3D Printing

Lix develops 3D printing pen that's lighter and leaner than the rest

Lix develops 3D printing pen t...
The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
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The Lix 3D printing pen is powered by USB and takes about two minutes to heat up before it's ready to use
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The Lix 3D printing pen is powered by USB and takes about two minutes to heat up before it's ready to use
The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
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The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
The Lix pen is fashioned from aluminum and available in black or gray
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The Lix pen is fashioned from aluminum and available in black or gray
The developers say that the device offers comfort and balance
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The developers say that the device offers comfort and balance
Two-dimensional doodles are fun, but 3D is better
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Two-dimensional doodles are fun, but 3D is better
With some practice and a steady hand, users could use the tool for basic prototyping
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With some practice and a steady hand, users could use the tool for basic prototyping
Diagram showing the advantages of the Lix pen over a competitor
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Diagram showing the advantages of the Lix pen over a competitor
The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
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The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
Straight ABS/PLA plastic rods of 0.068 in (1.75 mm) diameter and 10 in (30 cm) long are fed into the top of the device
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Straight ABS/PLA plastic rods of 0.068 in (1.75 mm) diameter and 10 in (30 cm) long are fed into the top of the device
Freestanding decorative sculptures can be create using the Lix pen
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Freestanding decorative sculptures can be create using the Lix pen
The printed designs can even be incorporated into clothing
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The printed designs can even be incorporated into clothing
With some practice and a steady hand, users could create impressive works of art like this one
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With some practice and a steady hand, users could create impressive works of art like this one
Some examples of the kind of objects a skilled user might be able to create
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Some examples of the kind of objects a skilled user might be able to create
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As Gizmag discovered when we got to briefly try out the 3Doodler handheld 3D printer back in January, sketching in mid-air can be great fun. You're unlikely to be running off any musical instruments or flying machines, but it is possible to serve up something more elaborate than a squiggle ball with a little practice. If the large novelty pen or jumbo marker form factor of the WobbleWorks device is just a tad on the chunky side for your money, London-based Lix Pen has heard your cry. Its 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world.

The Lix 3D printing pen is powered using a supplied 49 in (125 cm) cable that plugs into any USB port that happens to be nearby. The device is fashioned from aluminum, and is 6.45 in (164 mm) long with a diameter of 0.55 in (14 mm). Straight ABS/PLA plastic rods of 0.068 in (1.75 mm) diameter and 10 in (30 cm) long are fed into the top of the pen, near the power port. It then makes its way through to a heated nozzle at the other end (the temperature of which can reach up to 190°C/374°F). Flow is controlled by buttons on the lower part of the housing, and each filament should last a couple of minutes.

Freestanding decorative sculptures can be create using the Lix pen
Freestanding decorative sculptures can be create using the Lix pen

Like the fatter 3Doodler and SwissPen, melted plastic emerges from the nozzle and quickly cools so that three dimensional structures can be built up from the bottom. With some practice and a steady hand, users could use the tool for basic prototyping, the creation of custom jewelry or freestanding decorative sculptures, or eye-catching models like the one below.

With some practice and a steady hand, users could create impressive works of art like this one
With some practice and a steady hand, users could create impressive works of art like this one

When launched into the consumer space, the Lix 3D printing pen will be available for an estimated street price of US$140. The three-person development team of Delphine Eloise Wood, Anton Suvorov and Ismail Baran is also releasing a ballpoint version for about $60. Before all that happens, though, the project is being readied for a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that's set to start in the coming weeks.

The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world
The Lix 3D printing pen is claimed the smallest in the world

Backers will get the chance to make significant savings on the expected retail price, assuming funding is successful. Shipping has been penciled in for a September start.

Should the campaign fail to reach its target, the company plans to forge ahead anyway. "We have already a plenty of partnership propositions from many different countries as USA, Japan, Singapore, UK, Germany, Switzerland etc.," Suvorov told us. "If the KS campaign proves unsuccessful we will certainly continue to work with our potential partners."

You can see the Lix 3D printing pen in action in the video below.

Update April 29: The Kickstarter campaign launched today, and took only two hours to pass its funding goal.

Source: Lix Pen

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