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Technology  2, May 2014

Meet Lix 3D Pen — the smallest 3D printer in the world

You use it like a pen and craft out doodles and designs out of thin air using colored filaments; its Kickstarter campaign has raised US$620,687 in just 3 days

 

3D printers are all the rage these days. We talked about the cheapest before, but what about the tiniest?

Enter the Lix 3D Pen: a pen that prints objects out of thin air from its tip. According to its recent Kickstarter campaign, the device is 0.55 inches wide and 6.45 inches long, and will retail around US$140 plus an additional US$17 for worldwide shipping.

To use it, you just need to plug in the power cable into the back end of the pen, plug the power cable to a USB port, and slot in the provided ABS and PLA filaments (essentially the ink for your drawings). Wait for the nozzle to heat up for 60 seconds (it gets up to 223 degrees Celcius), and then start drawing away. Here’s a sample of what you can doodle with the device.

 

GIF credit: Business Insider

The Lix 3D seems to be a solution for bulky, large and expensive 3D printers out there and is targeting artists, fashion experts, home decor creators, and others within this field. Its kicker is its sleek design and 40 grams weight makes it ideal for users to craft what they can with their available art skills.

The tech for the pen was built from scratch, with the developers’ main goal being to create an easy-to-use and comfortable tool. The toughest part in developing the Lix 3D was reducing its mechanical parts to a compartmental size. Its solutions include micro-planetary gear motors, materials with low thermal conductivity (to reach that 223 degrees Celcius of heat without the pen blowing up in your face), and an additional gear box for the filament supply system.

The pen’s Kickstarter campaign has already raised US$620,687 within just three days, way above its humble US$50,682 target. The Lix 3D will be out for all between the periods of September and October, so budding creatives who want prototypes out of thin air and hipsters should mark their calendars.

Jonathan Toyad

Jonathan Toyad

If you want an elaborate answer on who would win in a fight between Ultraman and Godzilla, Jonathan Toyad is your man. A six-year veteran in the game journalism industry, he did words and videos for outlets such as GameSpot, GameAxis, IGN and Stuff.TV. Fears coyotes and scorched earths.

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