Over the past few decades, the 3D printing industry has grown significantly. There has been a large push to create consumer-grade 3D printing technologies. Companies like MakerBot, RepRap, and FormLabs have created companies centered on affordable 3D printers. Recently, WobbleWorks had come up with a handheld 3D printer (3Doodler), pushing down the price point further down. The 3Doodler was commercially successful.
Create a simpler 3D handheld printer with a lower price point and less risk factors.
The device used a supersaturated solution, which was an ideal candidate for quickly fabricating solid structures. This happens through a crystallization process which is well-studied in literature. The novel part though, involved creating a mechanism where the ‘ink’ solidifies only when intended.
We were able to lower the price point of the product by an order of magnitude by using a supersaturated in a simple to use squeeze bottle. By reducing the size of the device, solidification in the device became a minor effect. The product was tested by kids and it was shown that they could quickly learn how to use it. It was well-received, and a patent is currently pending for the concept and implementation.