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:

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

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!

5 Careers That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

Technology is changing the world, sometimes faster than education can keep up! With new career options developing, students now have a wider selection than ever before.

We believe in the importance of getting kids used to new tech and educational advancements early on. After all, this is what will shape the landscape for future career and job possibilities later on.

This week, we take a look at five new in-demand career options for STEM and tech-savvy students to consider.

Genetic Counselor

One field that has seen great benefits from new advancements in technology is medicine. New understandings of genetics and the data now available has opened up specialized opportunities for jobs that would have sounded like science fiction not too long ago.

Genetic Counselling can cover everything from cancer treatments to prenatal care and family planning. Some Genetic Counselors even specialize in specific fields like cardiology, neurology, or fertility.

Counselors look at each individual patient’s genetics, and examine the data to try and predict and prevent medical disorders. But the main part of the job, of course, is the patient. Genetic Counselors need to know how to connect and support each patient, and help explain the complicated medical side of things in ways that are easy to understand.

To be a Genetic Counselor, you’d need a Master’s degree in genetics, and likely would also need some certification in counselling as well. For students who love science and data, but are also very people-focused, this would be a perfect field to explore.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The job title alone seems daunting, but the actual job is less scary than it sounds. This is another new field that has sprung up alongside technological advancements in medicine—specifically all the new machinery that modern medicine relies on.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists operate all specialized medical equipment, like CT and PET scanners, gamma cameras, and other imaging tools used to help diagnose medical issues. The technologists need to know how to care for and operate the machines, a vital task considering how closely technology and medicine are tied.

And as medical technology continues to grow and improve, so will this career field. Continual developments and innovation means a need for technologists who understand and can work alongside doctors and patients to help reach a diagnosis.

The job doesn’t require a medical degree, but does take good interpersonal skills and attention to detail, as the machines are often delicate and complicated. An interest in robots and engineering is important, and there are accreditation programs available for students looking to enter this field.

Sustainability Manager

When it comes to business, everyone knows it’s all about the green. No, we’re not talking about money! The new trend for businesses is environmentalism and sustainability, and more and more companies are realizing that going green is the way forward.

That’s where Sustainability Managers come in. This role means making sure a company is doing all it can to enforce the most environmentally-friendly practices possible, but at the best price for the company. This takes a lot of creativity, and excellent communication skills to get everyone on board and make your ideas a reality.

And it’s not just companies that are looking to fill this new role. Everything from corporations to universities, and even large cities need Sustainability Managers to create long-term plans to help them go—and stay—green.

A degree in Environmental Science and a passion for saving the planet is the way to go for students interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Drone Operator

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles sounds more like a code name for flying saucers rather than a new career field. But UAVs and drones are flying us into the future, with major companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook looking to expand their drone teams.

Drone Operators are in high demand, and for a large variety of purposes. While Amazon is looking to expand drone use for package delivery, news and media companies are looking for operators with more artistic talent to capture aerial footage in photos and videos.

For this new job field, the sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities. Some experts expect drones to be used in everything from agriculture to public safety, oil and gas exploration, and even in the film industry.

Some universities are already beginning to offer specialized courses in drone operation and manufacturing, but as it’s still a new field there are a lot of different backgrounds that students can explore. Drone Operators should have an interest in robotics and engineering, but can supplement this with skills in photography and videography, or other personal passions and interests.

Data Miner

What’s more precious that rubies and diamonds? Data—for companies, at least. In our new digital age, customer information and behavioral patterns are crucial for businesses to stay on top of the game, and they need experts to make sense of all the data they collect.

Data Miners help companies deal with “Big Data”. They predict future trends based on current and past consumer behavior, all extracted from the world of data that businesses collect. Everything from transactions to complaints and even social media reviews gets picked through by Data Miners to find patterns and make sense of it all.

And there’s plenty of related jobs within this data-driven career field. Digital Marketing and Social Media Management are new roles that are also becoming increasingly necessary as consumers take to online platforms for everything from shopping to costumer service. Businesses are finding that having an online presence is vital, and they need people familiar with how social media works in order to get the job done.

As a brand new field, there are lots of educational paths students can take if they’re interested in a Data Mining or other digital careers. A degree in Library Sciences is great for Data Miners, while a background in marketing or writing is useful for other jobs within the social sphere.

For students looking for new career opportunities, imagination is really the only limit. We are constantly seeing new fields open up, often in places we never even thought of.

And of course, students always have the option to invent something completely new! After all, the 3Doodler didn’t even exist five years ago.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

DIY Accessories to Customize Your Bicycle

At 3Doodler we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to try and DIY—Doodle it yourself. For our latest exploration into Doodled additions, we decided to take our show on the road.

Avid cyclist (and 3Doodler Marketing Director) Kelley Toy teamed up with 3Doodler Product Development Engineer Samson Wong to conceptualize and road test a series of Doodled solutions for two common cycling needs: a drink bottle cage, and an action camera handlebar mount. While these solutions were prototyped and tested on a road bike, all of the designs could easily be adapted for a mountain bike, touring bike, or daily commuter.

The Prototyping Process

“I started by borrowing a bottle cage from Kelley,” Samson says. In order to start the design process, Samson needed a jumping off point. Using common accessories that any cyclist might need was the first step to getting an idea for a customized design.

While a water bottle cage attachment may seem like a simple enough design concept, Doodling one from scratch is a more complicated task. Getting the tension and strength just right while having it fit the bottle snugly is important, all the while making a sturdy enough design that would hold up to actual use.

It was also important for Samson to understand how the piece would be attached to the bike. “I needed an actual bottle cage to trace the holes used for mounting it to the bike,” Samson explains. “I made a template based on the original so I could Doodle the holes at exactly the right measurements.”

For his first prototype, Samson used the same design concept as Kelley’s old bottle cage, with two “arms” coming from the mounting to grip the bottle. “After the first Doodled trial, I found that the arms were a bit too weak,” Samson says. His Doodled version needed the right balance of strength and flexibility.

"After the first Doodled trial, I found that the arms were a bit too weak." Share

In his next prototype, he knew better what improvements he needed to make. “The second design focused on reinforcing the two arms,” he says. “To make it strong enough I Doodled three layers of ABS, building up the plastic to be roughly 5mm thick.”

When choosing which filament to use, Samson had to consider the different properties of ABS and PLA. “ABS is a bit more flexible,” he explains. “PLA is strong, it’s rigid, but it’s a little bit brittle. So for this type of project, ABS is a better choice, because the cage has to flex a little bit to get the bottle in and out.”

Testing and Re-working

Once Samson had a prototype in hand, it was time for biking veteran Kelley to test it out. After taking the new Doodled bottle cage through a variety of terrains, Kelley was pleased with the results, but still felt there were more improvements to be made. “The cage performed well and there was no sign the bottle was going to launch at any point, and it was very easy to get the bottle in and out while riding,” she says. “But I heard a small crack the first time I loaded the bottle into the cage, and the fit around the bottle was not snug and this reduced contact area with the bottle.”

As an end result, Kelley felt a sturdier design was necessary. “The bottle flexes the plastic cage a lot, and I would ultimately not feel confident about the durability of the design,” she says. It was back to the drawing board for Samson. “I did some research, checking how other bottle cages look,” he says. “I found a few designs that had a whole ring around the bottle instead of the two arms.”

"At first I thought this design was going to be a fail, as off the bike it was tough getting a bottle in and out." Share

With Kelley’s feedback in mind, Samson thought this new design could provide the stability and tighter fit around the bottle that the first prototype lacked. “Molding the cage to the bottle, this one has got a lot of gripping power and a lot of friction, so the bottle won’t move anywhere when you’re riding,” he says.

“At first I thought this design was going to be a fail,” Kelley admits, “as off the bike it was tough getting a bottle in and out.” But Samson was confident this new design would be an improvement.

And Kelley was pleasantly surprised. “It is totally rock solid!” she says. “Once loaded on the bike—and with a small adjustment on my part on the angle—I loaded and unloaded the bottle while riding easily.” Kelley also found another bonus of the new prototype: “I also like the minimal look of this design on the bike.”

Creating concepts for practical DIYs requires a continual process of prototyping and testing, but Samson says that in the end you can wind up with some great results.

The first step, he recommends, is to copy. “Copy existing products, and then go from there,” he explains. “Modify it to fit your needs.”

Innovation for Creative Solutions

Samson used this same principal when creating an action camera mount for Kelley’s bike. After researching existing mounting solutions, he was able to better understand how he could begin to construct his own. “Some mounts have a hinge on one side for opening and closing,” he says, “but it’s kind of hard to make a hinge out of Doodled plastic, so I made a whole ring in one piece, and made it a little flexible.”

Adapting a commercial design for custom use was exactly what Kelley was looking for. “While camera mounts for round handlebars such as mine are commercially available, I liked that the mount was custom designed for my handlebars and therefore I could place it exactly where I wanted so it didn’t get in the way,” she says. “Also the Doodled mount is considerably less bulky and lighter than the commercial ones available, which is always important for weight-conscious roadies.”

When designing the mount, Samson was faced with a new array of issues and problems to overcome. During the prototyping process, he says it’s important to experiment and take risks to find solutions. In this case, Samson found that mixing materials was the best fix for the mount. “I had to use FLEXY on the inside of the ring to provide grip,” he explains. “The inside surface was too smooth, and when it grabbed the handlebar it would still move a little bit even when you screwed the bolt really tight.” When faced with a problem, finding creative solutions is key. “I put the FLEXY inside basically to act like a tire tread to grip onto the handle bar,” he says.

And road-testing confirmed his mixed-filament experiment. “The addition of FLEXY provided excellent grip, and meant there was no rotation even when riding on rough bumpy surfaces,” Kelley says.

With DIY projects like this, Samson says it’s all about adapting designs to fit what you can do, while getting the results you want. “It might not be the best looking product, or be good for selling to the public,” he says, “but if it works, then it’s a good DIY project.”

Creating Connections with Shim Jeong-Sub

For South Korean artist Shim Jeong-Sub, everything is about making a connection.

A student at Hongik University, Jeong-Sub studies woodworking and furniture design. But artistry and design is all about innovation, and for Jeong-Sub’s latest project it was time to look beyond traditional construction materials.

Demonstrating the strength of a Doodled truss structure

“While experimenting with different tools and materials during the starting process, I turned my eyes to 3D printing,” Jeong-Sub says. In order to make 3D-printed furniture a reality, it was important to consider the strength and durability of 3D printing filaments like PLA and ABS.

"The 3Doodler uses the latest technology, but it can apply a wide range of human creativity." Share

While using a 3D printer was a possibility, there was something more appealing to the hand-made nature of using the 3Doodler. “Unlike previous 3D printers which require a complex method and high cost, the 3Doodler allows users to draw in 3-dimensions while keeping the same basic process of an FDM 3D printer with ejected molten plastic,” explains Jeong-Sub. “The 3Doodler uses the latest technology, but it can apply a wide range of human creativity.”

With a concept in place and new technology to make it a reality, the next task was to create the intricate structure which would successfully serve as functional furniture.

While most Doodled structures are created with standard horizontal and vertical lines, creating furniture required something different. “After judging that the thickness and the length of the filament would not support the weight of an average man, I experimented with various forms of structure,” says Jeong-Sub.

"I tried to pursue the natural and composite texture of connected filaments, creating a more coincidental impression." Share

After rigorous testing, Jeong-Sub finally found a solution. “I used a truss structure, which can support the most force,” he reveals. “By ejecting the molten plastic and connecting them one by one, the work was produced.”

“Assuming the ability to sit, I first formed a structure which supports the weight of a person,” Jeong-Sub explains. “After judging that it can support the force, I tried to pursue the natural and composite texture of connected filaments, creating a more coincidental impression.”

The result was a full-sized chair and design masterpiece which Jeong-Sub appropriately named “Connect”. The finished piece took two full months to complete, with a total of 450 meters (almost 1,500 feet) of connected filament.

Jeong-Sub continues to explore how hand-drawn 3D forms made with the 3Doodler can be elevated to sculptural interior design pieces. His latest works follow the same concept as his Connect chair. He is currently putting the finishing touches on a pendant light and an electroformation, where Jeong-Sub created an underlying structure modeled with the 3Doodler which was then electroformed and covered with copper.

All of his work reflects Jeong-Sub’s own take on modern life. “This piece ‘Connect’ visualizes in detail the figure of modern people living with connections,” Jeong-Sub explains, “as well as focusing on showing the effect of coincidence when each connection creates a structure with more complexity and variations.”

Read additional coverage of Shim Jeong-Sub’s work at Dezeen

How tactile technology can help those with learning disabilities

One (teaching) size fits all? Experienced educators know that’s not how it works— especially when it comes to teaching students with learning disabilities. Not every student responds well to traditional, classroom-based teaching methods, and what makes one student’s eyes light up in understanding, might leave another as confused as they were before the start of class.

One in five children and adults in the US are affected by learning or attention issues, and approximately 8% of children aged 3-17 are reported as having been diagnosed with a learning disorder. While personalized learning for those with learning disabilities might be the ideal, adapting teaching methods to individuals can be difficult in a large classroom, and teachers don’t want students with learning disabilities to feel singled out.

Moving towards tactile technology

Many teachers are turning to tactile learning and evolving technologies as a way to engage students across different learning styles and needs. As part of a multi-sensory learning approach, tactile technology can help students across a range of skill development areas and a broad range of subjects. Such an approach is especially helpful for students with learning difficulties like dyslexia and similar impairments such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia—which affect math and writing understanding and abilities.

Assistive technology that plays to the student’s strengths and works around their challenges has already been making its presence known in the classroom—from interactive white boards, to the more recent addition of 3D printers.

More schools for students with learning disabilities are embracing technology, and makerspace tech like 3D printers, cameras and robotics kits can now be found in educational facilities across the USA and around the world. The results are clear: hands-on learning with physical tools helps students to understand ideas and concepts that are otherwise hard to grasp, enables interest in industries related to technology, and can be particularly effective in cultivating interest in STEM subjects. And there’s plenty of successful examples of this in practice.

The Benefits of Hands-on Learning

Tactile teaching—using physical, demonstrative, auditory or visual objects—can help keep students engaged and helps them focus their minds on the present. Tech that encourages people to physically be involved like the Raspberry Pi, 3D printers, and of course 3Doodler bring a new or relatively unexplored aspect of learning into the classroom.

Students who struggle with ADHD may vastly prefer tactile learning methods over auditory or visual learning styles. Having to create a diorama or a model might mean students understand better than if they were asked to simply imagine a spatial arrangement, the concept of geometry, or complex equations in their head. "When students are given the tools to physically create a model, they can see exactly how all the parts come together to function as a whole." ShareAsking a student to create a model of the Eiffel Tower, for example, demands much more due diligence than just getting them to sketch it out. It may be difficult for someone who has dyslexia or ADD to concentrate long enough on understanding why the tower’s structural integrity relies on many different factors, but physical tools would help engage them enough to grasp why certain shapes work better than others, how math factors into construction, and why some materials work better than others.

Teachers have found that using tactile teaching methods in subjects like biology can reap better results than when students are asked only to visualise a concept. When students are given the tools to physically create a model of a cell, for example, they can see exactly how all the parts come together to function as a whole. Consider if students who have dysgraphia are asked to explain why a beetle looks the way it does—if they can create their own beetle and physically point out why it has adapted to its environment, they stand a better chance of being able to contribute to a class discussion than if they are forced to fall back on writing it out.

Dyslexic students, who may have visual or auditory deficiencies, may find that they excel when they apply tactile or kinesthetic methods to their learning. People who have trouble reading words, letters or numbers could benefit from creative solutions such as making their own words, letters or numbers (handy for those with dyscalculia) on plastic blocks helps them process sequences or equations better.

Across the board, in subjects that range from the arts to hard sciences, tactile technology has proven tremendously beneficial. When it comes to adapting for students with learning disabilities, it’s time to put down those pens and pencils and pick up a tool of a different sort. With new tactile tech, your students can have their hands (quite literally) full with tools to help them grasp the practical skills and knowledge that comes from innovative learning.

Get out there, and be creative. Your students will thank you for it.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

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

5 Lifesaving DIY Doodles for the Home

When it comes to the things we use most around the home, small breaks are bound to happen with the general everyday wear and tear of life. It’s unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fixable!

With your 3Doodler in hand, you can DIY your own fixes and repairs for all sorts of breaks and damages that can happen around the house.

1. Broken Scissors Just Won’t Cut it

It’s tragic when an otherwise great tool is wrecked by one little bit of broken plastic. That’s what happened to these scissors. While the blades are still fine, they won’t work properly when the plastic handles are broken.

Fortunately that’s a quick fix with the 3Doodler! To fill in the cracks, PLA will create a strong, solid hold. You can also weld the plastic together with the Create’s hot tip. Using a combination of both will give a lasting solution that will make your scissors stronger than ever.

A bit of extra plastic and a little welding keeps your scissors snipping

2. Saving a Stand for the Kitchen

When this cutting board stand started to crack, it looked like the end for this handy storage unit. What good is a stand that won’t hold up?

Luckily all it took was a bit of repair work with the 3Doodler to make it like new – and possibly even stronger than before! With added PLA plastic which welded and reinforced the stress points of the stand, it can now continue to hold up under constant kitchen use.

3. Zapping a Problem Zipper

There’s nothing more frustrating than a broken zipper. Whether on a bag, jacket, purse or any other zip-able item, you need that zipper to do it’s job!

Fortunately, there’s this handy fix and video tutorial from Creative World to help you Doodle your way back to a fully functional zipper.

4. A Doodle DIY for Your Deck

A quick Doodled replacement makes this home repair a snap!
The plastic ring that hold the umbrella in place on this deck table kept breaking. And a wobbly umbrella can upset the whole balance, and ruin an afternoon outdoors!

Fortunately, all it takes is your 3Doodler and a bit of measuring, and you can create your own custom ring that withstand even more wear and tear than the original. You can use ABS or PLA to create the ring, and could even add some FLEXY around the bottom and inside to give it a non-slip upgrade!

5. A 3DIY Fix for Your 3D Prints

It’s the repair that sparked the whole idea for the 3Doodler: what do you do when your 3D printer misses a line, or a 3D print breaks or cracks? Fill it in using your very own hand-held 3D printer, of course!

The 3Doodler is perfect for fixing damages or accidents that can happen to your 3D prints. Don’t waste the time and effort involved in 3D printing, just make a quick repair and you’re good to go.


With so many options to fix and repair, the 3Doodler can save not only your tools and home items, but can also save you lots of money by avoiding costly replacements!

Not sure where to start when it comes to using your 3Doodler around the house? Check out our Hot Tips section to get insider ideas on how get the most out of your 3Doodler, and have you Doodling like a pro.

Show us your 3Doodler DIY fixes by tagging us @3Doodler and using #3Doodler and #WhatWillYouCreate

7 DIY Hacks to Doodle for Your Camera

Whether you’re a professional photographer, photo-hobbyist, or like getting the perfect shot for your Instagram, you’ve probably invested time and money in your cameras and equipment. As with any investment, you want to protect your kit and make sure you get the most out of it.

With that in mind, we’ve put together these lifesaving hacks that you can DIY with your 3Doodler to extend the life of your gear. From top-of-the-line gear or a single point-and-shoot, we’ve got the fixes for you!

1. Repair a Cracked Lens Cap

A Doodled fix can save a cracked lens cap
One of the most important components of any camera – and often the most expensive part – is the lens. Keeping your lens as pristine as possible is a necessity, but the lens cap can too often be lost or broken.

A cracked cap that no longer grips onto your lens is just as bad as a lost lens cap. That’s where adding plastic with the 3Doodler, while holding the pieces together saves the day – and possibly hundreds to thousands of dollars for a new lens.

2. Replace a Lost Lens Cap

Lost your lens cap altogether? Doodle a new one to custom fit your lens!

1. Hold the lens flat on a piece of paper and trace the circular outer edge.
2. Using ABS or PLA, fill the inside of the circle with 3Doodled plastic. Tip: Make it smooth and solid by moving your hand in slow, steady, and consistent lines. Hold it up against a light when you’re done to see if there are any gaps or holes that need to be filled in.
3. Place some aluminium foil over the end of the lens and Doodle around the outer edge using FLEXY plastic. Make sure that there are no gaps or holes in the cap so that no dust or dirt can get in.
4. Hold the flat circular piece you’ve created to the FLEXY ring and use some more FLEXY and Doodle the two pieces together. Add some FLEXY further down the sides of the lens to make sure that it stays in place. Tip: Be sure to add lots of plastic when connecting the pieces together, as you want them to be very solid and sealed up nice and tight.

3. Doodle Yourself a New Tripod

With a bit of patience there’s no reason why you can’t create a whole new custom tripod using the 3Doodler! We recommend ABS plastic for the best rigidity. We whipped up this smartphone tripod, with adjustable legs and FLEXY feet to keep it standing right in place.

A custom tripod matches any model phone.

4. Repair a Broken Tripod Adjustment Knob

Repair the grip, reattach the knob, or Doodle a new one.

Whether you’re using a DSLR with a telephoto lens or your smartphone, the tripod is an invaluable asset. With all the adjustable parts, a broken knob can be a real pain! With your 3Doodler and your choice of ABS, PLA, or FLEXY, you can fix a broken knob, repair the rubber grip like in the photo below, or if it’s fallen off just Doodle a completely new one right on to the end of the screw. If your new Doodled piece is loose, simply add a little extra plastic and adjust your tripod to the perfect angle for your next great shot.

5. Replace a Missing Tripod No-Slip Bed

FLEXY is perfect for creating a non-slip surface.

Got an old, but quality tripod with just a minor issue? Make it new again with a few Doodled repairs! The one below lost the rubber bed that the camera rests on – without it, the mounting screw won’t tighten and the camera remains loose. A fix that’s quick but lasting is to create a small washer with ABS or PLA plastic which works as a perfect spacer to hold the camera firmly in place.

Want to take this fix a bit further? Using FLEXY, recreate the original piece and affix it back onto the tripod for good!

Tip: Place a piece of paper over the top of the tripod and sketch a stencil outline to work from.

6. Replace a Strap Adjuster

If you’ve got one camera, two cameras, or a whole bag full of them, chances are you’re dealing with a few straps, each one of them with at least one clip or adjuster. Breaking one can seem like the end of the line, but with your 3Doodler you’ve got an easy way to DIY your strap as good as new.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Doodle a letter “E” with horizontal lines as long as the width of your strap.
2. Slide the “E” over the strap so the prongs are arranged like they were with the original piece.
3. Doodle a straight line down, connecting the the three points of the “E” and securing your straps in place. Tip: Make sure to Doodle this piece nice and thick, and ensure that the plastic really melts to itself so that it is sturdy and holds the straps in place.

7. Repair or Reinforce Cables

Cables, cables, everywhere! Whether charging cables or the cords for your lighting setup, these are the veins that power your gear. Your gear can’t work without cables, and neither can you!

That’s why it’s crucial to give them support when they show any signs of wear and tear. A bit of FLEXY around the stem of a damaged cable can reinforce it and make it even stronger than before.

A bit of fLEXY does the trick to keep your cables from cracking.

Repairing and replacing parts with the 3Doodler also serves as a way of customizing and identifying your gear in no time at all! Then again if you’re looking to keep things on the down low, you can match colors or use black filament so that your repairs won’t even be noticed.

Show us your DIY hacks by tagging us @3Doodler and using #3Doodler and #WhatWillYouCreate

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!

10 Things to Love About the 3Doodler Start

Introducing the 3Doodler Start, the world’s first truly kid-safe 3D printing pen! We love the newest addition to the 3Doodler family. Simple to use, the 3Doodler Start makes creating easy, engaging, and fun! Here’s 10 reasons why we think you’ll love the Start too…

1. Totally Touchable

The 3Doodler Start has no exposed hot parts, which means no risks of burnt fingers! Not only that, our amazing Eco-Plastic melts at super low temperatures, so it comes out of the pen at a totally touchable temperature.

2. Wonderfully Wireless

With the 3Doodler Start, you can Doodle anywhere, anytime! Charge it up and get 45-60 minutes of Doodle-tastic wireless use.

3. Ready to Reboot

Make your old toys last longer with Doodled repairs made with the 3Doodler Start. Doodle a new head or costume for an action figure, a ramp for toy cars to jump, or create entire scenes and accessories for imaginative fun!

4. Helpfully Hands-on

The 3Doodler Start’s incredible Eco-Plastic is easy to mold and shape before it hardens into a permanent form. Get your Doodles looking exactly how you want them by fine tuning with your fingertips!

5. Without Waste

Our Eco-Plastic is entirely environmentally friendly (hence the name!) and will decompose in your back yard or in any household compost! Mother Earth, you’re welcome!

6. So, So Simple

The 3Doodler Start has one temperature, one speed setting, and one button. Simply turn it on, insert a strand, and start Doodling!

7. Engaging Education

With the hands-on help of the 3Doodler Start, kids can develop the skills needed for design, planning, building, and spatial understanding!

8. DoodleBlocks for Building

Kids will love using the new 3Doodler Start DoodleBlocks to create beautiful, accurate Doodles across a range of themes.

9. Extending Exploration

One plastic strand of our Eco-Plastic can make Doodles up to 10 times its original length. How many Doodles can you make?

10. Undeniably Unique

In case you missed it, the 3Doodler Start is the first 3D printing pen that’s truly safe for kids aged 8+.

The 3Doodler Start is available now from our online store along with a full range of DoodleBlock kits, accessories and Eco-Plastics.

World’s First Solid Gold Doodles

It all started with heart. “My friend Michael Husted sent us a heart made with the 3Doodler and asked me ‘David, do you think this will cast?’ The result of that piece is what launched us into the exploration of using the 3Doodler for designing more jewelry,” says David Cunningham.

David owns New York-based DGC Jewellers, and has had incredible success using the 3Doodler in an unexpected way: casting Doodles and turning them into pieces of fine jewelry.

After experimenting with his friend’s Doodled heart, David found it was not only possible to make casts of Doodles, but the results were organic forms that opened up a new realm of possibilities.

"The challenge wasn’t in how we were going to make it, but rather what we were going to design with it." Share

“There was a relatively short learning curve in learning how to control the pen,” says David. “But the challenge wasn’t in how we were going to make it, but rather what we were going to design with it.”

For his first piece, David decided to try a pendant design. “It was a kind of work in progress,” he says. “I used the triangle tip and printed almost like I was decorating a cake with frosting. This gave me a shape that I really liked, but I didn’t know what to do with it.”

As David experimented with the shapes and forms, the end result began to take shape. “I printed the swirl wire around it and cast it, but it wasn’t until I was looking at the cast piece that I decided to antique the pattern, and set an onyx bead at the bottom that completed the look,” he says.

"We tried to focus on what we could make with the 3Doodler that would be difficult or impossible using traditional methods." Share

Working with brightly colored plastic made it challenging to visualize how the final piece would look once cast with metal. “We were surprised on several occasions how different the pieces looked after they were cast, compared to how they looked in green, yellow, pink, and blue plastic!” David says.

What David was really looking for when using the 3Doodler was innovation. “We really tried to focus on what we could make with the 3Doodler that would be difficult or impossible to make using traditional methods of jewelry manufacturing,” he explains.

Of course creating the actual jewelry relies on traditional methods of casting. “When we have the piece ready for casting we invest it [surround it in plaster], then burn it out overnight, and then cast it the next day,” David says. “So this is a two-day process.”

Investment casting is a process all on its own, and David works with jeweler Rob Oakley to bring it all together. “We attach wax sticks (called sprues) to the pieces and attach the sprue to a large wax base called a button,” David explains. “The button is attached to a rubber base that a steel cylinder (called a flask) will fit into.”

Once everything is set into place, plaster is poured into the flask around the Doodled piece. Then when the plaster is set, it can go into the burnout oven, where it’s heated overnight up to 1550° Fahrenheit.

“When the burnout schedule is complete there is a negative cavity in the plaster in the shape of the Doodled piece, and the flask is held at 1000°F for casting,” says David. A special casting machine is used to inject molten metal into the space left in the plaster mold, taking the form left from the Doodle. “The cast piece then has to have the sprues cut off and cleaned up, sandblasted, tumbled, polished, and stones set if the design requires it.”

How long the finishing touches take depends on the complexity of the piece. “With most of these pieces we cast several of them at once and spent three to four days from start to finish to complete a group of them,” David says.

While David was using a blend of old techniques and new technology, using a new tool meant it was important to find a distinct look that made the pieces unique. “We made a few pieces that we liked, but we decided that they could be easily made with metal wire or wax wire,” says David. “So we went back to the drawing board with them.”

What ended up making distinguishing the Doodled pieces ended up being the flaws in the process. “The organic look and variation of thick and thin, and even some of the little mistakes add to the interest and appeal of what we make with the 3Doodler.”

Fashion Focus with Patrick Tai

“I looked and looked for fabrics with repetitive lines, shapes, and unique textures,” says fashion designer Patrick Tai. “I didn’t have much luck, so I decided to improvise and sort of create my own texture.”

The search for something new was what led Patrick to the 3Doodler. A recent Fashion Design graduate from the Art Institute of Charlotte, Patrick was looking for a way to express his unique vision and aesthetic.

“My inspiration comes from geometric shapes, modern architecture, and unique textures,” he explains. “I want the texture of my garments to reflect my inspiration, and that presented a challenge.”

"I want the texture of my garments to reflect my inspiration, and that presented a challenge." Share

When he found the 3Doodler, Patrick knew right away it would be the perfect match for his designs. But it took some trial and error—and a lucky mistake—for him to discover the perfect mix of fashion and Doodling. “I originally started by experimenting with ABS plastic to get familiar with the 3Doodler,” he explains. “I started running out of plastic filaments, so I purchased more. I accidentally purchased the new FLEXY strands, and liked the flexibility of it more.”

As he Doodled more with the FLEXY plastic, Patrick’s design began to take shape, and an entire dress was created using only the 3Doodler. “Most of the dress is made with FLEXY plastic, with some ABS plastic at the edges for support,” he says. “The dress made completely with the 3Doodler took me just under 100 hours, not including the accessories.”

From that first dress, Patrick expanded his line to include more wearable dresses and accessories with Doodled accents and additions. “I’ve been lucky enough to showcase some of my designs in NCFA (North Carolina Fashion Association), along with other Fashion Shows around Charlotte, North Carolina,” says Patrick. “I have also participated in a couple of charity Fashion Shows.”

Wherever his Doodled designs are shown, Patrick says the response is overwhelming. “The reactions that I have received from these 3D fashions have been nothing but positive,” he says. “People have been so supportive and full of compliments, some people couldn’t believe that the pieces were created by a pen.”

For Patrick, the 3Doodler allowed him to take his personal creative vision and make it possible, by creating textures and concepts that hadn’t previously existed.

Patrick’s work with the 3Doodler is crucial to his designs and fashion concepts. “I feel that giving your audience the chance to feel your designs whether it’s being seen in a photo or on a runway is important.”

Exploring Space with the 3Doodler

“In my artistic work I am primarily concerned with the question of space,” explains design undergraduate Oktavia.

For Oktavia, the concept of “space” is at once familiar and nebulous. What she really wanted to focus on was how to create a clearer definition. “Is our environment created only with our perceptions in mind,” she asks in her undergraduate thesis, “or does it exist independently of us?”

“In my work I am looking for ways to visualize spatial ideas and create a wide range of works on this topic,” she explains. “Materiality and abstraction play just as important a role as variety and spontaneity do.”

When looking to expand on this concept and delve deeper for her thesis, Oktavia looked for new tools to help demonstrate her line of thinking. “When dealing with space, which is generally defined as consisting of at least 3 dimensions, the question arises, where do the limits between 2 and 3 dimensions lie?” she says. “Through this specific question, I came across the 3Doodler as a futuristic tool that could help me further.”

Unlike other more precise drafting or modeling tools, Oktavia was drawn to the imperfect nature of Doodling. “I determined relatively quickly that it was not always possible to draw with exact precision with the 3Doodler,” she explains. “But that’s exactly what makes the objects created with the 3Doodler so exciting. The small elements of coincidence make the difference. So I deliberately tried not to be the best technical Doodler, but to let myself be guided by the characteristics of the tool, making those elements the focus of my thesis.”

As she experimented, she found the 3Doodler was able to add structure and variation to her concept in a way no other tool had. “Because the lines of the plastic thread seem uncertain, the 3rd dimension works to ‘dreamify’ the space-filled graphics,” she says. “The jump between drawing on the wall or canvas and drawing in space creates something fantastical and offers the viewer the opportunity to dream about further dimensional jumps.”

3Doodler for DIY

While the 3Doodler can be used to make incredible sculptures and works of art, it’s practical applications can’t be overlooked.

With a tool as diverse as this, the DIY options are endless. Here’s eight examples of simple fixes or DIY ideas for your 3Doodler.

1. Give Your Phone an Upgrade

Looking for a style switch up? Doodle yourself a new phone case. No need to look like everyone else, make yourself a case that will give your mobile phone some personal flair while keeping it safe.

2. Make Your Own Doodled Clock

Make a statement with your home decor and create your own interior design pieces with personal flare. For wall pieces, hard-setting PLA works great, and will help you Doodle pieces that will last.

3. Repair Snaps in a Snap

Instead of buying a new pair of glasses, fix them with your 3Doodler. PLA adheres to metal better than ABS, so it works great for quick fixes like this one. Simply join the two pieces and Doodle around the break point. This little fix makes for quite the talking point too!

4. A DIY That Holds Water

Repairing cracks in plastic cups or soap dishes is easy with your 3Doodler. Both ABS and PLA work well for this kind of quick fix. ABS is excellent for plastic-on-plastic Doodling because of its higher melting point which helps weld plastics together, and PLA has naturally strong bonding properties. The PLA Clearly range also makes for more discreet fixes!

5. Doodle Your Own Wallet

Use FLEXY to create a hand-made plastic wallet of your very own! For a more fabric-like look, push the nozzle of your 3Doodler flush with the surface you are Doodling on, moving it quickly to form a thin film of Doodled plastic.

6. Repairing Your Home Appliances

3Doodler came to the rescue to fix the shell of this broken vacuum cleaner. A simple repair saves time and money, and gets your back on track with minimal fuss!

7. Lighten Things Up

Get creative and make your own lampshade. This lampshade was constructed for our display window at the MoMA Design Store. Made from over 50 small triangles, the pieces were welded together like a mosaic to produce this stunning lampshade. Pick your own colours and style – it’s simply a matter of joining the pieces.

8. Mix Doodling for Dynamic Projects

Louis DeRosa was able to combine a passion for electronics and the 3Doodler by using it to help make his own Hexacopter. As you can see, when you start to apply your imagination to 3Doodling, the sky really is the limit!


With so many options to fix and repair, the 3Doodler is your go-to DIY tool for any occasion!

Not sure where to start when it comes to using your 3Doodler for DIY? Check out our Hot Tips section to get insider ideas on how get the most out of your 3Doodler, and have you Doodling like a pro.

Show us your 3Doodler DIY fixes by tagging us @3Doodler and using #3Doodler and #WhatWillYouCreate

Making Patterns with Plastic

Fashion-forward creatives have been finding new and exciting ways to incorporate 3D aspects into their designs. But Hong Kong fashion art house SHIGO went beyond Doodled additions and constructed an entire dress made entirely with the 3Doodler.

SHIGO love to break from traditional thinking and try new things. Led by two young Hong Kong fashion designers, SHIGO is meant to serve as a platform to express creativity and ideas through fashion. “No one has used the 3Doodler to produce clothing made completely from plastic,” say SHIGO’s co-founders, who set out to do what no one had done before—make Doodled clothing a reality.

The duo began with a concept based from seashells. Taking two types of shell patterns, they wove the spiralling designs together to create an intricate design.

With this textile-like pattern, SHIGO then adapted the design to create a lace-like concept for the dress. The pattern was printed and applied to a base layer of heavy paper to test and fine-tune the form and placement before beginning work with the 3Doodler.

Using Blue Steel PLA and Diamonds & Pearls PLA, the final dress had a subtle shimmer which added elegance, sophistication, and enhanced the impressive 3-dimensional nature of the construction.

The final Doodles were peeled away from the paper base, leaving an intricate lace-like shell made of fine strands of surprisingly sturdy plastic.

The dress was left split down one side, with buckle attachments to make it easier to put on and take off.

The end result was something completely new in both the worlds of fashion and 3D printing. With the free-hand nature of the 3Doodler, SHIGO had created the world’s first entirely Doodled dress.

Exploring Doodling with Louis DeRosa

“One of my favorite things about the 3Doodler is that every time I use it I come up with new methods to get the results I’m looking for,” says Louis DeRosa. “I don’t anticipate that exploration ever ending with this product.”

After only a few days after receiving his pen, Louis caught the eye of 3Doodler when he posted an adorable Doodle of his dog Bindi on social media. Impressed by how easy Louis made Doodling look in such a short time-frame, "The freehand ability offered by the 3Doodler makes it even more versatile than a conventional 3d printer." Sharethe company reached out to him for further collaboration. Louis has now helped the team with several projects including the MoMA Window Display, and has also led the way to discovering new tricks and techniques to use the 3Doodler to its fullest potential.

Louis says using the 3Doodler did take some getting used to, as it was an experience like none he’d had before. “When I first got the 3Doodler I wanted to use it like a regular 3d printer, building up layer at a time,” he explains. “But I soon realised 3d printers have to work that way. With the 3Doodler you’re free to work on whatever part of your creation you want without being limited to working from the bottom up.”

This realization encouraged Louis to experiment more with the pen and what it could do. “The freehand ability offered by the 3Doodler makes it even more versatile than a conventional 3d printer,” he says.

Experimentation has led Louis to discover new techniques that have surprised even the 3Doodler team. “I’ve found that combining techniques leads to the most interesting and intricate doodles,” he says. “Laying out structural elements flat on a sheet of paper and then peeling those up and putting them together and fleshing them out in midair has resulted in some of the coolest things I’ve made so far.”

Louis says sometimes the simplest solutions are best when it comes to Doodling. “Paper works as a really great under structure for creating all sorts of things,” he explains. “For example, I’ve made "We have only just begun to see what creative minds can do with the 3Doodler." Sharecustom rings by rolling paper around my finger to get the desired size then taking it off and taping it in place so I have the perfect size template to then doodle around. Once you’ve got your ring the right size you can doodle anything on top of it and get as wild as your imagination will allow.”

Louis says that ultimately the 3Doodler is a new creative tool that can inspire anyone with drive and imagination. “Like the many different ways people have used the paintbrush over the centuries, we have only just begun to see what creative minds can do with the 3Doodler, and we are not limited by canvases!” he says. “Truly, imagination is the limit, and when that’s the case anything is possible.”

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