Nov 1, 2017 | By Benedict

Chinese startup wincoud has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the iPen, a low-temperature 3D printing pen billed as being especially safe for children. Backers can secure a super early bird deal for the 3D pen for HK$382 ($49).

3D “printing” pens are one of the most fun and accessible aspects of the 3D printing revolution. Pens like the 3Doodler are a bit like 3D printers in that they extrude melted plastic, only you hold the extruder in your hand rather than let motors and a computer do the work. With 3D printing pens, you are the computer!

But 3D printing pens present an awkward conundrum: being able to draw fun shapes in 3D is obviously very appealing to kids. (Adults too, but definitely kids). However, an electric device that gets very hot at one end isn’t necessarily something you want to put in the hands of a very young child.

Of course, all devices like the 3Doodler go through extensive tests to make them as safe as possible, but worrying parents will always have reservations about putting potentially harmful products in the hands of their kids.

That’s why Chinese startup wincoud, a six-person company based in Shenzhen, is placing a particular emphasis on the safety of its new iPen, a 3D pen aimed squarely at kids and schools.

Now the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the iPen is described as a “safer and more suitable low-temperature 3D printing pen” that doesn’t need to be plugged in for use. The iPen uses a charging base instead of a power cord, and can melt its plastic filaments at just 80°C—hot, but not as hot as some other 3D printing pens.

Startup wincoud has even collaborated with schools in China using other versions of its 3D printing pen, and claims to be the only company in the country attempting to establish 3D printing classrooms.

The iPen is kid-friendly in other ways too. For example, its PCL (Polycaprolactone) 3D printable filaments are both non-toxic and biodegradable, which means those children who have a habit of chewing on their pencils won’t get killed if they happen to bite a bit of 3D printed plastic.

Additionally, the iPen comes with a package that encourages those who might struggle to come up with a 3D masterpiece on their own. Stencils and suggested models are a great way to encourage kids to get to grips with the 3D pen before they start making their own designs.

wincoud adds that its 3D printing pen is pefectly ergonomic, being roughly the size of a paintbrush (176 mm long), while it also comes with a clear LED display.

“We've been doing this for a long time, and it's not just children who use our 3D printing pens: adults use [them] more,” wincoud says. The company says that, while children can draw small models, adults can use the iPen to do more things, such as making sophisticated artworks, small household items, jewelry, and more.

wincoud has set a HK$390,000 ($50,000) goal for its Kickstarter campaign, and is currently about a third of the way there with 37 days to go. Backers can secure the earliest-bird deal for HK$382 ($49), while more complete packages and multi-buy deals are also available.

Estimated delivery for most packages is January 2018, though backers do have the option of paying a little more for a Christmas delivery.

Check out the campaign here.



Posted in 3D Printer



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