If you were to ask me just two years ago what would be one of the hottest selling ‘3D printers’ on the market, I likely would not have guessed a handheld manual printer, better known as a 3D printing pen. Here we are though approaching the middle of 2015, a year that’s already seen incredible advancements in all sorts of technological verticals and the 3Doodler pen, only a few steps up from a hot glue gun, is one of the hottest products within the consumer 3D printing market. In fact, back in January, Maxwell Bogue, one of the inventors of the 3Doodler, told me that they had already sold 130,000 of these devices.
With sales like this, it’s only natural that new players will enter the market trying to steal away market share. This certainly seems to be the case with a company called 3DSimo, which plans to launch a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the 3DSimo Mini, ‘The Ultimate Creator’s Tool,’ on June 23rd.
3DSimo, although not a household 3D printing name, is not new to this space. In fact they were an early mover, launching an Indiegogo campaign for their first, much larger, device over 18 months ago. The project was not fully funded; however, the company was still able to bring the original 3DSimo to market. Now they are taking the original pen, miniaturizing it, and adding a whole slew of new, useful features.
The main thing that sets the 3DSimo Mini apart from other 3D printing pens is its versatility. Not only can it print using PLA like the competitors, but because its tip is able to achieve a temperature as high as 490° Celsius, it’s able to print using 11 different materials. This includes ABS, PLA, HIPS, PET, Thermochrome, and even the composite materials which include wood and metals. If this isn’t enough to get you excited, the 3D printing aspects of the gadget are only the very start. The Mini also can be used as several other extremely useful tools.
Below you will find some of the Mini’s general specifications:
- Weight: 40 grams
- Size: 163 x 36 x 22 mm
- Max Temperature: 490°C
- Power: microUSB 1.5 amp
“We created the 3DSimo Mini to be the ultimate creator’s tool,” says David Paskevic, CEO of 3DSimo. “It is so much more than a 3D printing pen. We developed the body so that it can be the ultimate tool. The most immediate uses will include extensions for burning, foam cutting and soldering. In the future we can easily incorporate more tool functionality to the pen (like drilling and other), making it a tool for any creator, from novice to master!”
The key to this multi-functionality is the Mini’s interchangeable tips. The tips give the user the ability to turn this 3D printing pen into a soldering, cutting, and burning tool. Simply pop off the modular tip and place the desired toolhead onto the pen and voilà, you have a brand new tool.
Additionally, the team at 3D Simo has worked diligently to integrate the pen with the user’s smartphone. They’ve developed a mobile app and added Bluetooth connectivity so that the user is able to manage the Mini’s settings via their smartphone or tablet. As for pricing we are told that Early Bird backers of their Kickstarter campaign will be able to pre-order this awesome device starting at just $89.
Do you intend to back this project on Kickstarter in late June? Let’s hear your thoughts on this new device. Discuss in the 3DSimo Mini forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the promo teaser video below: