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Introducing the 3Doolder and some of the designs it can produce
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The 3Doodler collection
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The 3Doodler's original mechanism,
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A 3Doodled ostrich, not a velociraptor!
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That's a big ostrich if that is to scale!
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A cross section of the 3Doodler's insides
Here at personalize we’re unsure whether we’ve ever seen such a hit as the 3Doodler, as it stands the 3D printing pen is about to hit 4,000% of funding on Kickstarter (KS) which by our reckoning is the most funded project, ratio wise, in the history of KS. The press releases and KS updates alone were simply not enough; we wanted to know more. So we’ve secured an exclusive interview with 3Doodler’s co-founder and inventor Maxwell Bogue plus Communications and Marketing Director Daniel Cowen.
How are you guys feeling? It’s been Crazy couple of days for you.
Daniel Cowen (DC):Tell me about it! We’re okay, just about!
You look set to be the most funded project in the history of Kickstarter; you’ve hit one million dollars in three days, what does that feel like?
DC: I’ve got to say we didn’t expect it! We really believe in this product, you don’t spend this amount of time on a product unless you do. But the pace of adoption and the responses from people has just been phenomenal.
#3Dprinting is obviously on loop on our Tweetdeck and for the minute it appears nobody is talking about anything else!
DC: Apparently we are #3Dprinting now! Our PR guys told us that if you Google 3D Printing right now, we’re at the top. Which is not something we expected after two days.
We’re keeping level heads here though and the priority is on delivering.
Has the success become a hindrance in any way?
DC: No not at all really, the only hindrance is the amount of emails coming through but in terms of the wider picture not at all. We’ve posted a couple of updates this on Kickstarter and those are worth reading.
We found a factory and production partners that allowed us to manufacture really small quantities, which is why we only went for $30,000, but there’s always been a structure in place that allows us to scale up very rapidly. As we’ve introduced these new crops of 3Doodlers we’ve set realistic dates for those. Early backers will still get theirs on time, the next bunch of backers will get theirs in early October and then Novemeber, plus as you can see we’ve just released a December batch. It may turn out that we can move ahead of that schedule, our dates are conservative and are there to make sure backers get theirs at the time that we promised.
How did the 3Doodler come about?
Maxwell Bogue (MB): So Peter Dilworth, who is my co-founder of WobbleWorks, and I were sitting around one day, Peter had this 3D printer sitting there and we decided to try something crazy. he took the printer head off and put a little handle on it, which we call the tea-cup. It was the first prototype, it worked… horribly.
Nevertheless, it worked so we knew that there was something there, we figured out very quickly that we needed to cool the plastic in order to get it to harden faster to allow us to draw in the air, which when we saw initially, we were like “Wow this could totally be something”
We improved it a couple of times,, each generation we found little secrets to up its capabilities at the same time as making it thinner, more compact and simpler until we arrived at the one you see on Kickstarter. That is pretty close to the final product; there will be some minor tweaks on the exterior shell and a couple of changes to give more protection around the tip. Otherwise it’s damn close to being the finished article and we have the factory whipping out some samples soon.
We’re hoping to ship out those $1,000 pledges in the next month or so, we may even hit things a little earlier, manufacturing is always a dicey business and timetables can slip but keeping our Kickstarter deliverable times is of the utmost importance to us.
What about you Max what were you up to before this explosion?
MB: I’ve been involved with the manufacturing process a long time; I lived in Hong Kong for four years going to and from the factory on a daily basis. I know this process really well, we’ve built up a really good team here, in Hong Kong and Southern China to help us do this project. They’re all former colleagues who we’ve worked with before and know the ins and outs of factories. They are going to help us make sure we hit this on time which is of the upmost importance to us.
Once you’ve shipped all the backers’ 3Doodlers, what is next? When will we see the pen in stores worldwide?
MB: After we satisfy all the pledges and pre-orders on our website, we’re hoping to start shipping to stores early 2014. We will continue to take orders on our site and think that we can continue this momentum there.
We’ve seen talk of various adapters and modifications for the 3Doodler, can you tell us anything about those?
MB: We’ve recently done an update on Kickstarter which is the pen holder, we’ve already put a sketch up. There are a lot more ideas about where we will take the 3Doodler next.
There’s an artists tool called a pantograph, it’s a four bar linkage, you hold a stencil in one hand and you move that stencil around and it moves a pen. You can scale pictures with it so the idea is that you trace around a smaller image and the pantograph will create a bigger version. It’s a tool that has been around for years but we’re thinking of developing a version of that for the 3Doodler. So if you’re not very good at drawing you can trace a small object and have a 3D version created with this modification.
Whats the most exciting thing you’ve seen come out of a 3Doodler’s tip?
MB: Well, I’m going to have a slight bias here because I made the Eiffel Tower that you see in the pictures. It took me eight hours, it’s two-feet tall, it’s a very large piece.
The beauty of a 3Doolder as opposed to a standard desktop 3D printer is that you can make pieces as big as you want, with a desktop 3D printer you’re restricted with the build platform that has a specified area. Forget the build platform, or the printing out of six parts and then assembling them together, even if you did do that you could use the 3Doodler to stick them together instead of glue.
What about around the home, the 3Doodler could be used in a variety of ways couldn’t it?
Absolutely if you think of how many objects around the home that are made from plastic then the possibilities of adding to or the fixing of those are endless. I think it is the ultimate tool for the 21st Century toolbox.
Can you give us any insider info with regards to the Etsy artists you will be working with?
DC: The idea of using Etsy artists came from the thought process “how can we showcase that the 3Doodler is something anybody, any artist can pick and use?”
Etsy, for my money, is the leading platform for artists to show and sell their designs online. We found the top Etsy artists and reached out to them, after about a week of talks they were absolutely ecstatic about the idea.
None of them have actually held the pen yet, but we’ve shown them a few demos and how it works online. There’s nothing set in stone yet but what they what to do is create freehand 3D models and prints to send to people, one artist talked about creating water scenes another about full scale model birds.
These are very ambitious, very creative artists, the ideas that have been floating back and forth are staggering. So expect something great and unique, these will be the first artists to get their hands on the 3Doodler.
MB: We work out of a hackerspace in Boston called the Artisan’s Asylum, Boston, there’s a bunch of creative people there. The ostrich, which is on all the photos, was done by our next-door neighbour Echo. That sculpture was the first time she’d ever used the 3Doodler. So we’re reasonably confident that any artist is just going to go WILD when they get their hands on it. They’re going to love it!
DB: I can tell you that we have a real treat in store for Etsy lovers but you’ll just have to watch this space on that one.