Korean Artist Proves 3D Pens Have a Place in Your Product Design Workflow

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Functional prints with a 3D printing pen? It’s not as impossible as you might think. In a world where 3D pens can be used to make gingerbread houses and runway accessories, why can’t they be used for custom product design? Korean artist and YouTuber 3D Sanago first went viral a few years ago with his video demonstrating how to “repair” a wall with a 3D printing pen. Several million views later, Sanago’s fans still tune in to see what new creations he’ll turn out. They range from figurines of his cat to Porsche replicas.

Sanago’s latest video caught my eye: he used his design skills and 3D pen to create a custom functional housing for his home security camera. Originally intending to create a casing that resembled Wall-E, Sanago changed course after getting a look at the internal guts of the camera. Instead he went with a new housing designed to mimic “Truck Man,” an otherwise nameless background character from a Crayon Shin-Chan film. The character captured Sanago’s imagination enough for the artist to painstakingly recreate it by hand. The artist built out a scaffolding of the character’s face based on a tracing.

Once the scaffold was in place around the camera’s lenses and circuit board, he fit it back onto its servo, which allows the camera to turn and serves as Truck Man’s neck. This step also included delicately removing some excess plastic housing that was apart of the camera’s original makeup.

Next came the intensive process of completing the scaffolding around the head and providing infill to be sanded and painted.

After ironing, sanding, painting and creating a base for the neck joint to rest in, here are the final results:

While it goes without saying that many of the steps depicted in the video could have been accomplished more quickly with traditional 3D printing, this project demonstrates the continued promise and potential of 3D pens as design tools rather than just novelties. While computer assisted design allows for easy duplication and iterating, it still requires personnel trained to use it. 3D pens allow anyone who can doodle to design an object. Allowing team members who aren’t trained in CAD have access to 3D pens increases the number of team members who can effectively contribute design work towards a product. Furthermore, 3D pens can be utilized in environments where computing might be disruptive or inaccessible. Want to take the team on a device-less retreat but still keep the ideas flowing? Consider the 3D pen. It might just create your team’s next breakout product.

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