Play off: 3D printers vs 3D Doodlers

Using new technology is never a simple "or" choice.

While hacking a 3D plastic printer to enable it to print clay, I was alerted to the WobbleWorks 3d Doodler project on Kickstart by Romano Formentin.

It seemed relevant, so I and 26,455 others promised over $2m to try to get the project off the ground.

On 25 March 2013 the project went live.

It finally arrived the day I flew out to exhibit in the Florence Biennale.

My daughter and I had a quick 10 minus play before it was back in the box, until I returned from Italy yesterday.

 As a fun way to explore the machine, I introduced it to the Wednesday afternoon and evening class pottery and sculpture class students, during the coffee and champagne break (it was our last 2013 class:)).

The following 1 minute  video shows one of them using it,  their  and my own first rough creation (seriously handicapped by jet lag and lack of sleep).

The experience was very similar to drawing on paper, but in space.

Some differences include:

- slowing the speed in which lines are draw on surfaces, in order to thicken and strengthen lines.

- pausing at the top, after drawing a vertical line, to allow the plastic to cool, firm up, and so not collapse.

- ability to "scratch" quick lines to build up a thin web of support for a point in space, from which to branch out from.

At this early stage I would suggest the makers change the two speed buttons, to a pressure pad, so that the speed of extruding can be more precisely controlled in a more natural manner.

One of my evening class students suggested drawing lines over a 3d form, and then pulling it off before joining or "welding" it with additional lines.

The comment was also made that it fosters a different way of seeing and thinking about creating objects, compared to modelling in clay.

Some had played with Google's SketchUp, a 3D modeling software,  and commented how it too affected how they saw and "rested" form in space.

It's early days with the Doodler, and it will be interesting to see and hear comments from the other classes this week, and their responses.

Already I am becoming excited when thinking about making one of my life-size heads in the material.

It reminds me of a recent  head sculpture I made with dry and wet paper clay wool rods.

Plus, it's seriously a HUGE lot more fun than the 3D printer, and just so simple to use.  No assembly, no software, no computer, just plug and play.


3D printer:  0
3D doodler: 1

My second doodle:


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