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The Lix pen in action

Draw objects out of thin air with this Lix

A London-based startup has unveiled the world's smallest 3D printing pen

Are you sick and tired of writing on boring old paper with a biro? Of course you are. You’ve been doing it for as long as you’ve been able to write your name and the novelty has started to wear thin. Enter Lix, a UK-based start-up that is aims to rejuvenate your note life. Now, you’re not only able to write a reminder on the fridge to “buy milk” – you can even draw a 3D model of the bottle to jog your memory just that bit more.

This isn’t the only use behind the new project, which received over £100,000 backing on Kickstarter a day after it launched. The pen is aimed more at those in the professional and creative industries – designers, architects, jewelers – who could use it to make their designs come to life in front of them before their eyes. Imagine 3D printing fanatic and fashion designer Iris Van Herpen being able to sketch an intricate petticoat for her SS15 collection, or artist Lawrence Lek improvising a sculpture out of thin air. The possibilities, as they put it, are endless. 

3D pens aren’t a new thing. Like their 3D printer big brothers, they’ve been around for a few years now but have been reserved for use by industry professionals or people with very deep pockets. With consumer 3D printers launched last year with price tags that wasn’t the equivalent to Guinea-Bissau’s GDP, this trend has started to change, and the Lix appears to be following suit. Small and compact in design, it is cleverly powered using a USB cable that connects to a power source, and it would easily fit into your top pocket.

At £85, it’s a bit more expensive than your everyday biro, but then again, you can’t make a scale 3D replica of the Eiffel tower using a pen you’ve stolen from IKEA.