Taiwan-based SKY-TECH offers a number of 3D products, but now they’re offering a very low-cost, advanced technology 3D printing pen.
The SKYPEN’s operates in a manner similar to the several other 3D printing pens: a filament is drawn in from one end of the pen, and extruded out the other. By carefully moving the pen in 3D (or 2D) paths, you’ll be able to quickly create rough but unique shapes in plastic. It’s essentially a handheld 3D printer hot end.
There’s a couple of differences with this 3D pen, however.
The major feature is the ability to use two filaments simultaneously. There are two ports and two extrusion paths within the pen, as you can see here. Two control buttons are presented, which enable forwards/backwards movement and the ability to switch filaments on the fly.
This means you can actually switch colors during a print. Their campaign video shows the extruded plastic switch from white to red in seconds.
The color changing ability makes it much easier to draw up colorful objects such as this lampshade in black and white.
The SKYPEN also offers interchangeable tips. Here we see a chisel attachment deftly slicing off support material from a complex 3D print.
There’s another very useful feature on this pen: a heat shield applied to the hot end. Most other 3D pens are a bit dangerous as the hot end is directly exposed, allowing careless fingers and arms to get cooked if touched. The SKYPEN’s “protection head” reduces the possibility of this happening to you.
And yes, there’s another feature we must mention: the price. The SKYPEN, at least for early bird backers on their Kickstarter campaign, is available for only USD$19. Nineteen dollars! Of course, there are a limited quantity at that price, and when they run out you’ll have to pay a bit more, ranging from USD$20 to USD$39. It’s not clear what the retail price of the SKYPEN will be, but it is surely less than most other 3D printing pens.