The Top 10 Reasons 3Doodler Inspires Zen in the Classroom

I always got a chuckle from David Letterman’s Top 10! lists. Sure, they were funny, but there was always a kernel of truth. The 3Doodler is similar. It’s a funny little tool, but it offers so much value. I’ve already written about its academic benefits, but did you know that it’s also a great tool for inspiring Zen inside your classroom? Here’s a list I crafted to share the top 10 reasons why.

10. It’s affordable.

Therefore, teachers do not need to feel stressed about tapping into their own budgets to score a top-notch technology tool that packs a lot of power for the punch.

9. It’s as simple as drawing with a crayon to get started.

No need to read a long list of instructions or attend long hours of professional development. You can dive right in and so can your students. That should take a load off your mind.

8. It will keep your students engaged.

Your students will be so quiet when they doodle, that you’ll be known as the teacher with the most well-behaved students in the school! The 3Doodler can actually alter your students’ physical and emotional experience, allowing them time for introspection, possibly leading to improved decision making. A teacher can dream, can’t she?

7. It is truly child-friendly.

Time working with the 3Doodler is time spent away from digital devices that may bombard and overstimulate your students. Plus, unlike using a laptop or tablet, you don’t need to be on hyper-alert, patrolling computer screens in case students have wandered off-site.

6. It keeps everyone happy.

The 3Doodler is an effective tool in improving students’ moods, as they happily create and discover while learning. And, happy students mean a happier teacher! Right?

5. It may help reduce stress levels.

Researchers have discovered that doodling inspires wellness, which quiets the brain and may lead to decreased levels of adrenaline incited by recess and missing homework assignments. Ugh!

4. It creates “Aha!” moments.

The 3Doodler is inspirational. As students use it, they make connections that lead to insights. This kind of inspiration is contagious and will spread throughout your room. What a marvelous thing!

3. It embraces all types of learners.

It’s one size fits all. Doodling is a universal. We all doodle. With this type of lowered level of expectation, students have happy accidents that are needed for new learning.

2. It silences the inner-critic in all of us.

In fact, the word “doodle” sounds so silly and humorous, that students will feel relaxed enough to try new things, take risks and make mistakes. This will make your classroom a more productive place to be.

1. It’s just fun and relaxing.

And the top reason why the 3Doodlers will inspire Zen in your classroom is that a relaxed mind is better equipped to solve problems. So, instead of plying your students with sugary mints before their next exam, bring out the 3Doodlers.

Remember these tips the next time you or your students are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or need inspiration and pass out the 3Doodlers. It’s on the shelf right next to that bottle of aspirins and a lot healthier for everyone!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

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7 Idas for Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead, also known as Día de Muertos, is a Mexican holiday from Nov 1st and 2nd, to pray for and commemorate friends and family members who have passed away. It is believed that the spirits of the deceased children will reunite with their family on Nov 1, and Nov 2nd is when the spirits of adults are allowed to visit.

Colorful Altars for Colorful Lives

To welcome and honor the departed, altars are set up inside homes, displaying a Sugar Skull, flowers, candles, food, and once owned possessions. Inspired by photos of these beautiful and meaningful altars, our talented Artist, Cornelia Kuglemeier created an (almost) entirely Doodled version of it, made up of some of the most symbolic décor pieces for the festival.

For example, the Papel Picado is a form of Mexican paper cutting art, which is often seen during important festivals like Day of the Dead and Christmas. To make things even more interesting, you can try make a doodled version of it!

The Sugar Skull (Calavera) is another important symbol used in this Mexican celebration. Traditionally, sugar was used to form the mold because it was readily available and cheap. The Skulls are placed in the altar to recognize the person who has passed. The name of the deceased is written on the Skull’s forehead, then the rest of the surface is decorated with icing, ribbons, and other colourful adornments.

Here’s How To Make Them:

Papel Picado

1. Print or acquire a piece of grid patterned paper, or draw your own on lined paper.
2. Draw your designs.
3. Cover the paper with a layer of Masking Tape.
4. Use FLEXY plastic to Doodle on top of the tape, following your patterns and the grid pattern.
5. Peel the design off, and you’re done!

Sugar Skull

1. First, doodle over the Skull Canvas in Polar White ABS plastic.
2. Add some decorative flowers and “sugar” using a variety of colored ABS plastic. The more colors the better!
3. Use Glow in the Dark plastic on parts you want to make look extra spooky in the dark.
4. To make the doodles look like sugar writing, experiment with different Nozzles to achieve a variety of interesting effects.

Candle Holder Skull

1. Cover the entire Skull Canvas with Masking tape.
Doodle over it with Clearly Clear PLA plastic, leaving a gap in the centre, so you can peel off the doodled skull in two halves later.
2. Doodle the entire Canvas leaving the top of the skull open, this is where you will put in the candle.
3. Remove the two parts of doodles from the Canvas, then join them together by doodling along the gap to join.

Flower Garland

1. Draw petal shapes on a piece of paper to use as a stencil, then doodle over them with ABS plastic.
2. Peel the petals off from the paper.
3. To give them a curvy shape, use a hot air gun or a hair dryer to gently heat the plastic, then shape it with your fingers.
4. Doodle to join the petals together to form a flower.

Flower Vases

1. Draw some patterns on a piece of paper to use as a stencil.
2. Roll up the paper and put it inside a Vase Canvas, then tape down the paper to hold it in place.
3. Doodle directly on top of the Canvas to make beautiful customised Vases!

La Calavera Catrina

1. To make the body, use a bottle as the base to build the shape of the dress.
2. Doodle two arms and attach them onto the body, positioning them so that it leaves a gap in the middle for the candle.
3. For the head, scrunch up some paper to make an oval shaped ball, then doodle on top of it to make the head.
4. Finally, add a hat on the head, then join all the pieces together.

Box Candle Holder

1. Use a Box Set Canvas as the base.
2.Measure one side of the Canvas Box, cut out a piece of paper, then draw some patterns (e.g. skulls and flowers) on it to use as a stencil.
3. Place the stencil inside the Box and tape it to one side.
4. Doodle directly on top of the Box, following the stencil outline to create a unique and interesting design.
5. Repeat on the other sides.

To create a balanced and Instagram-worthy display, place the shorter pieces like the Sugar Skull and Papel Picado in the centre. Then surround these with the taller pieces like the flower vases and the La Calavera Catrina. For some final touches, complete the altar with some food, a bowl of salt, and some scattered flowers. And there you have it, your own Doodled Day of the Dead altar.

Sources:
https://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Dead

Application of 3D typography

A few stunning examples from the 3Doodler team.

1. Grace Du Prez

Profession: Marketing Coordinator
Design style: Words that form the shape of the object it symbolises.
What I love about 3D typography: I love the freedom that 3D typography offers! With 2D typography, if I wanted to create a shape or shadow out of the words I chose, I can draw that effect, but ultimately everything is flat. With 3D typography, I can literally make the words take up the form of the shape, and even hold the typography in my hands or turn it into something functional (in this case, a crown!)
What I’d like to try next: I’d like to transform typography into more fun and functional pieces like book ends, bracelets, etc.
Tips for Doodled Typography: Don’t be afraid to explore the limitless possibilities of this unique medium. I would suggest to doodle your piece freehand instead of sketching it out first, as sometimes new ideas may appear once you start creating your piece in 3D.

2. Apple Ko

Profession: Marketing Coordinator
Design style: Words that form the shape of the object it symbolises.
What I love about 3D typography: I love the freedom that 3D typography offers! With 2D typography, if I wanted to create a shape or shadow out of the words I chose, I can draw that effect, but ultimately everything is flat. With 3D typography, I can literally make the words take up the form of the shape, and even hold the typography in my hands or turn it into something functional (in this case, a crown!)
What I’d like to try next: I’d like to transform typography into more fun and functional pieces like book ends, bracelets, etc.
Tips for Doodled Typography: Don’t be afraid to explore the limitless possibilities of this unique medium. I would suggest to doodle your piece freehand instead of sketching it out first, as sometimes new ideas may appear once you start creating your piece in 3D.

3. Kira Alba

Profession: Junior Designer
Design style: Small blackletter 3D mural
What I love about 3D typography: I like how having the ability to draw in 3D allows me to rethink the usual, two dimensional calligraphic process. Of course you could cut your letters out of paper to build the words in 3D, but the 3Doodler enables me to build without losing the element of ‘writing’ the letters. The process is unique because it feels like you’re both drawing and sculpting at the same time.
What I’d like to try next: I’d like to try the different nozzles and the smoothing tool for the Create pen and experiment with textures.
Tips for Doodled Typography: If you’re creating 3D letters with finer extruded elements I recommend using ABS filaments so your doodles can dry faster and provide a better hold.

4. Faraz Warsi

Profession: Creative Director
Creative outlet: Small blackletter 3D mural
What I love about 3D typography: I love typography. Who doesn’t? Designer or not, you have to appreciate the way people interpret and redesign our 26 letters of our alphabet. Usually whenever I’m hunting for inspiration I spend a good amount of time digging through typography examples… most of those cases, it’s usually through a screen or print. With the 3Doodler in hand, you’re experimenting in 3 dimensions. For the first time you can quickly experiment with depth, and in this example, literally bring your typography to life and bring your Doodles off the page!
What I’d like to try next: Textures and touch.
Tips for Doodled Typography: Experiment. There are so many possibilities and most of them haven’t even been thought of yet! Think about it this way, you’re one of the first people ever to experiment with typography with a 3D pen… There’s something special in that.

5. Erin Song

Profession: Junior Designer
Design style: Brush Script Calligraphy
What I love about 3D typography: As a designer I am obsessive about the use of typography. I work on a lot of print or web and I sometimes miss the handwritten element of traditional typography. The 3Doodler allows me to create a clean and sturdy 3D typography but still keeping that handwritten look and (literally) feel.
What I’d like to try next: BIG typography. You know those people who have nice quotes on their walls? I’d love to make that WITHOUT the paper and the expensive frame. It’s great that with the 3Doodler, there aren’t paper sizes to limit me!
Tips for Doodled Typography: It’s not only about how you write it, but also how you show it. I do a lot of photography on the side and I have to say that you can get really creative when you can actually hold and place the 3D typography you just 3Doodled! Make sure to think about the space, shadow and colors (we have over 60 colors for you to choose from)!

The Benefits of Drawing on Imagination with 3Doodler

Our students come to us ripe with imagination. Every teacher has been an audience to the fantastic tales spun by a kindergartener. I recall one tiny, freckled girl who came to class each day wearing a Wonder Woman cape and snow boots, even in May.

She earnestly nodded her head, as she promised me that fairies really did make her lunch. I asked her mom if she had shared this creative fib in order to get her daughter to eat. She smiled and shook her head no, explaining that this was all her daughter’s idea, along with her “eclectic” fashion sense.

Research indicates that from an early age, strong-willed creative thinkers have the potential to become the leaders and innovators of tomorrow. So, how do we resist standardized teaching methods, and, instead, cultivate and enhance our naturally creative thinkers? Last year, I added the 3Doodler to my list of back-to-school supplies and the results were astounding.

Any teacher who has worked with primary students can share their limited attention span. To go over 30 minutes lecturing, you risk them turning on you. There is nothing sadder than witnessing a novice teacher who has lost her audience, desperately flailing about to recapture their attention. The 3Doodler not only engages elementary students, who are naturally doodlers; it captivates and sustains their attention. Have you ever watched a student get lost in thought? It’s a wonderful thing.

Try out one of Julia’s new 3Doodler lesson plans with your own students.

Get Started

This is where learning naturally happens. While directed learning is necessary, it can sap the joy out of doodling. The most fantastic ideas can result from free exploration. Like the child who proudly displayed her “tooth-pulling machine,” she’d designed with her 3Doodler, as she wiggled her loose front tooth with the tip of her tongue. She told me that this idea had been “hidden in her head for a long time.” This invested focus, allows students to creatively solve problems that are meaningful to them.

In directed learning, students are much more likely to enjoy adding and subtracting when they can create their own counting sticks or doodle illustrations for touchable word problems. The creative thinking that stems from self-directed discovery, solidifies learning. Students’ doodles make their thought processes visible to their teacher, even when their literacy skills are limited.

When 3Doodling, students’ hands-on free-associations may trigger acquisition and enhance retention of knowledge. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, transferring learned concepts to abstract or novel applications is considered the highest level of learning. The 3Doodler naturally inspires this type of imaginative transference with very little effort on the part of the teacher. Great ideas stem from the seeds of imagination. What appears to be a frivolous doodle of a tic-tac-toe game, may lead students to develop creative and complex mathematical strategies.

The creative mind promulgates a sense of pride and self-esteem, as students become true makers and innovators. The 3Doodler allows students to share their ideas in concrete and visuals ways. What a powerful thing imagination can be when allowed to come to fruition in the hands of a child. Students are no longer told that their ideas are impossible.

"What a powerful thing imagination can be when allowed to come to fruition in the hands of a child. Students are no longer told that their ideas are impossible. Instead, they are encouraged to try them, modify them, and test them."

Instead, they are encouraged to try them, modify them, and test them. Einstein was a great visualizer. In his mind’s eye, he could “play” with ideas. This led him to some of his most amazing discoveries and theories. Not all of us are as fortunate to be as innately inclined to mentally play with ideas as Einstein. The 3Doodler inspires this type of visually creative thought. And, it is this coupling of ideas with hands-on modeling, which inspires confidence–a sense of what I like to call, “Look-what-I-made-pride.”

According to experts like Daniel Pink and Sir Kenneth Robinson, creative thinking is the most important skill for success in the 21st century. The world is a complex place, with needs that cannot be met through replication of standardized thought patterns. Now, more than ever, we need thinkers who can “draw” upon their imaginations to design new paths.

It is incumbent upon each of us as teachers to make the time and share the tools that will allow this type of fluent and flexible thinking to flourish. So, how do you know if your students are ready for the 3Doodler? Can they hold a crayon? That’s a good start. It all begins with a doodled line and where it ends, who can imagine?

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

The New 3D Adult Coloring Book – Say Hi to Create Canvases

An easy starting point for beginner or seasoned Doodlers to create stunning results

I’m Kelley, Marketing Director at 3Doodler, and dare I say it, a timid Doodler.

Of course, like millions, I invested in the adult coloring book craze, the major draw being able to create something “artistic” that I was proud of – without fear that the final piece would fall far short of the creative vision in my head.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am bit intimidated by a blank page. But armed with a template, where all I need to do is select colors and fill in the shapes, I have just the right amount of creative scope. And that’s OK.

It’s that same thinking that started us down the path to our new Create Canvas Series. What began as a brainstorm to help beginner users create complex items quickly and easily, soon led to a range of enticing ready-made shapes that could serve as a “canvas” to anyone’s unique creative potential.

In the lead up to launch we left some blank Canvases in the hands of a couple of seasoned Doodlers to see what they’d create – I think you’ll agree the results offer some decidedly non-intimidating and eye-catching ideas!

Cornelia Kuglmeier

Tell us about your design
My idea was to make functional items. I repurposed the skull Canvas into a popular symbol it represents – a pirate with a hat designed so the hollow pirate skull serves as a piggy bank – as pirates usually hide treasures.

For the Gnome, I transformed it into something unexpected, a dwarf queen! These would look cute in a group, with dwarf king, queen and maybe kids and citizens – create your dwarf community.

TIP:
  • To create a hollow skull or Gnome, cover the canvas with tape and Doodle the front and the back, peel these off, and then join them together.

What did you like about the Canvas Series and what would you try next?
What I like is that the Canvas provides a shape that you’ve got to make yourself otherwise. It’s neat and white, you can doodle directly onto it, and also add to the shape (like adding hair, ears, etc.).

I’d like to try turn the skull into a little self-portrait. I think that would look cool! As I wear glasses, I might make the skull in a way that it can serve as a storage spot for my glasses! I’d also love to use more colours on it.

Who do you think the Canvas Series is good for? 
I think the Canvases are perfect for new, young or hesitant doodlers. You can create decorative or useful (or both) items for your living room, your own little piece of art or customized presents. Also, for students it’s an awesome tool to work with – students don’t have to spend time making molds or shapes with paper and tape, but can start doodling instantly.

Grace Du Prez

Tell us about your design
The design I made for the Skull Canvas is quite simplistic but I’m really pleased with how it looks. I used clear PLA and it really sparkles in the light. A little bit of Damien Hirst, Indiana Jones and Elsa!

What did you like about the Canvas Series and what would you try next?
I like the Canvases because it’s really easy to use and you can achieve great results. The next thing I’d like to make with the Skull Canvas is a Halloween headdress. 

Who do you think the Canvas Series is good for? 
I think the Canvases are a great starting point to spark inspiration. They’re a perfect way to give a helping hand to an ambitious doodler.

Kira Albarus

Tell us about your design
The vase design I went for is a modern geometric pattern in a contrasting, simple color palette. I like this design as it looks pretty slick and fits well into any modern home.

The box set is also a minimal design approach with a simple color scheme of black, white, silver and gold. I liked the idea of using the boxes to separate different types of jewelry – they’re the perfect size for it!

TIP:
  • The Box and Vase Canvas Sets are made from a transparent material, so you can print or draw a design on paper, line the inside of the canvas and trace the outside surface with the 3Doodler.

What did you like about the Canvas Series and what would you try next?
Using a printed stencil on the inside of the Canvas worked really well with these two pieces! In the future, I would love to try something more playful and add more 3-dimensional parts to the canvas, maybe a scary Halloween skull with an eye-ball hanging out. 

Who do you think the Canvas Series is good for? 
The Canvas series is great for anyone creative who loves adding a personal touch to their home decor. It’s also a nice project if you are just getting started with the pen, as it doesn’t require building complex 3D shapes. 

#WhatWillYouCreate?

Watch How You Can Create it Your Way with 3Doodler Create Canvas Series:

The Create Canvas Series are available here as: Box Set, Skull, Vases, and Gnome.

Learn More

3 Million Dimensions: Part Three

Two Distinct Artists Break New Ground with 3Doodler

In the art world, there are hundreds of mediums you can use to express a creative concept conceived in the mind. Some people pick paint; others turn to clay and still more are constantly looking for a new way to express the designs they yearn to create.

Rachel Goldsmith is an artist who used to work mainly with water-based paints and permanent inks.

Louis DeRosa is an animator who specializes in illustration. These two creative minds each produce profoundly different work, yet both found their stride in recent years with a new tool: the 3Doodler, the world’s first 3D printing pen.

Both Goldsmith and DeRosa developed a passion for the 3Doodler within minutes of first picking up the pen.

Rachel uses the tool to develop intricately “woven” pieces of fine art and Louis uses it to create unique figurative objects, built up layer by layer.

The different ways these artists utilize the pen speaks to the product’s potential in the maker’s space. There’s no limit to what creations can emerge from imagination and steady supply of plastic.

Today, Goldsmith works as an artist that creates pieces with PLA plastic.

DeRosa is an advocate of the 3Doodler pen, traveling on behalf of the company to present live demonstrations of the tool and teach people how to use it. Both work closely with the 3Doodler founders, Maxwell Bogue, Daniel Cowen and Peter Dilworth, advising on educational materials, testing new product upgrades, and creating content for 3Doodler marketing materials.

UPWARDS sat down with the two artists to learn more about the unique ways in which they use the 3Doodler, and how it has shaped their artistic endeavors.

How did you first learn about the 3Doodler?

Louis

DeRosa: I was finishing up my last year of college for animation, and I was pretty interested in the whole maker movement and 3D printing, but it was not exactly something I could afford to just get into. I saw a Kickstarter ad pop-up for a handheld 3D printer, and decided to back the project right away.

What made it a no-brainer for me, was my interest in drawing. I always had a sketchbook with me. The notion of taking that new frontier of 3D printing and having it be handheld really appealed to me.

Goldsmith: I came about the pen having no knowledge of plastic or 3D printing. As an artist, I always had a sketchbook—like Louis did—and I was drawing constantly. When the 3Doodler Kickstarter launched, one of my good friends, as well as my dad, said “You need this.” And my dad immediately backed the project for me.

What was your first experience like with the 3Doodler?

DeRosa: Interestingly, the very first thing I doodled was a human figure. My approach was trying to be like a 3D printer. I had seen the way 3D printers worked—how they go layer by layer, building upwards—and tried to replicate that. I quickly realized that the pen could do way more than a 3D printer could do because the design was completely up to me.

Goldsmith: My first instinct was to use the 3Doodler directly on a canvas in the same way I’d use paint. I was “painting with plastic”: cross-hatching the lines so the colors would blend, thus expanding the limited color palette and playing with different textures. To this day, my work is still focused around the many ways of using the 3Doodler to create color and texture.

How did you first get involved with the co-founders, Max, Dan and Peter?

Rachel Goldsmith

Goldsmith: I posted the first piece I did with the pen on Twitter, and Dan reached out to me to ask if I was interested in helping them create a piece for the MoMA design store window display. I kind of lost my mind with excitement over the opportunity.

DeRosa: I had called customer service about the pen and, lo and behold, I was speaking to Max Bogue. That in, in and of itself, was awesome…that he was so involved.
Shortly after that, like Rachel’s experience, I had a little doodle of my dog that I posted on social media. Dan saw it and they extended the same invite to me: to come and be a part of the demonstration at not only the MoMA store, but the Kickstarter headquarters, which was beyond exciting.

Can you speak to the very distinct and different ways you each use the pen in your creations?

Goldsmith: I find these differences really interesting. Louis thinks of everything in a 3-dimensional way. For example, he thinks of the surface area, whereas I think of the contours, so it’s fascinating to me how differently we interpret the same idea.

DeRosa: I can say from an outside perspective, that Rachel occupies a very unique space. She’s solely responsible for elevating to fine art what you can do with the 3Doodler. As much as I would like to claim that what I’m doing is fine art, it’s not immediately perceived that way because a lot of what I’m making is mimicking things that you find in the real world—like action figures or little functional things. To me, I handmade it, so that’s exciting, but to the untrained eye it looks like something they’ve seen before.

Why do you think the 3Doodler is so revolutionary?

Goldsmith: I remember thinking “I’m creating a new form of art.” It blew my mind that I was one of the only people in the world doing something like this. It’s beyond amazing to me how many people are using it now. There’s so much talent.

DeRosa: It’s amazing to see this new, creative, technical tool for the first time, and seeing people use it in ways I hadn’t thought of yet. That aspect of it has been maybe the most exciting. To sort of be on this journey with people all over the world that are trying out something new.

Do you think we are anywhere near seeing the full creative potential of the 3Doodler?

DeRosa: The pen and pencil have existed for hundreds of years, and I believe that’s a medium that is still being pushed. So, I don’t think we are going to see the boundaries of what this device can do in our lifetime. Even the current iteration, I’ve spent so many hours using it, and even when I’m not using it, I’m thinking about new ways to use it. Then still, I see somebody doing something that I hadn’t thought of yet. I believe that as more individuals experience it, more intentions will come to light for it.

To see more of Louis’ work, check out his Instagram
To see more of Rachel’s work, check out her Instagram

This is the third in a series of conversations about 3Doodler with the people who know it best.

Here you can find our first piece with co-founders Daniel Cowen and Max Bogue.
Here you can find our second piece with Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song.

3 Million Dimensions: Part 2

A Million Pairs of Hands: Q&A with 3Doodler Designers Faraz Warsi and Erin Song

When new design interns join 3Doodler, their first challenge is to teach themselves how to use the 3D printing pen. But “figuring it out” is more than a rite of passage at the startup, it’s a way of life.

Faraz Warsi, 3Doodler's Creative Director

Experimenting with different ways to use the category-defining tool – and articulating those uses to the market – has been central to 3Doodler’s evolution. And the company’s design team, including Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song, has been instrumental in leading that charge.

From testing new applications to building new products to growing the community of 3Doodlers, Warsi and Song have played integral roles in helping Wobbleworks hit its one million milestone. Here, the two designers reflect on the company’s growth and share their thoughts on its future.

Are we close to realizing the full creative potential of the 3Doodler? Or are these still the “early days?”

Warsi: I’d say we’re we’re just scratching the surface right now.
Song: 3D printers have been around since the 1980’s, but the technology has grown so much, and it’s only now that it’s become more consumer-ready.

Warsi: The way I see it, people are still creating so many beautiful pieces on a 2D surface with a regular pen or paintbrush. Add a third dimension to it, and everything changes. Education, home decoration, even small things like, fixing the battery cover on a remote control. The 3Doodler is intuitive like a pen but has uses we haven’t even thought of yet.
Just when I thought I’ve seen everything, there’s something new and incredible being done with it. I’m constantly impressed.

At a time when so much has moved to the screen, what’s the significance of creating “by hand” with the 3Doodler?

Erin Song, 3Doodler's Junior Designer

Warsi: Back in the day, people used their hands more. Nowadays, you just go buy what you need, or there’s an app for that. Even when it comes to making a list on a piece of paper, people don’t do it. They have a calendar, or a to-do list app.

Song: As a modern day graphic designer, I mostly work on screen. However, I have always preferred to use pen and paper first for coming up with new designs. The reason is because programs have too many tools and makes the creative process harder to concentrate on. Only once I’ve finished this process, I refine everything on screen, using graphic software.

Deriving from this, I think using the 3Doodler for certain projects is more significant than pen and paper since we can think in dimensions without using a complicated software. You get to see the results right away. There are no page or size limits to what you can create with the 3Doodler.

What are some of the most interesting ways you’ve seen people use the 3Doodler?

Warsi: Honestly, every week, through Twitter or social media, we hear about someone who picked up this pen and is doing something brand new that we never thought was possible.

Song: I think the biggest one was that the 3Doodler became a tool where someone was able to use it to help people those who are visually impaired (Read more about it here)

Where would you like to see the 3Doodler go next? What does its future look like to you?

Warsi: I want to get it in more people’s hands. Right now, it’s obvious, the users are home decorators, architects, artists …

The other thing is, right now, you can doodle in plastic, you can doodle in bronze copper, polycarbonate, nylon … but I would love to be able to doodle in anything. Why not doodle in beef jerky? Why not doodle in cheese? Why not doodle in sugar? I’d like to doodle in every single material.

What does it mean to you that there are 1 million 3Doodlers out in the world?

Song: I remember reading about how we sold our 100,000th 3D printing pen back in 2014! And now we’re on our 1,000,000th pen, we must be doing something right. There must be people that are definitely interested, and I think a lot of users are drawn to our EDU, our 3Doodler education system.

Warsi: The number’s obviously huge, but it’s not like 1,000,000 in only America. They’re all over the world – Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Germany … and they’re part of all these different cultures. Art and music are universal languages … and now people are creating things with our tool, and connecting.

I think, for me, a million conveys a sense of community. At the end of the day, it’s a tool – but it’s one that affects people and changes lives. That blows my mind.

This is the second in a series of conversations about the 3Doodler with the people who know it best.
Here you can find our first piece with co-founders Daniel Cowen and Max Bogue.
Here you can find our third piece with artists & early adopters Rachel Goldsmith and Louis DeRosa.

3 Million Dimensions: Part One

Sometimes, inspiration comes in the form of a misprinted dinosaur.

Troody, a robotic dino toy

In 2011, WobbleWorks was developing Troody, a robotic dino toy. At the time, the company’s business model was to develop toy ideas to sell to other companies. Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth, founded the company together in 2010. They were using 3D printing to rapidly develop prototype toys. Unfortunately, the technology had some serious limitations.

A minor error caused the printer to leave part of Troody’s leg “blank.” Filling in gaps left by the printer should have been a minor problem, but at the time there was no easy solution. It was up to Bogue and Dilworth to come up with one.

“’Hey, it’s too bad you can’t just take the nozzle off [the printer] and use it to fill in the missing gap,’” Bogue remembered Dilworth saying. “And then we realized that you could totally do that.”

" ’Hey, it’s too bad you can’t just take the nozzle off [the printer] and use it to fill in the missing gap "

The pair quickly confirmed they were the first to have this idea, and then in only a few days put together a “quick and dirty” prototype of what would ultimately become the 3Doodler. Those prototypes grew more refined and in a short time, WobbleWorks transformed itself from a small toy company into the force behind the world’s first 3D printing pen.

Bogue and Dilworth knew they had a winner, but needed help launching the product via Kickstarter to enter fullscale production. As luck would have it, a willing partner materialized at the perfect time: Daniel Cowen, a lawyer turned entrepreneur Bogue had met years earlier in Hong Kong. Cowen happened to be in town, crashing on Bogue’s air mattress.

"‘Yeah. This is the next Crayola,’” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to help launch that? "

Cowen and Bogue had met in Hong Kong while Bogue was working for an established toy company and Cowen was a young lawyer completing his legal training at an international firm. Both had varied careers in the intervening years, but Cowen had caught the entrepreneurial bug, which took him to North America to launch a software company. Frequently in and out of New York, Cowen had become a frequent houseguest of Bogue’s.

For Cowen, switching gears to help launch the 3Doodler via Kickstarter was a no brainer. “I was like, ‘Yeah. This is the next Crayola,’” he said. “Who wouldn’t want to help launch that?”

A million 3D printing pens later,spoke with Cowen and Bogue about creating the 3Doodler, and the secret to their success. The most important ingredient to creating a new artistic medium? Building a community.

Where do you think the company will be when the billionth pen is sold?

Bogue: It’ll be as ubiquitous as the glue gun, envisioning a time when upcycling and self-repair is the norm. Actually, even more common, because you’re able to do more with it than what you’re able to do with a glue gun.

Cowen: What do we want people to think when they pick up the 3Doodler? “Nothing” is the ultimate answer. Ubiquity and invisibility go hand in hand. What do you think about when you pick up a pencil or a crayon? You don’t think much at all; you just reach for the perfect tool to do what you need.

What was it like in the earliest days of the company? Tell us an anecdote.

Bogue: I did all of the repairs of all the pens out of my New York office, which was also my apartment. For example, Rachel Goldsmith [one of the most prominent early 3Doodler artists], the first time we met, she said she lived in Brooklyn and I said, “Oh, well I’m over in the East Village. If you want to meet me in a coffee shop, I’ll come and fix your pen.”

I’ve done that with a lot of people who happened to be in the city. I was like, “If you want an instant fix, you can meet me at The Bean on 1st Avenue between 10th Street and I’ll come and I’ll fix your pen right there.”

You were really in the trenches and built a powerful community and committed team. How have you adapted and grown over time?

Bogue: Being in the trenches wasn’t exactly optional. But I don’t think any of us begrudged or minded doing it at any point. That has more to do with our personalities in general, that we like to be involved and understand what’s going on. Then it makes us better at helping everybody else in the company figure out what needs to get done and how it happens and how to help make it happen.

Cowen: A quarter of the company is now in some way devoted to either customer service or community building. We touch base once a week with everyone involved. It makes us a better team and a better company. If we’re not producing a product that’s great for our users, then something’s going a bit wrong. We’ve seen people come into the market trying to copy us and one of their biggest failings is a lack of quality and their attention to that.

Today, many startups you see tend to be software focused, and you both have some background in that field. But the 3Doodler is a physical product. Is that significant?

Cowen: I was never doing the coding of the software. I don’t have that skill set. I knew what the product was meant to look like, how it was meant to feel and work, but I wasn’t the one getting it there, which was often frustrating. Law is similar in some ways, you’re just the one doing the paperwork in the middle, not making things happen, which was one of the reasons I left.

Moving into physical product in many ways was a huge relief because we knew what it was meant to do. Max had a prototype and we knew how we wanted to improve it, and you can understand the physical a lot more quickly and easily. I had the benefit of coming from a family that did a lot of manufacturing. Both my parents and my stepdad had come from manufacturing backgrounds, so even though I hadn’t actually been in physical product creation before, in many ways it felt more familiar and it felt a lot more tangible and satisfying.

That said, you lose a lot of the huge benefits you have with software. You can’t just push an update and fix a problem that goes wrong. Once you’ve shipped tens of thousands of products, you’re stuck with the results of that no matter what, because recalls are expensive, and which thankfully we’ve never had to do.

How important is building a community of creators to the success of the 3Doodler?

Bogue: We work very closely with a lot of artists and support them as much as we can, because they’re the ones that are making truly amazing things with our product. We want to see how much further they can push this stuff using our tool. This is… a new industry, it’s a new concept. 3D pens didn’t exist until we brought them into the world in 2013.

Cowen: That last comment from Max really hit it on the head. Always front of mind from the very first days of Kickstarter all the way through to now was that this is a product and a market in its infancy, and if we don’t get it right, we would not only be ruining it for our own company but we’d be ruining for the whole medium.

Our best advocates are going to be our own users having a good experience with this the 3Doodler pen. So, we pay very carefully attention. That helps the product get better and helps the community grow, and in turn justifies the efforts.

Looking for more?

You can listen to Max & Daniel’s full interview here:

This article is the first in a series of conversations on the 3Doodler, its history, and its future between the people who know it best. Visitagain for more.

Here you can find our second piece with Creative Director Faraz Warsi and Junior Designer Erin Song.

Here you can find our third piece with artists & early adopters Rachel Goldsmith and Louis DeRosa.