3DSimo Mini is like a Makerspace crammed into a pen


The 3DSimo Mini is a next-gen pen that not only draws in 3D, but solders, burns and cuts as well. 


Although they may not have taken off as quickly as its desktop counterparts, 3D printing pens have certainly attracted quite the attention in recent years. Since 3Doodler first launched back in February of 2013, several other startups have emerged with hopes of pioneering the space. The gadgets, which feature a hotend that is capable of extruding filament like the heads found on any FDM machine, are used to add a third dimension to drawings in thin air.

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Among the first of those looking to take 3D pens mainstream was 3DSimo, who some of you may recall from its Indiegogo debut two years ago. Now, the Czech startup has returned with a new and improved, and much smaller, model of its handheld device that not only prints but can offer a plethora of other tools as well. The aptly named 3DSimo Mini incorporates an LED display that shines through a minimalist case, while boasting a much lighter and more compact design than its predecessor — without compromising speed or strength of the feed mechanism. With its ergonomic shape, Makers can easily handle the pen as they doodle.

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What’s nice is that, unlike some of the others available today, the Mini is not limited to materials thanks to adjustable temperature and speed. Meaning, users can draw with a variety of 1.75mm filaments ranging from the typical ABS and PLA, to FLEXI and fluorescent, to Laywood and Thermochrome.

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And proving that it’s more than merely a 3D printer, the all-in-one device can expand its capabilities through a set of convertible tips, including soldering metal, burning wood and cutting foam. For instance, Makers can easily throw on an extension piece to transform the Mini into a soldering iron by setting the temperature up to 490°C, depending on the melting point of the metal, or etch designs on wood and leather. Not to mention, it can even cut any sort of thin material whether it’s Balsa wood or rubber.

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Though it is equipped with an LED screen, the Mini also connects over Bluetooth to an accompanying mobile app that allows users to control the temperature, speed and various material profiles. Based on an ATmega32 MCU, the pen is rechargeable via microUSB and packs a clip-on 2000mAh battery that can last for roughly an hour.

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Interested? Head over to 3DSimo’s Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $35,000. The Maker-friendly instrument, which will come with all four of its interchangeable extensions, is expected to begin shipping in March 2016.

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