Lix 3D printing pen lets you draw in thin air

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Lix 3D printing pen lets you draw in thin air

Every week, we're going to be checking out what's new on Kickstarter to find the most innovative and interesting new projects on the crowdfunding website. That's because in the last couple of years, some of the most exciting developments in technology have come, not from the established players but from small teams with big dreams, like the Pebble smartwatch and the Oculus Rift. We're watching out for what comesnext. Something like the Lix 3D printing pen,for example.

While 3D printing is a very exciting category, most of the products in this space are both expensive and hardto use. One of the interesting products that bucked this trend was the 3Doodler pen, which was also funded on Kickstarter.

(Also see: Printerest: How India is warming up to the world of 3D printing)

The new Lix is a similar concept, but it's promising a USB-powered pen that's light and portable, and also more stable, for fine control that will let you make intricate 3D sculptures if you want, or you could just write in thin air.

In essence, the Lix is the heart of a 3D printer - the extruder, minus any armature or anything else. You hold it in your hand and move it slowly, building a 3D sculpture on drop of filament at a time. These structures can be formed in any shape, and you could make long arcs of thin filament, or place it in a thick layer to build a 3D model.

The Lix works with both the more common ABS filament, and also the PLA filament, which is slightly less flexible but available in a wide range of colours. It also looks a lot more precise and easy to control than the 3Doodler, and for these reasons, it looks like a product with broader appeal.

The pen is expected to reach mass production in August or September, and start shipping by September or October this year, and crossed its funding target in less than two days, though you can pre-order the pen until May 29.

This week we also saw another new project on IndieGogo that looked pretty interesting but was edged out by the Lix. That was the XS Powercard, a credit card-sized battery charger for your phone, that doubled as portable storage, and a USB cable to access your phone data as well. There are other ultra-portable chargers around these days, but we thought that the design of the XS Powercard was pretty good, and interestingly enough, while the company is based in the US, manufacturing will be taking place in India.

For previous Kickstarter of the Week stories, click here.

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