After the monstrous success of 3Doodler, others hope to duplicate their success, including the 3D Printed Pen that replicated much of 3Doodler's design. Now we see another: swissPen, made by Groupe JL Monnin, based in, of course, Switzerland.
The swissPen, which sells for CHF 95.00 (USD$103), is a handheld extruder that accepts PLA and ABS plastic "strands". The operation is entirely manual: you "draw in the air" to gradually create an object. Flat, 2D objects are the easiest to create, while larger, 3D objects require much time and a steady hand.
One interesting handheld technique we hadn't realized is the ability to "glue" 2D parts together with the pen to create 3D structures, as you can see in this video:
We can't tell you much more about this simple device; it's not clear what filament diameter is required, nor any estimate of battery life, which we suspect is pretty low for these devices as quite a bit of heat must be generated to melt the filament.
While handheld pen extruders such as the swissPen are interesting and even useful in certain situations, they are not 3D printers because there are no digital controls. Nevertheless, we suspect 3D printer owners should have one in their toolkit for demonstrations and model repairs.
Via Swiss 3D Print