones, bluetooth headsets, and tablet computers were all predicted by the futuristic series.

But while we’re still several hundred years away from James T. Kirk’s famous five-year mission of 2265, recent breakthroughs in technology have gotten us closer to a Star Trek reality than ever before, and in surprising ways:

1. Replicators

The replicators on Star Trek: The Next Generation synthesized foods for meals on demand, produced medications, or manufactured spare mechanical parts.

Today’s 3D printing technologies have made this Next Generation tech a current generation reality. Our own 3Doodler is a hand-held version that prints not only in plastic, but also metal, nylon, polycarbonate, and wood.

And current technology is working toward making real life even stranger than fiction. While the replicators of Star Trek could not produce living organisms, advancements in medical 3D printing are leading us in that direction. It is already possible to 3D-print bone, cartilage, tissue with blood vessels, and even heart valves, and scientists are even honing in on the process for printing human skin.

2. Hypospray

Medical tech is often where the sci-fi future envisioned by Star Trek meets reality.

When the medical officers of Starfleet’s science division needed to administer liquid medicines, they were able to do so without needles, blood, pain, or injection sites by using the hypospray.

Now, researchers at MIT have developed a similar method of jet injection which mimics the sterile, needle-free technology of the hypospray. Jet injection shoots a very thin and fast jet of medicine straight through the skin and into muscle. The jet is so fine that it won’t cause any pain, and the mechanics are precise enough to administer the correct doses for different patients.

3. Universal Translator

With a mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before, the crew of the starship Enterprise made frequent use of various universal translator technologies, allowing them to freely interact and converse with aliens from all reaches of space.

In our current digital age, communication is key. Which is why companies all over the world, from Japan to The Netherlands, are creating tech that lets us talk across languages.

Other more accessible tech takes translation to the page, with apps like Google Translate becoming more sophisticated all the time, allowing you to read foreign languages through instant scan-and-translate functions on your phone.

4. Bionic Eyes

Born blind, Geordi La Forge got his first VISOR—Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement—for his fifth birthday.

The Next Generation VISOR technology in Star Trek was worn like a pair of glasses, and detected and transmitted electromagnetic signals to the brain through neural implants in the temples, letting the user “see” in infrared and ultraviolet.

Now, advancements in medical tech have made impressive strides in visual prosthesis—more commonly referred to as bionic eyes. These surgical implants connect a digital camera mounted on glasses (a similar concept to the VISOR) which are then sent through a wireless processor and implant in the retina. The implant—an array of 60 electrodes—emits pulses of electricity which bypass the damaged photoreceptors to stimulate remaining cells within the retina and transmit visual information to the optic nerve and brain.

5. Impulse and Warp Drives

“Set engines to Warp Factor 9! Engage!” When it came to going faster than light, the Enterprise relied on its Warp drive to send it further and faster.

While FTL travel hasn’t quite been reached yet, new electromagnetic drives being developed in both China and by NASA are getting us one step closer. These EmDrives are propelled by electromagnetic radiation held within a microwave cavity, and therefore use electricity instead of fuel to generate movement—unlike traditional engines that expel mass to generate thrust. EmDrives are still undergoing testing, but are now making the Star Trek Warp drive look more like reality than sci-fi.

And when it comes to less interstellar and more interplanetary travel, scientist are catching up to the Enterprise even faster.

The impulse drive was the main form of propulsion for the Enterprise and other Star Trek starships when travelling below the speed of light, using fusion reactors to drive the ship forward efficiently.

The Neumann Drive is an ion engine that promises to transport a spaceship from Earth to Mars and back on a single tank of fuel. While the previous record for specific impulse was held by NASA’s High Power Electric Propulsion with 9,600 seconds, the Neumann Drive nearly doubles this efficiency with recordings of 11,300 seconds.

While the Neumann Drive certainly operates at slower speeds than the EmDrive (a trip to Mars and back would take an estimated three to five years, but only use 20kg of fuel), it takes us one step closer to the interplanetary exploration of the Enterprise.

Looking to get your hands on your own piece of Star Trek tech? Go to Kickstarter to get your own limited edition Star Trek “Crew Edition” 3Doodler Create!

A Model for Modernism

At a dinner party in 1945, famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was approached with an offer.

Prominent Chicago nephrologist Dr. Edith Farnsworth wanted Mies to create a weekend getaway along the Fox River in Plano, Illinois. The offer was for Mies to design the house as if it were for himself.

The result was the culmination of the unique take on modernist architecture for which Mies became an icon. With the launch of a new 3Doodler Create themed kit for the Farnsworth House, we take a look at the inspiration and architectural movement behind this stunning example of modernism.

A Higher Unity

While many modernist architects believed architecture should be used to socially engineer human behavior and guide occupants to higher ideals, Mies used his buildings differently.

Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

His architecture still represented his ideals and aspirations, but instead of constructing in a way to carefully engineer a result, Mies instead focused on freedom of movement and use. With a minimal framework and expressed structural columns, his buildings offered and open space in which inhabitants could express their own spirit—something he saw as crucial to elevating the harmony between architecture and humanity.

"In its simplest form architecture is rooted in entirely functional considerations, but it can reach up through all degrees of value to the highest sphere of spiritual existence into the realm of pure art."-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Share

Mies often reflects the industrial culture he saw as growing in the United States within his own architectural aesthetic, and uses this to offer occupants a flexible and unobstructed space.

His ultimate purpose was to join together natural elements with culture and construction. “We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and the human being to a higher unity,” Mies once said, and he reflected this ideal through designs featuring glass walls and few solid exterior walls.

Part of a Larger Whole

Constructed in a pastoral setting, the Farnsworth House is a clear culmination of the modernist ideals Mies sought to bring together in his designs.

"If you view nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature—it becomes part of a larger whole."-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Share

The singular geometric form of the house is simple in the extreme, constructed of steel and glass with a minimal form. The one-room rectangular structure sits parallel to the Fox River, with a perpendicular cross axis directly facing the river and nature.

Elevated 5 feet and 3 inches above the ground, and with floor-to-ceiling glass as the outer walls, the Farnsworth House appears to be floating within the natural landscape around it.

The glass walls encircle an open floor plan with a core wooden block containing the toilet and kitchen—a wooden room nesting inside the larger glass rectangle. Each area of the living space—areas for sleeping, eating, sitting, and cooking—is suggested by the arrangement, but ultimately the inhabitant is free to decide the use of space as they desire.

An Icon of Modernism

To honor this National Historic Landmark and icon of modernist architecture, 3Doodler is pleased to present a unique Farnsworth House theme kit for 3Doodler Create.

The 3Doodler Farnsworth House Kit

In collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Farnsworth floor plans, so anyone can create this modernist masterpiece in miniature scale. The kit also includes a visual step-by-step guide and four packs of ABS plastic to replicate the original structure. Learn more about the the making of this kit here.

The Farnsworth House Kit will be available alongside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater Kit. Sign up for notifications on the release of these new kits:

A Power Up for the 3Doodler Community

We began with a Kickstarter. Four years later, we’ve grown into an international community.

When we first launched 3Doodler, there was no way we could have anticipated the creative passion our backers would have. Before we knew it, Doodlers from all over were sharing their creations, experimenting with the pens in ways we had never thought of, and pushing the innovation to new heights with projects that left us inspired and awestruck.

Launching the way we did, directly to our users, community became an inevitable part of our DNA from Day 1. We’ve kept our ear as close to the ground as we could since then. Four years later, that community stretches across the globe, and continues to find new ways of reminding us how limitless creativity can be with the right tool. Some members of the community have even become full-time members of the 3Doodler team!

As Doodlers took on bigger and more ambitions projects—like complete basilicas, full-size cars, and high-end fashion—we wanted there to be a way for artists to share their expertise and help each other improve and innovate, while also helping the wider community.

And so we established the Power Doodlers. This group of creative thinkers are as passionate about Doodling as we are, and have shown they have the innovation and skill to bring their ideas and creations to life.

Our Power Doodlers are dedicated to art and creativity, and see Doodling as the perfect outlet—whether as a hobby, an educational tool, or even at a professional level. And they want to share their skills with the world through tutorials, workshops, and exhibitions to help bolster and expand the 3Doodler community.

Here’s a closer introduction to four of our amazing Power Doodlers, each with their own unique vision for creativity:

Grace Du Prez

Grace is a veteran Doodler based in London who hosts regular workshops for beginner Doodlers.

“The first thing I ever Doodled was a hat. A company called Maplin commissioned me to make something for Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in 2014. Designing it was a challenge as I wasn’t sure how strong or flexible the plastic would be, but it was also exciting to be trying something new.

"Doodling allows you to work in a very experimental and organic way. You can have an idea and then immediately try it out." Share

I think I have improved since then by exploring different techniques and trying to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

I like that Doodling combines modern technology with something hand made. My background is in textile design and I have always enjoyed the making process as well as designing. Doodling allows you to work in a very experimental and organic way. You can have an idea and then immediately try it out.

I’ve been described as a ‘Marathon Doodler’ which I think sums me up quite well. My projects often take a long time to make and can involve lots of preparation.”

See more of Grace’s incredible work by following her on Instagram.

Judith Tarrés

Hailing from Barcelona, Judith won the 2016 3Doodler Micro Award with a trio of adorable Doodled squirrels.

“As an artist, Doodling in 3D has changed my perspective of creating. Everything is possible with a 3Doodler in your hands—whatever you can think of, it can be made.

"As an artist, Doodling in 3D has changed my perspective of creating." Share

My first Doodle was so easy to do because I started with some basic projects that 3Doodler offers on their site, and with a few steps I learned a lot. Later on, when I knew how to use the 3Doodler better, I let my creativity fly and now I’m finally able to Doodle everything my mind is capable to create.

This tool has given me lots of opportunities to create, and I love how quickly you can shift your art from 2D to 3D. It’s also really easy to learn to use, and I am very happy with all the possibilities it has.”

Follow Judith on Instagram to see more of her projects.

Heather Baharally

Based in Canada, Heather’s masks and her unique Doodling style certainly turned heads.

“After receiving my first 3Doodler from the Kickstarter campaign, I was delighted by the immediacy of the plastic extruding pen. I can think of something and minutes later create a model of it. The variety of materials has such possibilities for wearable art, cosplay, sculpture and adds incredible dimensions to my 2D artwork.

"The 3Doodler has opened up so many options to express my ideas." Share

I have a connection with the great Rocky Mountains and nature, as seen in my work which largely consists of animals made with variety of techniques.

I’ve been studying different materials for use in my artwork. It has been an amazing experience to use the 3Doodler to enhance my existing style of work and it opened up so many options to express my ideas.

I fell in love with the medium and I am excited to see where this artistic journey takes me next.

Follow Heather on Instagram to see more of her incredible masks and nature-inspired artwork.

Sydnee Davidson

Californian Syd impressed us with her entries in our regular Doodle-Offs where she combined Doodling with other design skills.

“I am a graphic designer by day, and mixed media artist by night.

"The biggest struggle I encounter is having the perfect plan built inside my head, but then having to improvise and let the pen tell you how it should be built." Share

I’ve been using the 3Doodler since the day it was shipped after its first Kickstarter campaign in 2014. Once I saw what it could do I knew I had to have one.

Ever since then, I’ve made several figurines based on my favorite animals and pop-culture characters. It’s a great tool to experiment with, and recently I have been incorporating Doodles into my mixed-media art pieces, which have also included use of LED lights.

My light-up beehive is a good example of how Doodled additions fit in with other media. It features 13 Doodled bees (including a queen), 96 3D printed honeycombs (some filled with Doodled honey), and 100 LED lights.

The biggest struggle I encounter is having the perfect plan built inside my head, but then having to improvise and let the pen tell you how it should be built. The results still surprise me!”

Follow Syd on Instagram to see more of her mixed-media creations.

Do you have what it takes to be a Power Doodler? If you’re interested in joining our team of dedicated Doodlers, contact us for more details. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our mailing list for regular updates!

Falling for Frank Lloyd Wright

The father of organic architecture turns 150 years old in June. The impact of interior designer, architect, writer, and educator, Frank Lloyd Wright can still be seen today.

Having designed over 1,000 structures in his lifetime, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright has made a lasting impact on architecture and design. In celebration of his 150th birthday, we are pleased to present a new 3Doodler Create Project Kit for Wright’s signature example of organic architecture, Fallingwater.

Celebrating 150 Years

With 532 completed structures over the span of a 70-year career, Frank Lloyd Wright has become an icon of American architecture. Twelve of his buildings are listed amongst Architectural Record’s hundred most important buildings of the century.

"We are all here to develop a life more beautiful, more concordant, more fully expressive of our own sense of pride and joy than ever before in the world."-Frank Lloyd Wright Share

Wright firmly believed that architecture was “the mother of all the arts,” and approached each design with this intensity of conviction. His aim to was to reflect the landscape, people, culture, and feel of America within his own designs and architecture.

With dramatic new shapes and designs, Wright developed what he called “organic architecture”, representing what he saw as the harmonious connection of the citizens of the United States with both each other, and to the land they call home. As such, his homes center around shared spaces such as the dining table, music rooms, and terraces to encourage a sense of community and closeness to both family and nature.

Fallingwater

None of Wright’s structures reflects the harmony between architecture and nature better than Fallingwater.

"The making of a good building, the harmonious building, one adapted to its purposes and to life, [is] a blessing to life and a gracious element added to life, is a great moral performance."-Frank Lloyd Wright Share

Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the residence was designed for the Kaufmann family in southwest Pennsylvania. Stretching over a 30-foot waterfall, the house is a shining example of Wright’s commitment to a unique architectural design that integrates family life with natural surroundings.

While the Kaufmanns had requested a house with a view of the waterfall, Wright wanted them to instead live with the water itself, and to make the falls an integral part of their everyday life. His organic design was detailed down to the colors, with only two distinct colors used in the final building, both tied closely to the materials used—the light ochre of the concrete, and Wright’s own signature Cherokee red on the steel.

Since Fallingwater first opened its doors to the public in 1964, over 4.5 million visitors have come to see Wright’s architectural masterpiece first-hand.

Recreating a Piece of History

To honor this National Historic Landmark and icon of organic architecture, 3Doodler is pleased to present a unique Fallingwater theme kit for 3Doodler Create.

In collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Fallingwater floor plans, so anyone can create Wright’s masterpiece in miniature scale. The kit also includes a visual step-by-step guide and four packs of ABS plastic to replicate the exact colors of the original structure. Learn more about the the making of this kit here.

Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday by recreating one of the most powerful pieces of American architecture. Sign up for notifications on the release of this new kit at the3Doodler.com.

Home is What You Create

“Change. Change is always hard, but good,” explains Leah Wyman, Head of EDU at 3Doodler. “I think mentally preparing for the stress and struggles and accepting that they will come but be worth it is key.”

The 3Doodler team knows a thing or two about change. With nine nationalities represented across our team, most of 3Doodler knows what it’s like to create a new life and find home in a different country.

Leah has called many countries home. She’s lived and worked in Germany, Iceland, Jamaica, Canada, and the Netherlands, and has now returned to the USA to join 3Doodler in our New York office.

In each place she has found ways create a sense of home, the same as many members of our team.

Daniel Cowen, Co-President and COO of 3Doodler, is a UK native who has lived in over six countries. “You start to look forward and work out how changes in your life will fit with the place you are in,” he explains. “In short, it’s about adapting, which at first is about friends, and eventually is about the deeper meaning of ‘home’.”

That deeper meaning and personal concept of “home” can mean something different to everyone, but in the end it all comes back to the basic senses. When finding familiarity, we rely on what we can see, feel, smell, touch, and perhaps most importantly, taste.

Food creates a strong sense of cultural identity, and is a major aspect of what we consider part of home. The smells and tastes of our childhood are often what connect us the strongest to that sense of nostalgia we associate with home.

"Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories. I do my best to try and recreate my mom’s classic dishes." Share

“The first thing I try and do when I move to a new country is find the best Indian restaurant,” says 3Doodler Creative Director Faraz Warsi. Faraz holds Canadian citizenship, but still identifies closely with his Indian heritage. Having lived in the Middle East, India, Canada, Hong Kong, and the USA, he’s used to the shuffle and change of relocation. “They call us Third Culture Kids,” he says. “Identity crisis is sometimes more fitting.”

But through various countries and continents, Faraz has discovered a sense of home can always be found in the kitchen. “Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories,” he says. “I do my best to try and recreate some of my mom’s classic dishes—the keyword being ‘try’. Sadly it’s never as good.”

Erin Song, 3Doodler Junior Designer, shares the same sentiment. A South Korean national who grew up in Hong Kong, Erin now works in the 3Doodler New York office. “In all honesty, I really miss the food,” she says. “I incorporate the food I would eat in Hong Kong by cooking a familiar dish whenever I feel homesick.”

“I am what I eat,” agrees 3Doodler E-Commerce Manager Jim Toernqvist, who emigrated from Sweden to join the 3Doodler team. “Sweden is very much a part of what I consider good in the culinary world.” Jim says he brings a bit of “home” into his new life by creating meals that remind him of Sweden. “Swedish cuisine is mostly simple and quick to make; my dinners are something to look forward to.”

But as Daniel said, change is all about adaptation. While the smells and tastes of home inspire nostalgia and make us feel more at ease in a new place, soon new foods become familiar and start to create a new sense of what it means to feel at home.

3Doodler Marketing Director Kelley Toy is a New Zealand native who now lives in Hong Kong. She says the new foods and tastes were the first things she found herself incorporating into her everyday life.

“Asian food is a pleasure to explore and experience,” she says, “and the convenience, all-hours availability and on-demand nature of food in Asia is something that is easy to adopt.”

But creating a sense of home doesn’t begin and end with what you eat, of course. Whether we’re aware of it or not, what we see every day ends up creating a pattern that we associate with home.

“For New Zealand, it’s a specific color palette combining sky, water, sand or dried grass, and green pastures,” says Kelley. “It’s a unique color palette that you don’t see anywhere else so I can always pick a New Zealand sky or landscape from these colors.”

“Yellow and blue is always my association with Sweden,” says Jim. “It’s the colors of the Swedish flag, and IKEA.”

“Grass. Green manicured grass,” says Dan. “It’s calm, trimmed, reliable, and there’s so much access to it through the incredible parks of London, which are what I miss most.”

“I really don’t want to sound cliché, but Chinatown really reminds me of home,” says Erin. “New York’s Chinatown has a very similar architecture and essence to the old areas of Hong Kong.”

For most of us who have moved our lives abroad, the concept of home is often oddly combined with reminders of change. Both become part of daily life as we continue to adapt and create something new.

Sometimes all it takes is one building to remind us of this. “When it comes to New York, it’s all about the Empire State building,” says Erin. “As much as I love the Chrysler building, the Empire State Building is the building I see every day when I walk to and from work. It is a constant reminder of how much my life has changed.”

Critic’s Choice: New Dimensions

In Critic’s Choice,speaks to members of the art world who explore what the 3Doodler means in a broader artistic context. Last week we spoke to New Media Art Professor Zhenzhen Qi.

This weekspoke to Kerri Gaudelli, an installation artist and educator at the prestigious Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. At the Aldrich, Gaudelli works to foster an understanding and appreciation of art in every visitor, through historical perspective and interpretation. She also organizes opportunities for visitors to explore their own creative impulses as inspired by the works they’ve seen at the Aldrich.

Kerri Gaudelli doesn’t believe she has ever seen anything quite like the 3Doodler.

That makes the tool particularly unique. In her time at the Aldrich Museum she has seen a wide range of modern and contemporary work created using an expansive array of mediums. The diversity of artists and work on display at the museum is extensive, and often includes work that crosses the boundary between two and three dimensions.

Gaudelli’s own art often involves converting a charcoal drawing into installation pieces, featuring pins and thread that interact with the space around them. As a result, she’s excited by the prospect of using the 3Doodler in her own work.

“The 3Doodler is a new way for artists to think about space,” she says. “It can let them expand and bring their work to life. Letting them bring it out of 2D and into 3D allows them to work on the canvas as well as the wall, or anywhere, really, and often with the same amount of skill.”

While Gaudelli has yet to see a museum display that evokes the exact same look or feel as the 3Doodled work she’s seen, she believes the pen’s ability to work across dimensions and mediums would fit naturally into museum spaces both as a medium and as a learning tool. Gaudelli was impressed by the painterly sculpture of Rachel Goldsmith, which clearly showcased the 3Doodler’s ability to enable a new exploration of space.

“I think it would be a great experiment. My own work has a lot to do with structure, building, and translating from 2D to 3D and back, which is exactly what this pen does.” Gaudelli also said she feels the 3Doodler would be an excellent tool to have on hand at the Aldrich, particularly for the educational programs she runs for children.

“I’m the Education Program Assistant at The Aldrich. Which means I help run and write content for our school programs,” Guadelli said. “I also foster the relationship between schools and the Aldrich, and do outreach to help get students into the Museum.” To be effective at her job, Gaudelli often has to interpret how students as young as 3rd grade might see the museum, and help design an engaging experience for that particular point of view.

The Aldrich is multi-discipline as well as multi-media, and routinely hosts STEAM education events. STEAM education—which combines Art with the Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics of STEM programs—combines the strengths of all five modes of thinking. The Aldrich’s “Full STEAM Ahead” events feature symposiums and presentations about STEAM principals in education and society, as well as practical opportunities for students to investigate the topics and materials directly.

“Our STEAM tours would be a great fit for the 3Doodler,” Gaudelli said of the 3Doodler as a potential educational tool at the Museum.

“These are programs that let kids explore the galleries and artists on display at the museum and try to figure out what the artists are inspired by and interested in based on the works themselves and STEAM thinking. We recently had an exhibit with a piece that consisted of a deconstructed 1976 John Deere combine harvester. The artist used it as a metaphor to show the interconnectedness of different parts of the environment. It’s a real chance for the kids to come to understand space, and the use of something comparatively high-tech would fit really well. I think students would take to it right away.”

Gaudelli believes that the 3Doodler could be a way to open not just new directions for drawing, but also for thinking about art. “It really is the ultimate STEAM tool because it combines so many different ways of thinking, different dimensions, as well as science and technology behind it, and it uses all of that to create artwork.”

Critic’s Choice: Drawing New Insights with Zhenzhen Qi

Artists and creators the world over recognize the 3Doodler as a powerful and revolutionary tool. But what impact do the critics, professors, and curators of the art world think the 3Doodler will have? In Critic’s Choice,speaks to members of the art world who examine and speculate about what this new technology means in a broader artistic context.

Our first perspective comes from Zhenzhen Qi, an adjunct professor who teaches new media art and interaction design. Originally trained as an applied mathematician at UC Berkeley, she earned a Masters in New Media Arts after feeling there was something missing from her undergraduate studies. Qi’s work is often interactive and fuses her analytical background with representations of emotion. As a professor, she is continuously searching for truth, and helping her pupils find it as well.

Scientist, mathematician, engineer, and artist, Zhenzhen Qi has taken a circuitous path to where she is today. Bringing it all together is an essential part of her quest for truth.

“I had a very typical science and engineering educational experience,” Qi said of her training as an applied mathematician, “but I felt it was lacking something very important to the kind of person I am. The way scientists and engineers are trained and educated made me feel like there needs to be something more.”

“I’m still not sure if art alone is the answer,” Qi admitted, “but I think there are a lot of interesting things happening in the space between art and science technology.”

The search for “something more” led Qi to the Interactive Art program at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts. After graduation, she became an educator and currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate New Media Art programs across New York City.

“The numerical parts of science combined with the openness of art is what makes both what I teach and what I make more interesting than either on their own.” Qi’s exploration of the spaces where art and science overlap has naturally taken her to the world of 3D printing. And that’s part of the reason why she is excited about the 3Doodler.

Qi’s statement is based on mathematician and computer scientist Seymour Papert’s design principal of “low floors, high ceilings.” When properly executed, this means you can create something with a tool as soon as it is picked up, but that the potential for more complex and involved creations from the tool is limitless. Although Papert was talking about his Logo programing language, Qi was referring to the relative ease of use of a printing pen, even though a practiced user can create truly incredible things.

But Papert’s thinking isn’t the only thing exciting Qi about the 3Doodler.

“I’m very familiar with 3D printing commercial technology. I’ve designed and printed a number of things with different hardware and materials,” Qi said of the emerging medium. But while she has been pleased with the results overall, she finds the process lacking something vital.

For Qi, 3D printing has meant that the act of creation ends when she saves the final version of the design file. The automated 3D printer removes the tactile element of creation and detaches her from the creative process. So, just as applied mathematics turned out to be only part of the equation, standard 3D printing techniques haven’t offered everything she is looking for.

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Qi believes the 3Doodler can provide a sense of creative ownership that automated printers simply can’t match. Executing the design by hand may provide artists with a new appreciation for the medium of molded plastic. Shaping the work directly makes it possible to discover new aspects of the piece, and understand the medium directly. And while it does make mistakes or minor imperfections more likely, this introduces the possibility to learn and find serendipitous new ways to develop artwork.

The increased potential for discovery and creation, Qi feels, is at the core of the appeal of the 3Doodler.

“The reason I thought a printing pen would be a great idea is because it reminds me so much of just regular drawing on a piece of paper. And drawing as a technology is probably one of our oldest forms of expression, one of the oldest technologies we have, and that’s because there’s so much creative potential with that tool.”

Qi envisions a future where the 3Doodler enables creators and students to easily create work that deftly blends dozens of disciplines. “This is a tool which can integrate fields that people are not used to seeing combined—for example, art, physics, material sciences and engineering. I think it’s more about integrating different fields rather than completely redefining any one field.”

And with that integration, perhaps she will find her greater truth.

Check out more of Qi’s work at zhenzhenqi.com.

3Doodler: Disruption & Reinvention Four Years On

Disruption is a word we hear more and more. Uber disrupted transportation, Airbnb changed the way millions of people book accommodation the world over, and social media has altered the way we interact with everything from friends to news. This theme of disruption and reinvention lives at the core of 3Doodler, a company that is built on the strength of our community and your never-ending support for our work.

As we hit our pen’s fourth birthday, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate with four stories of disruption and reinvention that made our journey possible, many of which started with you!

From one disruptive technology to another

3Doodler began with a mistake—a 3D print gone wrong. Back in 2012 we were a two-man band, inventing toys—anything that could be a hit—and licensing them to much bigger companies. Our go-to tool for creating new concepts was our 3D printer, an invention which is still disrupting industries large and small. The printer we were using missed a line in our print, leaving a glaring hole in our latest model. The print would have been unusable, wasting valuable time and materials.

That’s when inspiration hit: what if we just took the head of the printer off and filled in the gap?

And so, unexpectedly, disruption bred yet more disruption. The 3Doodler was born.

Community-led disruption

We had the idea, but without a community of users it would have ended there. Enter Kickstarter, and our community of visionary early adopters. Relying on the power of the internet, and our hope that you would recognize the potential of the 3Doodler (or just want to have fun with it!), we launched our campaign.

The result was one of the most-funded technology Kickstarters of all time, and a 25,000-strong community to join this amazing journey. A decade ago we would have been asking for money, pleading with retailers to take a chance on us, and most likely seen our dream end in disappointment. With community-led crowdfunding, this paradigm has been turned entirely upside down.

More than a passing fad

Disruption is only good until it is disrupted itself. We have made it a mission to ensure that whatever comes next, it comes from us. Most importantly, while we’re on our way there, we’ll do all we can to keep you engaged and inspired.

That very much speaks to our focus on growing a vibrant and engaged community (more on that soon!) as well as the wide product universe we have created around 3Doodler—ensuring you have every color of plastic you could need, as well as all kinds of accessories to help bring your ideas to life. Now with three pens in our product range—the 3Doodler Start, Create, and PRO—there is a pen for everyone, ages 8 through 80, hobbyist or professional, and we’re not stopping there!

Taking “toy” to 3D

A special mention to the 3Doodler Start, the little pen that could. Three years in the making, and as a newcomer to the highly competitive toy market, we wanted to get this one really right.

To do that we had to develop our own plastic, stubbornly insisting that it be biodegradable, and melt at impossibly low temperatures. We were also going up against a growing tide of tech-connected toys with a pen that is entirely (and proudly) “unconnected”.

The result was amazing, with the award-winning Start kicking butt at retail, and our whole team glowing at the amazing things made by our new community of young creators. Bye bye screens, hello drawing in 3D!

It’s humbling to stand here after four years, with an amazing team of over 30 talented people around us, on course to hit our millionth pen in the next few weeks. Thank you all for helping us on this journey, and we hope to provide many more disruptions in the years to come.

Sincerely and with thanks,

Max, Dan & Pete

Co-founders, 3Doodler

Design Thinking at 3Doodler

“Why don’t you add Bluetooth? Or have an app? Or put more sensors in it? You can get in the Apple Store!”. But that wasn’t what we were doing, or what 3Doodler is about. Sure it’s tempting to adapt a product and add bells and whistles so that you can sell even more, but at what cost?

What we sacrificed was being able to say we were part of the Internet of things. What we gained was the ability for anyone, tech savvy or not, young or old, smartphone equipped or not, to use our pens.

The idea of a 3D pen is such a new and unexpected concept that it needed to be as simple and easy to learn as possible. A tactile experience, just like using a pen or a pencil.

We’ve stayed true to that philosophy for over four years, and even with the release of the 3Doodler PRO, our most advanced product, it’s all about getting tactile, and eradicating any barriers that might exist between a user and their ability to create what they want.

"It’s about connecting you and your movements with the pen, and there’s no better way to do that than with your hands"-Howard Share

If anything we’ve been on a mission to make our products even simpler, not more complex; and not more connected or virtual. For example, the PRO has dials where it could have had switches (or an app that communicates with the pen). As a user gently turns those dials the pen responds, raising the speed or the temperature the same way one would gently nudge up the volume on a sound system. It’s about connecting you and your movements with the pen, and there’s no better way to do that than letting people get hands on.

That same tactile experience has also driven much of what we do in education. Back in 2014 we started to work with teachers for the blind and partially sighted, using our pens to draw instant tactile learning aids. In 2015 we ran a case study with a UK-based school and found, conclusively, that the tactile experience of using the 3Doodler gave visual learners a welcome leg-up in class.

Now with the kid-safe 3Doodler Start, which is completely cool to the touch, the scope for getting hands on has jumped another level. Users can touch and mould their Doodles the instant they come out of the pen – and those same blind and partially sighted students now have a pen they can use safely without any concerns about hot plastic.

So while the world is putting iPads in front of kids, or trying to connect everything to the big wide web, we’re putting down the screens and asking you to pick up, feel and craft; to rediscover what you can do with your hands in an unvirtual reality. We’re using the power of touch – and not the screen – to take you back to an era (not that long ago!) when creativity and play meant doing something with your hands.

And it’s working. As we near 2017 we’ll be marking our millionth 3Doodler, with users creating everything from curricular aids, to architectural replicas, 3Doodled dresses and cars, as well as art that is being proudly displayed in galleries worldwide. That’s a staggering win for the tactile, and the reason we’ll always strive for simple and accessible rather than overly-complicated.

Written by Daniel Cowen, Co-Founder & COO

The Creative Nostalgic: Why bringing back the 90s is good for new ideas

From the resurgence of Pokémon, never ending movie remakes, as well as recurring trends in fashion and music, reminders of the 90s appear to be everywhere these days. Recent studies have shown that nostalgia has a positive impact on creativity and can inspire openness and new ways of thinking. 3Doodler investigates.

2016 is the new 1996

The X-Files and Fuller House are on TV, and the cool kids are wearing overalls. Blink 182 is selling out concert venues and the Backstreet Boys are back (and recording again). It’s 2016 but we may as well be partying like it’s 1999.

Den of Geek says there are at least 109 movie remakes and reboots planned for the next few years, and many of the titles will be familiar to a 90’s nostalgic audience. From Comedy with Ace Ventura, to SciFi with Stargate, and childhood favourites like Jumanji and Power Rangers, all these reboots will give audiences who love the 90’s plenty of reason to wax nostalgic.

Why We Love the 90s

“Every generation seems to long for their childhood and revels in the nostalgia of the pop culture of that time”, noted San Diego State University professor of Psychology, Dr. Jean Twenge in a recent interview. “Boomers did this for the ‘60s, GenX for the ‘80s.” It’s a common cycle to see. “Nostalgia is a powerful connection to a time when things at least seemed more innocent and simple.”

But why is 90s nostalgia hitting so much harder than past nostalgic trends, particularly for today’s Millennials? “The ‘90s were, arguably, the last good decade—the last time the economy was doing pretty well and the last time we weren’t worrying about terrorism,” Twenge argues. “Many Millennials experienced a ‘90s childhood of peace and prosperity, only to enter adulthood during the Great Recession. It’s like someone baited and switched them.”

Tumblr Teachings

One user on Tumblr also pointed to the rapid advance of technology as an explanation for Millennial obsession with the “simpler” decade of their childhood.

Linking Nostalgia and Creativity

While the media loves to portray the Millenial generation as full of self-centered narcissists – what with their love of selfies and Instagramming each meal – there’s an argument to be made that this generation may end up being the most creative as well.

And it’s all because of nostalgia.

Psychologists from the University of Southampton recently published findings in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showing that nostalgia can have a positive impact on creativity.

The team, led by Wijnand van Tilburg, tested the effect of nostalgic memories, defined as a memory that triggers “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past” against both ordinary memories and happy memories as preparation for writing a short story.

The study showed that people who were asked to think nostalgically had more linguistic creativity in their stories, compared to other participants who were asked to think of ordinary or even happy memories.

Van Tilburg believes that nostalgia may help form a willingness to try new experiences, which is directly linked to creativity.

“One of the strongest personality traits that predicts creativity is openness,” van Tilburg says. “People who are very open to novelty are more likely to, say, play around with new ideas or create connections between things where others would not.”

Because nostalgia gives people a rooted sense of belonging and security, they then feel more of that sense of openness that leads to creative thought.

Old Vs New

University of Connecticut educational psychologist Jonathan Plucker has a different idea. He says the connection between nostalgia and creativity may come more from the juxtaposition of the old with the new. Because creative ideas often happen when two different concepts are combined or compared, nostalgia may spark the creative process because it requires thinking about past experiences in context with a person’s current life.

“The warm, fuzzy feelings we get from nostalgia may actually make it easier for us to use that older information,” Plucker says. “And if nostalgia is just a very efficient way of getting disparate concepts, then I would absolutely expect it to lead to more creativity.”

So when brainstorming your next project, don’t be afraid to go old school. Pop on an old episode of Captain Planet, crack open a can of Crystal Pepsi, load up Pokemon Go on your phone – and let the creativity flow!

3Doodler MoMA Window Display

When 3Doodler was first approached by MoMA to be featured in their Design Store window displays in New York City, the whole team was thrilled. But everyone soon found out how much work goes into a window display—especially one as involved as this!

Here’s a closer look at the process of designing, building, and installing the display, along with spotlight on the incredible Doodles that featured in it.

Creating a Display

The 3Doodler team only had 60 days to dream up a concept, get the display built, and install everything at both the 53rd Street and Soho MoMA Design Stores. The aim was to showcase the accessibility, simplicity and creative potential of the 3Doodler.

The team went through several rounds of late-night brainstorming, finally settling on a final rough sketch before racing to get everything built in time. The design features a wave that goes across the window and four uses for the 3Doodler: Build, Design, Teach, and Play. The wave itself is meant to represent extruded plastic, while the lines in the back are giant strands of filament.

To build the display, 3Doodler joined forces with Chad Lynch and his team at Heywood Productions in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

The waves were made from laminated wood and coated with several layers of shiny white plastic, while the background tubes were painted PVC pipes. The giant 3Doodler tip was made using foam and wood, and then coated with resin and paint.

Once the pieces were built, installing everything turned out to be the easiest part. The team converged on the MoMA Design Store windows, and put on quite a show for passersby with all the miming, pointing, and photo snapping that it took to get things just right.

But the final result was well worth the effort.

Hero Doodle: Metamorphosis Lamp

The window display featured several Hero Doodles to showcase the diverse uses and creative scope of the 3Doodler. The first was the Metamorphosis Lamp by Broolyn-based artist Rachel Goldsmith.

“My artwork is inspired by two sets of contrasts,” Rachel explains. “In my environment, the contrast is between the man-made and nature; and in materials, the contrast is between the control I have over the media and how the media naturally interacts. This inspiration manifests itself in my final pieces through contrasts in color, in line, shape and form, and in textures.”

Rachel explains that she is constantly reacting to how the plastic lands on the canvas, often not in the way that she originally intended: “I definitely have some control over the material, for example I choose the colors, but I certainly do not have total control. It’s almost like every other move has to be a ‘beautiful oops.'” This is why she refers to what she creates as “painting with plastic”, because for Rachel, it is much less like drawing or Doodling and much more like painting. It’s about pushing an artistic piece until she has a complete composition that has both balance and movement.

Hero Doodle: The Boat

Measuring two feet long and about 1.5 feet high, this was certainly an epic achievement and a labor of love by 3Doodler’s own co-founder Daniel Cowen.

Dan began by Doodling the deck of the boat flat on a large piece of paper to get the size and shape right. He then propped up up deck at the right height and Doodled the ribbed hull downwards to create a frame. “I used the existing skeleton to effectively weave a mesh surface,” Dan explains, “and then used that surface as a base to create a thick stable top layer.”

Then followed the complex process of adding the masts and finer details for the water and waves. “I lined up plastic tubes on the table top to act as rollers,” says Dan, “and proceeded to drape melted plastic over them to form the shape of the wave.”

For final details, Dan added a dolphin, starfish, anchor and life saver ring. “I had to Doodle the rope very slowly in mid-air to get that ‘cast out to sea’ look,” he says.

Hero Doodle: Geometric Lampshade

“When I found out we were going to take over the windows at the Museum of Modern Art I wanted to do something new with the 3Doodler that would utilize it in a completely different way,” says 3Doodler’s own Creative Director Faraz Warsi.

“We always tell people you can use the 3Doodler to decorate your house or office,” Faraz says. “Taking inspiration from our new design intern’s passion for origami I wanted to build a lampshade made completely out of triangles.”

Faraz decided to use 3Doodler’s new transparent Clearly line of PLA filament to showcase the range. He began by designing a simple stencil with 12 triangles in eight different PLA colors—two clear colors and six lighter colors from the regular PLA line.

“Once we had all our triangles on the table we tried to figure out the best way to piece it all together,” Faraz says. “The possibilities were endless, with different color combinations, patterns, and angles to create depth.” Faraz ultimately decided to go with a classic cylindrical shape, with 16 triangles in each row.

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