I recently moved into a new home and have slowly been replacing some of my ancient, ghastly-looking furniture with newer models (or at least new slipcovers). One thing I have too many of is chairs – I’m always on the lookout for cool-looking chairs, and I have several that I painted myself. My artistic talent with furniture, however, pales in comparison to that of designer Jungsub Shim, who spent two months creating a full-sized, functional chair using only a 3Doodler.
It’s no ordinary-looking chair, either. The Connect chair resembles a thick but translucent mass of molecules, gradually solidifying into a chair that can hold the weight of an adult. Shim designed and created it as part of a woodworking and furniture design course at Hongik University in Seoul, South Korea. She was inspired by the theme of connections – particularly neural connections in the human brain as well as Internet connections across the world.
“Connect visualises in detail the figure of modern people living with connections, as well as showing the effect of coincidence when each connection creates a structure with more complexity and variations,” said Shim.
Creating the chair was a full-time job; Shim spent eight hours a day working on it for two months, painstakingly drawing one line at a time and connecting them to the others. It was something like a meditative practice that she compared to “monks training themselves in prayer through the same movement every day.”
Shim’s Connect chair demonstrates just how far the 3Doodler pen has come as it celebrates its fourth birthday. The 3Doodler came into existence almost by accident, as a tool to repair a print with a gap in it, and even after a history-making Kickstarter campaign revealed the public’s enthusiasm for the idea, I doubt that the pen’s creators at toy company WobbleWorks ever imagined it would one day be used to create things like functional furniture or a full-sized car. The 3Doodler has spawned an entirely new medium for artists and designers, who have run with the tool and created stunning, museum- and runway-worthy pieces.
The 3Doodler now exists in three varieties: the 3Doodler Create, the 3Doodler PRO, and the 3Doodler Start – and the company’s founders say that they are nowhere near finished. As 3Doodler approaches the sale of its millionth pen, it’s also unveiling a slew of new products for 2017, most of them revolving around the kid-friendly 3Doodler Start.
While the 3Doodler may have become the tool of choice for many professional artists, it’s also a great toy, and the Start was developed as a simple, child-safe version of the pen for kids to play and learn with. This year, the 3Doodler team is really focusing in on education with several new themed kits designed to be used with the Start:
- The 3Doodler Start Robotics Pen Set will allow kids to design and create actual moving robots with a 3Doodler, helped by a step-by-step Activity Guide, a motor and DoodleBlocks
- The 3Doodler Start Architecture Pen Set comes with illuminating wire and new DoodleSheets that will enable kids to design structures with working lights
- The 3Doodler Start Product Design Pen Set includes a watch face that can be used to create custom watches, clocks, smartphone cases and more
“At3Doodler, we believe it is imperative to inspire today’s young minds to create and innovate,” said Maxwell Bogue, Co-Founder & CEO of WobbleWorks. “With the new themed sets our 3D printing pen offers youngsters the ability to try out new concepts and nurture potential professional skills.”
On the purely fun/nerdy side of things, 3Doodler has also secured several new licensing agreements to offer kits like the 3Doodler Create Star Trek Pen Set. The special edition set, licensed by CBS Consumer Products and retailing through ThinkGeek, will include an engraved Star Trek pen plus an activity guide and materials to help you create your own Starship Enterprise, or draw yourself a new forehead or ears to transform into a Klingon or Vulcan.
I have a confession: I love The Powerpuff Girls. So, apparently, does 3Doodler, which has partnered with Cartoon Network to offer a Powerpuff Girls Pen Set and Activity Kit styled around the Powerpuff Yourself online tool. (How did I not know this was a thing? Of course I had to try it.) The kit will include a special edition 3Doodler Start pen, themed DoodleBlocks, and a new DoodleMold so kids (and adults, not going to lie) can Powerpuff themselves in 3D.
“At Cartoon Network we strive to use our content and IP in a way that will inspire the next generation of creators,” said Peter Yoder, Vice President, Cartoon Network Enterprises. “We see the 3Doodler, The Powerpuff Girls Pen Set & Activity Kit as another great opportunity for our young fans to express themselves using tools at the intersection of creativity and technology.”
Finally, 3Doodler is launching the 3Doodler Create Project Kit series, with the first installation being offered in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With this kit, fans of historical buildings will be able to 3Doodle the iconic Farnsworth House located in Plano, Illinois.
So yes, 3Doodler has come a long way, and we can’t wait to see what direction it will go next. The company’s founders are clearly having a lot of fun, and we always have a great time ourselves seeing what people create with their 3Doodlers. I’m still not sure why I don’t have one myself. Discuss in the 3Doodler forum at 3DPB.com.[Sources: Dezeen / 3Doodler / Action Figure Insider]