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3d pen drawing a sculptureThis week, it was brought to the attention of the media and press again, that the Lix 3D printing pen is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

The pen, that literally draws in thin air, ‘prints’ out material wherever you choose to ‘write’, and will be not only a fantastically fun toy for grown-ups, but will also be innovative in education, arts and creativity. The Lix pen isn’t the first 3D printing pen, but it is the most anticipated and popular due to its small, compact size and ergonomic features for easy use. With its metal-encased final design, it also looks more like a real pen than other, more ‘open’ and unfinished looking 3D printing pens.

It can be used for a myriad of – and even endless – artistic purposes, including t-shirt and clothing modification. The Lix 3D Pen promises to be a new avenue for 3D printing to evolve down, as it strikes the first question of portable 3D printing and what other forms the format could possibly take.

Going beyond the boundaries of The 3D Printer

The re-emergence of the 3D printer pen in the media led me to think about the future of the 3D printer and how it could start to take many forms other than the standard desktop printer we currently know it as.

3d pen drawing a pyramidIf we can create a pen that draws and prints in three dimensions, then why can’t we create a miniature 3D printer that sits on the back of our smart phones? Or a 3D printer that can be attached to our tablets, rucksacks or fits perfectly into our pockets? 3D printing changes constantly, and even though traditional printers are just breaking into the mainstream, it’s the experiments and the lab-tests that are now creating 3d printing 2.0, while we sit and figure out its first incarnation.

Looking back to look forward

The patterns have taken place in technological history before: mobile phones, games consoles, tablets, laptops, televisions; they get smaller and more compact as time goes on. Mobile phones get thinner, game consoles and laptops get smaller and more compact. Trends in technology integration have shown that certain devices end up combining with others to create ‘all-in-one’ solutions. So the fact that a 3D printer and a pen have come together isn’t a surprise and it leaves us with a multitude of questions as to what will follow next in the world of 3D printing.

What next for 3D printer technology integration?

samsung smart TVWith the introduction of smart televisions, multi-functional games consoles and all-in-one multimedia systems, it seems strange to think that 3D printing won’t follow this path. Do you use the shopping channel? What about a TV that could print items bought from the channel right there, right then? These things are not unthinkable, and it pays to recognise the innovations in 3D printing and technology advancements that are happening now, as they could be tomorrow’s on-the-shelf products.

What do you think about the future of 3D printing and the Lix pen?

For more information on the lix 3D printing pen, head on over to their Kickstarter page here. You’ll find in-depth statistics and information on how it is powered, refill details and where and when you can get your hands on one.

Where do you see 3D printers appearing next? On your phones? Or on your games consoles? We’d love to know, so chat to us on our Twitter, Facebook or Google + pages.

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