I nearly didn’t have time to write this article because I was so busy fantasizing about what I might do with this newest gadget. As a Kickstarter junkie, I was already drawn in by the idea of a 3D printing pen when the 3Doodler launched its campaign for version 2 of the pen and have been happily ensconced doodling odd looking creations ever since. Now, I have learned about the SKYPEN, a dual color 3D pen…that starts at only $19, for early bird backers on the recently launched Kickstarter campaign.
I’ve never been convinced that the cheapest solution is always the best, but as 3D printing technology becomes more inexpensive in general, it’s no surprise that 3D printing pens should follow the same trend. After all, calculators are practically free now, while my father tells me that he paid $150 for his back in 1970-something.
In any case, this seems like a heck of a deal. The SKYPEN dual is able to use two colors at the same time in the pen. Switching between colors is done at the press of a button and the pen is still sufficiently small to be easily held and operated.
A further advantage of the SKYPEN is the inclusion of a tool head kit that you can attach to the pen that allows you to easily remove the support structures required for printing. After putting on the head and plugging the pen in, you can ‘erase’ the structures by melting them and pulling them away. The head of the pen itself is also covered with a heat shield that minimizes the possibility that the user will burn themselves on exposed heating elements.
The team behind this new creation is the Taiwan-based Sky-Tech. This is no one-off startup but rather an established tech company with a line of 3D printing products such as the Sky-Maker-800, a large size single-extruder printer; the Magicbox, a polishing machine for 3D prints; its own 3D printing pen; and a full color powder 3D printer, among others. Their dedication and tech know how has earned them clients around the world and led them to set up research and development centers in both Taiwan and the United States. Their dedication to innovation is clear in their description of themselves:
“We strongly believe in the core value of research and development (R&D). More than 80% of our staff has been directly involved in product and technology development. Our organization completely owns many copyrights and patents covered in various technical fields. As an originator of authentic technology, we look forward to cooperating seamlessly with all related industries and we are committed to advancing 3D printing’s development.”
In the time it has taken me to transcribe that quote, the number of their backers has jumped from 38 to 42. With 27 days to go in their Kickstarter campaign, they are looking for a total investment of $50,000 from backers by August 20th. As such, they are offering a variety of levels of donation from $2 to $135 and you should note that for only $19 you can get the pen, a pack of 25 strands of mixed color plastic, the charger, and addition to their website’s ‘Wall of Fame.’
They’ve included images of a wide variety of projects completed with the SKYPEN and it’s clear that the only limit is the imagination and skill of the user. If you like round numbers, for $1 more in donation and for sharing your purchase on either FB or Twitter, you get all of the rewards of the $19 donation plus a pack of glow in the dark plastic and a pack of fluorescent color filament. If you’re flush with cash and up the pledge to $29 they will include a new nozzle set and the rewards packages just get better from there, including the possibility for the Happy Family Kit, which includes 4 SKYPENs at the $135 backing level.
Due for delivery in March 2016, you’ll still have to wait a bit to get your hands on one of these, but I doubt they’ll be $19 once they are released, so in this case, a penny spent, is a penny saved.
By the way…the number of supporters has now jumped to 57. (Not much later, at the time of editing, it’s up to 69 backers). Will you join them? Let us know what you think about the multi-color printing capabilities in the SKYPEN Dual Color 3D Printing Pen forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out the gallery below showcasing the SKYPEN’s capabilities.