May 21, 2014

The smart 3D printing pen enables everyone with an imagination to sketch, doodle, and draw objects in air. But it has also its limitations. It produces crude and wobbly lines, the prints is low-resolution, and you won't think it is a tool that has many practical applications.

But aerial cinematographer and maker Matt Quest has found a better way to make it more practical: he used a 3D printing pen to rapid prototype a fully functional quadcopter.

It only took Matt about 2.5 hours to build a quadcopter with a 3D Airpen. The 3D AirPen is similar as the famous $99 3Doodler, which melts and then cools AirPen Plastic in any shape. The results are impressive. Check out the video below:

Below is another video posted by Matt showing his DJI Phantom 2, 3D printed with a 3D AirPen.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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John wrote at 5/24/2014 9:48:41 AM:

@Jason. It would be even easier to buy a ready made, ready to fly quad copter. But where is the fun, if building is a major part of the enjoyment. This is not an exercise in efficiency. So "Easier" is not a consideration. And the objective is not stated beforehand. Without knowing the guy's motivation, we can only speculate. He could be doing it this way because the only filament tool he has is the pen. He could be doing it this way because he finds it easier to freehand the idea instead of working everything out beforehand and building a CAD model. He could be doing it because so many claim these pens are useless. He could be doing it just because he can. He could even be doing it because he got bored one evening, and decided to do this. Flying over Everest is easier than climbing it, and more efficient, and probably cheaper. Yet people still climb a big hunk of rock in Nepal. He made a thing. The thing worked. So his building technique has been proven effective. End of story.

Rod wrote at 5/23/2014 6:43:50 PM:

I see these pens as being most useful in repairing or detailing 3D prints from a 3D printer. We have one at our school for students to use, but it would be much easier to create realistic textures with the pen than trying to model it all in Blender.

Jawn wrote at 5/23/2014 5:49:33 PM:

I have a 3 doodler and a cnc printer. I have been saving up money for the 3d printing software and a computer to run it. In between borrowing computers to slice and learn the CAD; I find the doodler a practical tool that I doodle over sketches to bring them to life, as well as a spot welding tool useful for fixing some snap together parts.

B wrote at 5/22/2014 6:59:17 PM:

@Jason, I agree, except if Matt doesn't have a 3d printer, or a micrometer for that matter. Maybe he doesn't have any experience designing parts in a "program" as well. Your arguement is like saying why do people use their at home milling machine when Mazak integrex machine can do the job much better and have a really polished finished product? His way makes really good use of the tools he has. Plus he only spent $100 on his pen and pennies on his filament.

Jason wrote at 5/21/2014 8:03:57 PM:

Seems to me like It would be easier to just measure everything with a micrometer then build it in program and hit print. Probably take the same amount of time and end up with a lot better looking prototype. Prototyping with a pen seems kinda useless because if you like the design when you're done you don't have a saved file that you can print again or send off to be made in a better material. The pen might be useful for someone that doesn't know any 3d modeling software/CAD and is too stubborn to learn one.

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