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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 February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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