One of the first products to make 3D printing approachable was the 3Doodler. Unlike conventional 3D printers that required knowledge of digital design software and the operation of what were often finicky printing systems, the 3Doodler let folks draw in 3D space freehand.
This simplicity appealed to non-technical and creative types, making the product one of the most successful 3D printing projects ever on Kickstarter.
Fast forward a decade, and Wobbleworks, the company behind the original 3Doodler, is back at it. Only this time, instead of helping you make making figurines or art with melted plastic, they want you to draw something to eat with their newest product, the ChefDoodler.
The ChefDoodler, which looks like a combination between a frosting gun and a soldering iron, lets you draw with sugar to decorate baked goods, cookies, and candy or make stand-alone three-dimensional creations.
The sugar drawing pen uses a sugar substitute called isomalt, which comes in five colors: carrot, crystal, rose, grape, and forest. ChefDoodle users will get a bag of sugar capsules with the purchase of the sugar pen, and the company says they will sell refills for $14.99 or lower at retail (with additional savings for Kickstarter backers.). The ChefDoodle, which has raised over $21 thousand as of this writing, will retail for $99 ($59 on Kickstarter). The creators expect to ship to backers starting in October of this year.
3D food printing today mainly exists in high-end culinary kitchens, usually done by chefs creating desserts that are essentially works of art. My hunch is the ChefDoodler could have a similar impact to the original 3D drawing pen, helping to open up the craft to a new audience who doesn’t have access to the necessary tools or the technical know-how required to make fancy dessert sculptures. The relatively low cost and ease of use of the pen could also make basic sugar sculpting a new craft parents keep kids busy on summer breaks or rainy weekends.
As always, we have to urge a note of caution for any Kickstarter product since it’s not out yet, and there are no guarantees backers will get something for their money. Still, given the success of the original 3Doodler and subsequent campaigns, chances are good backers will have their sugar drawing pen in their hands by the end of the year.