Aimed at both kids and adults alike, companies such as 3Doodler and Future Make have been attempting to put the power of 3D printing in the hands of the individuals, developing 3D printing pens that allow users to be their own 3D printing device. These 3D pens have come in many different types of styles with different types of levels of capability, but I’ve yet to see one like the 3D printing pen that was only turn it intod by a group of students of the University of Tokyo, that was used to turn it into a large-scale and difficult architectural structure by hand.

The project, that was overseen by Japanese architect and University of Tokyo professor Kengo Kuma, used thermoplastic filament rods that were manually extracted by the students. But the students were in full control of the 3D printing pen, they were tutoriald by a digital tracking system that kept the planned create intact.


The team of students, whom are a part of the University of Tokyo’s Obuchi Laboratory, followed this digital tracking tutorial with the 3D printing pen, physically manifesting a digitally createed structure with their quite own hands. In order to create the proper structural stability and durablity for the architectural version, the strings bond with acrylic rods, that reportedly turn it intos a structure that is additional durable and tension-proof than many traditionally 3D printed objects. What appears to excite these students the many of the 3D printing pen is that it allows for for human preference and instinct, that a few individuals, such as the student create team’s Kevin Clement, feel is a crucial part of the digital fabrication system that is missing of 3D printing innovation.


Japanese architect and University of Tokyo professor Kengo Kuma

“Technology has traditionally been used to automatize
and replace human labour. The issue with this approach is that it fails to take advantage of human intuition during fabrication,”
Clement said. “We believe our approach can bridge the current dichotomy between machine and human-made production.”


This method is in addition a much additional low-priced version for large-scale making, since it does not quite have many boundaries as far a volume goes. Large-scale industrial printing is generally too expensive and bulky to be used in on-site construction of structures such as this one, that gives the pen another apparent advantage. These plastic strings are meant to temporarily last of nine months, but can be easily durablityened and structurally reinforced by just adding additional strings to the weaker areas of the version.


And perhaps many importantly, the 3D printing pen innovation can be used by almany anybody, that is precisely the way the the group of students createers of the University of Tokyo are hoping to go in. The future plan is to open up this fabrication system to the public, enabling visitors to come in and modify and extend the structure themselves.

Tyler Koslow

About The Author

Tyler Koslow is a Brooklyn-based writer for 3D Printing Industry, and has in addition created content for publications and companies such as Dell, Brooklyn Magazine, and Equity Arcade. His content is focused on a wide range of topics which include tech, gaming, and music . Tyler is in addition a habitual instrument player, a writer of fiction, and generally all around fun haver. Tyler succeded in a Bachelor’s degree studying English-Creative Writing at the University of Central Florida in 2008.