Ask Hackaday: Can The Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work?

Introducing Lix, the world’s smallest 3D printing pen that allows you to draw plastic structures in 3D. It’s only been on Kickstarter for a few days now, and already it has garnered close to a million dollars in pledges. An astonishing achievement, especially considering we can prove – with math and physics – that it doesn’t work as advertised. However, we’re wondering if it could work at all, so we’re asking the Hackaday community.

The device is powered through a USB 3 port. In the video, the Lix team is using a MacBook Pro. This has a USB port capable of delivering 900 mA at 5 Volts, or 4.5 Watts. Another 3D printing pen, the 3Doodler, uses a 2A, 12V power adapter, equal to 24 Watts. Considering the 3Doodler works, and they both do the same basic thing, there’s something extremely odd going on here.

Just as a comparison, here’s a wirewound resistor commonly found in the heating element or ‘hot end’ of a 3D printer. It’s a 6.8  Ohm resistor powered at 12 Volts. That’s 21 Watts. Here’s a heater cartridge, also found in quite a few hot ends. It sucks down 40 Watts. Once again, the Lix Kickstarter clearly shows the pen extruding filament using only 4.5 Watts of power. Something is really, really fishy here.

Intuition doesn’t hold a candle to math, so let’s figure out exactly why it won’t work.

The computer used in the Lix promo video. If that isn't an Apple device, I will buy a hat and film myself eating it.
The computer and USB port used in the Lix promo video. If that isn’t an Apple device that can only supply 900mA at 5 V,  I will buy a hat and film myself eating it.

We’re thinking the easiest way to figure out if 4.5 Watts is enough for a 3D printing pen is from a purely thermodynamic analysis: a specific amount of filament goes in, is heated up to its melting point, and is squeezed out of the nozzle. The equation to calculate how much energy is required for a specific temperature change in a system is Q = cmΔT, where Q is the amount of energy in Joules, c is the specific heat of ABS (1.3 J/g°K, source), m is the mass in grams, and ΔT is the change in temperature. All we need to do now is figure out how fast this pen is extruding, and the mass of that extruded filament.

In this video, starting at 10 seconds in, you see the Lix extruding about 13 centimeters of filament through the 0.6mm nozzle included with the Lix in five seconds. A little bit of math happens (volume of a cylinder with a height of 13cm and a diameter of 0.06 cm), and we can figure out the Lix is extruding 0.038 grams of filament per second (ABS density of 1.04 g/cc, source). This calculation was done by counting pixels and frames, which can be inaccurate, but not by much.

An estimated 0.038 grams of filament extruded per second, a change in temperature of 210°C (20°C room temperature, 230°C extrusion temperature), and a specific heat of ABS of 1.3 J/g°C (source) means 10 Joules are required to extrude one second’s worth of filament from the Lix pen. Since 1 Watt = 1 Joule  for 1 second, about 10 Watts are sucked down whenever the Lix is extruding filament. Once again, the Lix can only draw 4.5 Watts from a USB 3 port. The math simply doesn’t work, and no USB 3 powered device can extrude ABS filament that fast. The math is also generous, as it doesn’t consider the phase change of the filament which would require even more energy. I didn’t include this because I can’t find a reference for the heat of fusion for ABS. The math also doesn’t consider losses to the heater block, the air, and a host of other inefficiencies in any real-world device.

But ABS requires a fairly high temperature to extrude. Even though the Lix team claims the pen works with ABS, let’s say they’re using PLA plastic, extruded at 180°C. Doing the math for a ΔT of 160°C means 7.9 Watts are sucked down from a USB 3 port that can only provide 4.5 Watts. Something is terribly wrong here. That’s why we’re turning to you and asking the rest of the Hackaday community.

The only way we can figure the Lix actually works is if the extrusion rate is really, really slow. Halving the extrusion rate of PLA to 1.3mm/s gets us into the ballpark of what the Lix power supply can do; that only requires about 4 Watts, leaving enough left over to run the motor and electronics inside the pen. This is exceptionally slow for any plastic extruder – RepRaps can extrude plastic about 50 to 100 times faster. There’s a good bit of evidence the video of the Lix has been sped up dramatically, given the disclaimer, “some of video scenes have accelerated speed” appeared on the Kickstarter sometime between the first and second day of the campaign.

While we know the video is an outright misrepresentation of what any USB 3 powered device can do, We can’t figure out if the Lix is a viable product. We’re turning to you. Can you figure out if the Lix pen actually works? All we know is the Lix pen has a 4.5 Watt power supply from a USB 3 port. It’s possible for a USB 3 powered 3D printing pen to work, albeit slowly, but the engineering is difficult and we don’t know if the Lix team has the chops.

* For the hardware heads out there, yes, I know there is a USB 3 spec  – the USB Power Delivery Specification – out there that will supply up to 100 Watts through a USB port. Apple does not support this spec in any of their products, and the Lix Kickstarter video uses a MacBook Pro for power. The maximum amount of current the Lix can draw from a MacBook is 900mA, and the Lix has a power budget of 4.5 Watts. There really is no arguing that fact.
As an aside, this post has inspired us to consider a column on Kickstarters that seem to defy the laws of physics. We’re thinking about calling it Kickherder, as the vast majority of Kickstarter backers for these types of projects are mindless sheep. If you have a better name, leave it in the comments.

281 thoughts on “Ask Hackaday: Can The Lix 3D Printing Pen Actually Work?

  1. Well, while I can see the discussion of if it can even work or not interesting and useful, I just don’t buy into the whole market for it. Sure, a 3D printing pen would be fun to mess around with, but what does this one bring to the market that the others out there don’t? Over priced filament aside. the fact that it runs on USB would be about it. Heck, whats wrong with plugging it in to a wall outlet? I certainly never considered my $2,0000 laptop a power supply. I’d much rather use a transformer and power it correctly and save my computer for what it was bought for. Powering computer devices from a USB is fine. But this has nothing to do with a computer other than as a power source. What a waste.

  2. I think it works the same way like cheap small glue guns do.
    They need several minutes to heat up. You can then squeeze out some amount of glue.
    After that, you have to wait again for some time till it’s heated up again.
    They are just using a heat reservoir, and have edited the waiting time between extrusions away in the video.

  3. A good portion of the video is sped up. From the look of the filament physics, (I do a lot of work with ABS extrusion) I think the slowest extrusions in the video are at 1:1 speed. I don’t see any strokes in the video that are very long. I suspect it may heat a section of thin filament for a while and hold it near melting temperature kind of like a thermal battery, once you use the available hot filament you probably have to wait a minute for it to heat the next section. It probably extrudes at the rate you noticed for 10 seconds or so then requires recovery. Look at the pyramids, I’m betting it can do one length before a modest recharge. They could also employ a battery/capacitor combo to speed recovery.

    This $30 USB Soldering Iron gets up to about the right temp with 800ma.

    I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the pet wasn’t based off the heating element used in this thing.

  4. It’s worth noting that recent macbook pro can vastly exceed spec on usb ports. This is my “early-2011” (MacBookPro8,2) charging an ipad2 –

    Note the line “Extra Operating Current” – it can pull a total 2100mA, (500 operating + 1600 extra) making it comparable to their wall-warts. And this is on usb2!

    Always interesting to see the math, just beware they probably chose the mbp for a reason – it more than doubles your current assumption.

  5. This is not the sort of article I read hackaday for, loose the bias please.

    I can see this working with a very small hot end well insulated from air and from the handle, if you push filament slowly enough. Their design looks a lot like that.

    I don’t like it though, it’s just raking in money from the 3Doodler, and just like every 3d printer ever on kicksterter, it got funded, nothing new here.

  6. As long as you insulate well, there is no reason this cannot work. Assume 100% insulation and you can easily setup an energy balance equation that gives you the maximum extrusion rate as a function of the wattage and the latent heat of melting. If that extrusion rate is too small to make this practical, then it is impossible. If the extrusion rate is large enough to make this practical, then you can start calculating the heat conducted through the solid filament and the heat lost through the tip, and add them to your energy balance equations. They shouldn’t lower your extrusion rate too much. There is no physical reason you cannot accomplish this.

    Whether these people figured how to actually do this with this particular design is another question.

  7. WOW that’s a lotta posts FAST!

    4.5W can be enough depending on how much mass it is extruding, which depends on the volume of the heating chamber plus feed size and rate and the external heat loss of the heating chamber. Remember there could be some vapor phase or other heat reclamation in use.

    Back in the day when a germanium diode and transistor were carried into the shop in a tiny box with spring clips shorting all the leads together, we all exclaimed it can’t work, they’re too delicate, and even if they do it will remain just a useless curiosity. When the first magnetic core memory assy was shown around we all declared it a pipe-dream product that would fail, tubes were the only way. The first op-amps caused quite a stir and opinions were they’ll be useless because we can’t fix ’em. A microscope was drug into the shop and we tried till we proved ourselves right! Next year the 7400 series hit the market. Still many said tubes will be around forever, they can’t get semiconductors to handle kw levels needed for transmitters, but then a while later someone was passing around a water jacketed final transistor the size of a milk jug.

    Wish I could say I sat back and stayed silent all those times… sure wish I could… Geez was I dumb. We were wrong. It’s part of the human condition I hope you overcome… rofl… but I know better now!

  8. “LIX is made from aluminum, and comprises of trendy colors, i.e. Black Matte and Grey Matte. This variation of colours helps you select the one that suits your style.”]

    Amazing sales copy there.

  9. What follows are some quick “back of napkin” calculations and rationalizations, but I do think that it’s more plausible than your initial estimates suggests.

    I’m going to be ball-parking a lot here — but I think the following numbers are reasonable.

    Your video analysis estimates a 0.6mm diameter extrusion perfectly at 13 cm/sec to get 0.038 gram/sec. The calculation assumed that the extrudate is actually coming out at 0.6mm diameter at 13 cm/sec at the nozzle.

    However, my own experience with 3Doodler suggests that in most cases, you can’t move your hand smoothly enough to do that and have a clean output. Instead, it seem more likely that your hand moves faster than the actual extrusion rate at the nozzle — and you end up “drawing” (pulling/stretching) the plastic as you go.

    So the actual extrusion rate might be (I’m guessing here) about half the initial estimate — putting it at, say 0.020 g/sec, and the estimate power draw is closer to 5W.

    So, now, the number looks favorably close to the 4.5 W limit for USB 3.0.

    The 3Doodler requires preheating the hot end for ~20 seconds before it is ready — the thermal block stores heat which is consumed during extrusion. If you run the 3Doodler continuously for more than about 10 seconds (I’m going by memory so I can’t recall exactly), it will actually get too cold and will stop extruding, forcing you to wait before it heats up again enough to resume operation. The Lix could operate in a similar manner.

    With a moderate duty cycle, and a sufficiently large thermal block that is preheated, they could operate for several minutes while keeping under the power limit of the USB 3 port. Of course, I haven’t estimated the power requirement for the filament drive or the extrusion cooling fan — but if we take their word at face value that they’ve precisely engineered all the elements in the design, they might have a very efficient system that does not consume much power beyond the power needed to melt the plastic.

    BTW, a typical extrusion speed for a 0.4 mm hotend on a printer is somewhere around 5 to 15 mm^3/sec. So, roughly in the 0.005 to 0.015 gram/sec of extrusion rate by my rough calculation. While their heater cartridges are 40W, they are rarely driven at full power once the initial heating is done — I don’t have real measurements (I should go and look with a scope!), but it wouldn’t surprise me if the duty cycle on an operating hot-end heater is around 10% — again, putting it within the realm of plausibility.

  10. seeing it makes me wonder if it would be hard to adapt a cheap 110 / 220 volt hotgluegun to do the same thing should be possible to put fiollament plastic in it instead of gleusticks and mound sumtin on a non stick surface , you would prolly adapt it to take and feed the thinner fillament

  11. I disagree with your measurements and/or math: for the three-second interval between 1:31 and 1:34, I measure an extrusion of 58 pixels, and a filament diameter of 3 pixels. Based on the barrel of the pen, which is given as 1.2 cm, which I measure as 42 pixels, that gives me a scaling factor of 0.0285 cm/pixel, so that’s a filament diameter of .0855 cm and an extrusion of 1.653 cm over that 3-second period. That gives me (using h * pi * (d/2)^2) a volume of .00949 cm^3. ABS has a density of about 1.04 g/cc, so that’s .00987 g per 3 seconds, or .00329 g/sec. That’s about an order of magnitude less than the figure you give.

    Regarding heat requirement, your figure looks about right for specific heat, so 1.3 J/(g*K) for a 210 K rise comes to 0.69 J/sec. I also couldn’t find a good figure for the latent heat of fusion for ABS; in fact the closest material I could find with a comparable glass transition state is paraffin, at 220 J/g, so I’ll be generous and say we need 300 J/g, so that adds 0.99 J/sec, for a total of 1.67 J/sec. And since a watt is defined as 1 J/sec, that’s less than TWO WATTS required.

    It always helps to apply real-world values, so let’s look at what the filament printers are using: you say that a common hot-end uses 21 watts. I don’t have any measurements here, but I would guess that even the slowest filament printer is extruding at LEAST ten times as fast as what we see in the Lix video.

    I’ll grant you that the video may be exaggerating – looking at the samples of work done with it, it would take an insane amount of patience to build some of the examples shown, at half a cm/second, but please check your math before declaring somebody to be a liar.

  12. This is kind of a weird device to present itself at a time when we are still trying to figure out if 3d printing indoors without a hood is even safe. Currently people are printing in out buildings and garages. Now we are going to start melting abs and pla in our hands right in front of our faces? Myuh…

  13. The filment they show being fed inti the pen is not 1.75, it looks closer to .6mm. If that is the case, it only needs to heat up enough to bond and bend, not liquify. Much lower power requirements.

  14. How much power does an extruder motor need, certainly manually pushing filament into my head makes me think that most of that USB power would be needed for that.

    Perhaps the largest part of the pen is reserved for an MEK tank and the extruding is done cold.

  15. If it was the same ABS as used in 3D printers it would probably be too inflexible to manipulate. If it’s real it’s probably using a special more malleable form of ABS that melts at a much lower temperature.

  16. It could be an issue of duty cycle.

    As a specific example, I’m thinking of my arc welder. My welder has a maximum welding current of 175 amps (at around 24v DC). This represents 4200W of power, far more than the 10A 240v lead can supply it (2400W).

    The caveat of the welder is that it has a 25% duty cycle. It requires a couple of minutes before it is ready for use, and can then be used for about two minutes of (continuous) welding, before requiring a six minute break to recharge and cool.

    With the rate at which the welding sticks are consumed, and the rate at which I can weld, this results in about 25 minutes of actual use before the welder cuts off. The welder does charge itself in the intervals between when it is actually delivering power to weld.

    If properly applied to this product, it could be a workable solution, although I suspect that the issues surrounding poor flow rate are still very much valid.

  17. If I received that kickstarter promotion by email – it would have gone straight to the bin.
    There are a number of other technical weaknesses / unexplained capabilities beyond the filament heating.
    All credit to the developers, but I expect the product will suffer from very high return rates.

  18. What you are not considering is that the extruded filament does not stay at a constant diameter. It’s diameter changes with the speed at which you draw. So while the filament comes out of the pen at a constant rate, when you draw faster, the filament simply stretches in length and shrinks in diameter to compensate. This means that a very small extrusion rate can result in very fast drawing as long as you don’t go so fast as the filament thins too much and breaks.

  19. Has anyone looked at the team? It looks as Yury Kichigin is the only one with a university background in the something like electronics. This is his Xing profile:

    He is currently doing his M. Sc. in Engineering at TU Braunschweig. He is handing in his Master Thesis in June, so I guess he is rather busy working on his thesis. Maybe he is a prodigy, but I couldn’t imagine to create a kickstarter product while writing my thesis. Just before his thesis, he worked as a leading designing engineer for a bulgarian safe manufacteur (while doing is M. Sc. in Germany).

    So of course, a university degree is no necessary condition to create such a pen, but it is strange that the only(!) engineer in a team of six(!) co-founders is currently writing his master thesis and before that worked in parallel to studying for a german M.Sc. degree.

    So: Who is really developing the product?

  20. I smell something fishy here, instead of getting stuck with the technical aspects of the pen you should do some research about the people behind it, I did and it doesn’t look good.

    Take the Mr Anton Suvorov for instance i found 3 accounts under the name with the guys picture, Google+ 18followers couple of links and some LIX pen promo, Youtube 2 videos one is the LIX pen video from kickstarted and the other is a part of the same video. Facebook 19 friends and every single post is related to LIX not to mention he’s Facebook life started only last year when the LIX project was said to have started on their kickstarted page. same thing with this Delphine Eloïse Wood nothing before 2013 and after everything is LIX LIX LIX… Coraline Delvaux joined Facebook last month and has 3 posts that 2 are about LIX they feature the skull t-shirt but the images are clearly photoshopped. Ismail Baran toon many ppl by the same name on Facebook the claimed co-founder and art director of AKKRO MEDIA, yeah they have a web page that well reveals no ppl behind it and a Facebook page started at well you guessed it 2013.
    And to top it all the great speeches made by the founders in the promo video have a glued in background photo all of their faces glow like hell but the light doest not affect the walls behind them wheel it pretty obvious just by looking at the background why trouble to
    act your in some sort of office? Everything smells from the tech in the pen trough the people behind it.. My guess is that your never gonna see your LIX pens.. :/

  21. Check your math.

    I get the following :-
    Volume extruded = πr^2h = 3.14159265 * 0.03^2 * 13 / 5 = 0.0073513cc/sec
    Converting to mass for ABS = 0.0076454g/sec
    Energy needed = 0.0076454 * 1.3 * 210 = 2.09W

    3D printers extrude typically at 40-50mm/sec (about 20 times faster than this pen), and they rarely run at full power, using PWM to hold a fixed temperature.

  22. From the Lix KS FAQ – recently updated:

    “We will include ~1m USB power cable, and the power supply adapter.

    (We are also working on an USB 2.0 power supply solution)”

  23. Other thing notable to mention is if you look at the doodling starting at 1.27 notice that the filament coming out if fairly pixelated compared to the rest of the video. Same thing with the 1.55 doodling pixelated filament and the shadow from the hand looks bit weird don’t you think does not match the hand and neatly fades also the pen head leaves no shadow but if the hand does there should be a shadow of the pen head and the doodle too.

    1. It says “Lix has a hot-end nozzle that is power supplied from USB 3.0 port” so wheres the power supply in the video? Video says it can be powered with any usb 3 port nothing about needing a separate power supply just connect the usb cable to the pen.

    2. The Kickstarter page is being updated to respond to some of these questions. Guess maybe they’re listening in on here. It still states in one place ‘The power of LIX is supplied via USB, which indicates that this 3D printing pen will be with you anywhere you go.’ They changed it at the bottom today to mention the power supply adapter, but still stress at the top that it runs on USB power. Not looking to good to me….

      1. I agree if the plans can change as fast as one makes an argument against it, it definitely feels like theres nothing really behind this project at least nothing that works, the power for example first its only usb 3 power, and when it clearly is not doable, they pull up this mysterious power supply out that before the claim “it will not work on usb3 power” was no where to be seen or mentioned in the LIX page. That just seem they update the page trying to patch their all ready sketchy story..

  24. Some thoughts about the video:

    – Who are those people? They seem like actors. Actors who barely speak English.
    – The footage showing extrusion looks sped up.
    – The video never shows the “welding” of two free-standing bits of extruded material. Why?
    – No word on how far along they are, why they need the funding, who actually works for the company. This looks like an infomercial.

    My guess is, extrusion speed is way slower than what is shown, or you need a different power supply to get it to work as advertised. It all looks really sketchy though, I wouldn’t trust this with my money.

    1. Kickstarter videos often follow very odd conventions, but this video really pushes the bounds of oddity, even for Kickstarter. Their video has an unusual number of segments where the person is looking very off-angle to the camera, it’s like they’re talking to someone else all the time.

      Some segments are clearly sped up, some might be played in reverse, and other editing for time tricks that might give a false impression of the performance, even if the intent is simply to not bore the viewer.

      Even if it could hypothetically run from a USB port, I don’t know these people’s track record enough to trust connecting it to a computer. It seemed like they could have been so much better off if they didn’t claim to run off USB power. I’d rather connect such a device to a very expensive computer, and there’s the question of how many other computers can supply such current, because Apple specifically made some of their ports able to charge tablet computers.

      I dunno.

      I think a harder question is, assuming this works, will anyone use it enough to feel they got their money’s worth out of it?

    2. Agreed this video does look a bit suspect. Like its trying to hide flaws and kinda make it look more impressive then it is in practice. Trying to make this pen look better than it really is. Leaves alot of questions and i suspect trying to cover its weaknesses and flaws

  25. Saw the video and it looks kinda impressive for 10 minutes but then theres that weird feeling. That feeling that this is more gimmicky toy you would spend 100’s on and then put it aside as its more toy you use get bored with and look for a better tool if you wanna do 3d printing.

    I’d have to try it first real world hands on before i feel like dropping a few hundred on this without first having some time with it. Anyone else get that weird apprehensive feeling on this one? If i had hundreds to burn sure why not but then again theres lots more tempting things i could burn cash on.

  26. Not sure what the cost of the plastic refills are but if its proprietary it will cost quite a bit to make anything substantial unless you find someone you can buy refills from.

    In any case still suspect that isn’t worth it and a case of dropping cash expecting amazing things only to play with it and realize its nowhere near as good as they wanna picture it.

  27. Even if they managed to defy the laws of physics and achieve anything within walking distance of what they did in the video performance-wise, the point is that they’re deceptive in their presentation and very, VERY unlikely to achieve the outcomes they’re promising…Certainly in the timeframes they’re discussing this is absurd (!) .

    If they haven’t already begun large-scale manufacturing they’re way off the mark. Have you ever waited on tooling, fab, assembly, test, shipping? I call BS on that bit. To say a few months to deliver? Ha! Dude, I’ve done the china thing and it’s not a short list of folks in line in front of you. And to build these locally? Price is too high, timelines are too tight.

    History tells us that these guys will probably have at least one or two “resets” along the way, probably be late, and may in fact fail altogether. Look at the huge, HUGE numbers of kickstarters that either shipped significantly late or failed to deliver altogether for some technical, physical, manufacturing / supply chain, personal, emotional, etc. reason, and then compare that to what these guys are touting. The odds are *not* in their favor.

    Now in fairness to the guys running Kickstarter, they’ve said clearly ‘this is not a store’. So I get it. They’re trying to protect themselves and their contributors from the pitchfork wielding masses of dissatisfied “consumers” mistaking an investment opp for an online catalog.

    Still, I personally love the idea of holding folks to account and wish there was a space I could vet these things and come at the hard science behind some of these proposed new products. Lord knows I’ve built some epic failures in my time, but most of them were built on my dime and in my time. Once you start spending other folks money, designing your products in public (!), you better expect that people will start holding you responsible and like anything “crowd sourced” you have to accept the feedback to also come via the open internet and at internet-scale. So if anything smells off, you can bet the interested folks (or some percentage of your “investors”) will – and should – hammer you for it. It’s the *should* part that’s not well-serviced today, so I like Brian’s idea of running a series that vets these things…Along with perhaps other world-changing ideas.

    As for a name, I love the suggestion of Kickstopper but I think this limits the scope of what’s possible here. If you want to open up a series that more genreally “vets” products and concepts from across the web, then hitching your wagon to Kickstarter is a bad idea. Need something more general. Hmmm….need to meditate on this a bit.

  28. Agreed kickstarter is more like the person who stands to the side takes his cut but turns a blind eye and says i’m not responsible for what people do here. Legally i’m sure its a matter of time before that tactic bites them in the rear. It would take the threat of a lawsuit or similar for them to actually police whats on their site something they dont wanna be bothered with. Just because you claim your not responsible doesn’t negate them from responsibility legally. Any more than me hosting a site and claiming not responsible for content when i am aware users are posting fraudulent or illegal things doesn’t magically keep me away from lawsuit. A bank can claim they didn’t know drug smugglers were siphoning funds but that doesn’t mean they can’t be held responsible for improper oversight.

    As far as this kickstarter? Yeah it looks way too good to be true and would view this one skeptically until we get a valid partial review from someone who’s actually used it hands on by themselves Alot of q’s on how it really works and the video looks too magically polished I’d Label this stay away until we get more answers

  29. I haven’t done the thermodynamic calculations, but using a heat pump instead of converting electricity directly to heat could be a viable path to look into. granted, I can’t see them putting a condenser, compressor, nozzle, and heat exchanger into a pen-sized object and making it near 100% ideal efficiency, but if we’re talking strictly thermodynamic theory…

  30. The filament they feed into the pen looks a lot smaller than 1.75, closer to 0.7mm. They may just be using the pen to weld, curve and cut a small diameter filament.
    Either way, doesn’t make my shopping list.

  31. hmm.. in wild ass guess mode – spend longer heating the material? spend time heating the barrel well above the required temp, then extrude the material while still dumping your 4.5W into the barrel.
    As long as you didn’t extrude for long and your barrel could hold the heat well enough it might work until the material cooled the barrel too much. I thought that some of the cheaper hot melt glue guns work that way, and if you push too much glue through them they stop.

    Of course stopping the pen burning a hole in your hand would also be a problem.

    my other guess is that isn’t ABS.

  32. Not that I think this is what they are doing but..

    that pen looks kind of reminds me of a couple of butane powered soldering irons I have owned. How about a butane powered 3d doodling pen? You would probably still need electricity to run the motors but with butane providing the heat the battery could be a lot smaller. Maybe it even could run off of a USB port?

  33. Am I the only one to call for a real fake?
    When I look at that Suvorov I see a modelised character
    Plus you can read their other kickstarters (and even more the comments that are just complaining comments about the final products for some of them)
    We’ve already been cheated by the table tennis robot (and they said they would do another one). Would it be that other fake?

    1. Am I the only one asking why everyone thinks this is CGI?
      Sure the ping pong robot was fake, but there where actual CGI artifacts in that video, all people here are saying is “HURRR DA FACE LOOKS FUNNY”.
      Most people in kickstarter videos look weird, saying that the pen wasn’t actually powered by a macbook, then backing up those claims with math is one thing, saying the people are all bloody CGI, CGI that’s on par with the best at Hollywood, without any support other then “I see a modelised character” is shit

  34. Ok, to address the issue that the people speaking aren’t real, I dug around. It appears that Ismail Baran is real and does look like the video. (its been Photoshopped way to much) is his twitter. he has pictures of the video shoot and a vine video of the pen that shows buttons at the bottom for extrusion. Anton is also on twitter. He’s also an actor. thats his at Lix shot. thats a glossy of him from earlier. He’s also on VK (the russian version of facebook).
    Best part is the lady at the beginning Delphine eloise wood. She has 12 tweets to her account @delphinewood she’s a fashion shoe designer and a product designer in London. Her facebook is
    SO I think that none of them had a clue how to make a video and over compensated making them look fake.

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