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This 3D Printing Pen Will Blow Your Mind

This 3D Printing Pen Will Blow Your Mind

Most of us have probably heard of 3D printers, which literally allow you to create an object out of thin air. Much like a regular inkjet printer, you first program it, telling it exactly what it is you want it to print (many of them will come with pre-programmed designs). After you make your selection, you just let it go to work. Nifty, eh?

Due to its usefulness and malleability, 3D printing is becoming a booming industry, and many companies are looking to take advantage of this new technology to create awesome customized products.

While you can get a 3D printer of your own for about the cost of a new computer, it might behoove you to start a little smaller. This is where the 3D pen comes in. The 3D pen first gained some recognition thanks to the emergence of the “3Doodler” and its associated Kickstarter campaign.

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As you might imagine, the folks designing the 3Doodler got a lot of monetary support from folks, and thus the 3D pen became something of a hit. While many use them to do some simple doodling (creating cubes and the like), others choose to make intricate works of art. One company, SHIGO, decided to take this kind of creativity to the next level by using a 3Doodler to create a beautiful partially 3D printed dress, which is pictured above.

In order to accomplish this rather amazing feat, they first created a cloth outline of the dress. Then, artists used a 3Doodler to trace this outline, effectively bringing a 2D template to life.

For those who don’t know how a 3D pen works, it’s basically like a safer version of a hot glue gun, in the sense that it’s filled with a plastic based cartridge that melts and allows you to redistribute the material in any manner that you desire. As you might imagine, it takes a steady hand to ensure that all of this melted plastic doesn’t get all over the place, which is why SHIGO enlisted the help of actual artists and designers to get the 3D dress printed correctly.

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Indeed, as one article notes, all it takes is for you to release just a little bit too much plastic to ruin what would be an otherwise amazing creation.

What is the significance of the 3D pen? Well, in my estimation, it is indicative of a trend toward people being able to customize things exactly how they want them. In the future, perhaps we will all have 3D pens and printers of our own. Like SHIGO, we might decide one morning to design a shirt for ourselves. Or perhaps even a pair of shoes. Or maybe a case for our phones. The possibilities really are endless.

Indeed, SHIGO’s efforts reveal how one day fashion might revolve around day-to-day user-creativity rather than today’s fleeting fads. I mean, if you happen to be artistically inclined, why wouldn’t you choose to personally draw out some of the things you wear? Perhaps they won’t be perfect, but they would be unique, which has its own charm.

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If we are thinking big picture, it wouldn’t be totally out there to say that 3D pens and 3D printing in general are setting the stage for something even bigger. Why stop at dresses and small products? Perhaps one day we will be printing cars, planes, TVs – you name it.

That is what I think is the main takeaway here. 3D printing will become even more impactful than it is now once we figure out a way to use it on a much larger scale. The benefits to say, a 3D printer that prints cars, would be enormous. Not only would it cut down on production times, but it would reduce manufacturing mishaps since there would be far fewer moving parts involved.

Anyways, perhaps I am getting ahead of myself. For now, let’s appreciate the work of the folks over at SHIGO, and thank them for taking some of the first steps into what will assuredly be an intriguing future for 3D printing.

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Featured photo credit: 3D dress/ Fabbaloo via fabbaloo.com

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Last Updated on September 25, 2019

7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

Project management doesn’t need to be a complicated thing, not if you have apps that make things a whole lot simpler. When you have project management apps, you can take care of your team, tasks and deadlines, without even being in the office. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get most of the apps you might need.

Here are the 7 best project management apps to super boost your team’s productivity:

1. Basecamp

    It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more.

    It is user-friendly, and has a free 30-day trial period. After that, the plan is $99 per month.

    Find out more about Basecamp here.

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    2. Asana

      If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well.

      In a nutshell, Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $10.99 per month.

      Find out more about Asana here.

      3. Casual

        This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual, you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks.

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        This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

        Find out more about Casual here.

        4. Trello

          This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes.

          Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

          Find out more about Trello here.

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          5. OmniPlan

            This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of.

            You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion.

            A standard plan for iOS costs just $99.99, and the pro plan is only $199.99.

            Find out more about OmniPlan here.

            6. Podio

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              This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet.

              There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

              Find out more about Podio here.

              7. Microsoft Project

                This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete.

                The basic plan starts with $7 per month, which allows you project team members to collaborate in the cloud, via web browser or mobile.

                Find out more about Microsoft Project here.

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                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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