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SwissPen 3D printing pen hits the UK high street this month

Tom Morgan
9 Oct 2013
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The handheld SwissPen 3D printing pen, which uses the same material as 3D printers to create 3D models, will be coming to the UK

John Lewis is due to become the latest high street retailer to join the 3D printing revolution, confirming that it will be launching the SwissPen 3D printing pen in stores later this year.

3D printing is only growing in popularity, especially now that you can buy printers on the high street from the likes of Maplin and Currys, but the high price will certainly put off all but the most dedicated of hobbyists.

SwissPen

That's where John Lewis and SwissPen see a gap in the market. The SwissPen uses the same 3D printing materials (ABS or PLA plastic) as the larger printers, but puts the control completely in the hands of the user. It can be used to draw in the air or on surfaces, tracing objects on paper and putting them together later.

As the name suggests the pen is designed and built in Switzerland, with the first units due to go on sale before the end of the year. That gives it a several month head start over the rival 3Doodler, which raised a whopping $2.3million in crowdfunding through Kickstarter earlier this year.

SwissPen

The pen itself is chunky and gets rather warm in your hand, although thankfully nowhere near as hot as the tip that spews molten plastic as you create objects. The few demonstration designs we saw were basic and nowhere near as rigid as fully 3D printed models, but the pen has potential for anyone with an interest in arts and crafts or people looking to keep their kids entertained.

John Lewis will be selling the SwissPen from the end of October onwards, with prices expected to start from £89.99 for the pen. It's not clear whether John Lewis will also be stocking the printing plastics, but those will at least be significantly cheaper than the pen itself.

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