It was just last month when we gave you all a sneak peek at the world’s newest, and possibly smallest, 3D printing pen, the 3DSimo Mini. The company producing this pen, 3DSimo, is known for their original device, but as the market gets a bit more crowded, competition is driving all within it to innovate, making things more efficient as well as smaller and more affordable. Earlier this year we saw the release of the 3Doodler 2.0, which is the second version of the original 3D printing pen, that relies on an FDM/FFF technique to extrude molten thermoplastic as the user draws in three dimensions.
It’s really tough to compete with a company like 3Doodler, as they’ve captured a huge portion of market share and of course were the first to break into this relatively new market a couple of years ago. With that said, 3DSimo seems to have found a way to potentially do just that, via innovation and differentiation.
The 3DSimo Mini is more than just a 3D printing pen, it’s ‘The Ultimate Creator’s Tool,’ according to the company. Just like a typical FDM/FFF 3D printer, the Mini extrudes molten thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites, allowing the user to draw in thin air. The first aspect of this new pen that makes it so unique is its material compatibility. Currently the company says that the pen is able to use 12 different types of material, with numerous others in the pipeline. The current materials compatible with the Mini are as follows: Laybrick, HIPS, PLA, ABS, Luminous, Termochrome, Metal, Carbon, Flexible, Fluorescent, PETG and Wood-like.
That’s not all though. The Mini isn’t simply a 3D printing pen. In fact it’s a multipurpose maker’s tool, with the ability to solder, cut and burn, using different modular attachments (these are ‘stretch goals’ for the time being). Swapping out a toolhead is as easy and it gets, and the Mini’s user interface comes alive via a mobile app, allowing users to adjust temperature or speed of the device via bluetooth from their phone. In addition to controlling the Mini, the app also features a library of instructional videos and templates to print.
Via Kickstarter, the company is looking to raise at least $70,000 by July 24, in order to commence full-scale production of this small handheld device. They’ve also set several stretch goals, all of which will allow them to fund the development of new materials and attachments for the Mini. If they are able to reach their $70,000 goal, they aim to begin production of around 2,000 to 3,000 units per month by December, with the first shipments commencing in January 2016. The pricing structure for backers is progressive, meaning that as new backers pre-order their Mini, prices gradually rise. At the time of us writing this, however, there are still a few ‘Early Bird Backer’ packages available, which will get you the 3DSimo Mini, and 6 (15m) bunches of material for just $89. Once these rewards are gone the price jumps up to at least $109, with the retail price set at $129.
Certainly this tool brings a lot to the growing 3D printing pen space. With experience in the market and a well run crowdfunding campaign, it appears that 3DSimo is setting themselves up for success. Let us know your thoughts on this new device and whether or not you’ve backed it on Kickstarter. Discuss in the 3DSimo Mini forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below: