The 3D printing technology is clearly taking design and concept making to new heights. Just last year the handheld 3D printer pen was made available for people to freehand print 3D designs using plastic filaments. However, this tool is not for everybody because of the needed skill to create fantastic 3D designs. Individuals who are very artistic and skilled when it comes to drawing will have an advantage when using the device for the first time. Learning the tool for the first time is quite difficult as the user must manipulate a lump of plastic in creating a 3D model. However, the manufacturers offer templates and guide booklets for first-time users. It takes much practice to perfect the concept of 3D freehand printing. The 3D printing pens are a fun tool but most of the time it can cause frustration during the early stages of learning it.
This new gadget is a great addition to help users in freehand 3D printing. Even though the whole concept of the 3D pens is to create models in freehand, the Guided Hand tool can help users in the process. The device has a haptic interface robotic arm that holds the 3D pen printer without compromising the freehand feeling when using the pen. The Guided Hand is a thesis project by Yeliz Karadayi, which can make freehand 3D printing a little easier.
The Geomagic Touch haptic tool’s sole purpose is the “guiding hand” of the user as he/she creates a model. The 3D gadget also has several unique settings that can help the user in creating. For instance, the device can provide resistance when sculpting a virtual clay and or more freedom for freehand 3D sketching.
The gadget helps the user sketching within the lines. One great setting for the tool is the containment mode. This method can provide the user an invisible frame that can prevent the 3D printer pen from moving outside the lines. Also, there is the boundary exclusion setting which prevents the pen from printing the inside of the design as the user creates the outside part. Lastly, the attraction mode which allows the user to be in a guided aid mode as he/she is tracing a design.
Moreover, the Geomagic Touch haptic tool can also help the 3D pen produce various effect and textures. It can be set to vibrate mode which allows the pen to create squiggly lines or assist the maker in creating different patterns such as beaded effect. The tool’s resistance level can be adjusted for users so that the process would not feel so restrained. This gadget is clearly a great addition to the Freehand 3D printing because of the unique features it offers.
While this project is still not in the market, the thought of it would be awesome if the prototype is shared in the community as this can allow first-time users the ease in designing a model.