University of Tokyo students develop 3D-printing pen

The pen, which melts and strings together plastic filaments, can be used to make large-scale temporary structures.

February 23, 2016 |
University of Tokyo students develop 3D-printing pen

Photo: Jun Shimadaa and Jan Vranovský, via Dezeen.

A group of University of Tokyo students have created a 3D printing pen that allows architects to draw large-scale free-standing designs.

Dezeen reports that it works by melting a thermoplastic filament, allowing users to create strings that attach with acrylic rods. The device even has a digital tracking system for guidance. 

A 3D pen can be a better option than standard 3D printers when it comes to design. The pens allow for more creative, freehand conceptions, and they can make larger and more complicated structures. The largest one the students have made is a small pavilion, which is on display at the Ozone Gallery in Shinjuku, northwest Tokyo. It won’t last forever, though, as the structures made by the pen are designed to last nine months.

The students are part of the University of Tokyo's Obuchi Laboratory. Architect Kengo Kuma oversees the larger program. 

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