We regularly review Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and more to find the best and worst crowdfunding projects, so you know which ones to consider backing and which ones to avoid.
Our last pick is a limited edition Star Trek version of the popular 3Doodler 3D printing pen.
And ours to avoid? A smartphone case that doubles as a perfume dispenser. Yes, you read it right.
What is 3Doodler?
Released in 2013, it is the first 3D pen that allows you to write, doodle and draw in the air. As you move the pen, it extrudes heated plastic that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure — kind of like a 3D printer made hugely simple. Or a glorified glue gun.
Unlike most 3D printers, you don’t need to connect your 3Doodler to a computer and no software is required. Just plug it into the mains and you can start drawing or writing in the air.
Because plastic cools almost instantly, it hardens, turning anything you draw into a physical 3D object.
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Because it’s interesting?
Because this is a special limited edition version of Star Trek. Or rather, six limited edition versions of Star Trek, all officially licensed by CBS Consumer Products. Not only do they have numbered prints to show how limited they are, but they also come with Star Trek project templates, so you can make your own Star Trek themed models.
They come in six sets: Command Division, Operations Division, and Science Division pen sets, each for both Star Trek: The Original Series Y Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Unfortunately, there is none of Star Trek: Discoverythe next CBS series.
It’s also interesting because 3Doodler was first released on Kickstarter, so it’s kind of a homecoming.
In fact, the sets will only be available on Kickstarter, and only until the end of the crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday, July 11. Thereafter, they will not be available anywhere else, either online or in store. So if you want one, you’d better not delay.
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So what do you get in your set? In addition to the Star Trek-themed pen itself and a set of projects to sink your teeth into, each comes with three plastic sets (in Star Trek colors) to draw on, a leather pen case, an unlocking tool , a mini wrench and an instruction manual. and quick start guide to using your 3Doodler.
Star Trek projects include a pair of Vulcan ears, a Klingon forehead, and the Enterprise, from both The Original Series and The Next Generation. What more could a Trekkie want?
What are the challenges?
The limited edition Star Trek 3Doodler pen is part of Kickstarter’s new ‘Kickstarter Gold’ project, in which the popular crowdfunding site is bringing back some of its most successful creators for new funding rounds and new products.
WobbleWorks, the company that makes the 3Doodler, has delivered all of its previous Kickstarter campaigns on time, which, coupled with ‘Kickstarter Gold’ backing, should give you a lot of confidence.
That’s not to say there aren’t risks yet (crowdfunding always comes with risks, so think about it before you come back), but we’d be very surprised if there were any issues with this particular campaign.
Pen sets are due to ship beginning in July and all shipments will be completed by the end of August.
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Is there something similar available?
There’s the standard 3Doodler, of course, which you can use to draw objects and characters from the Star Trek universe. But without the right planes and colors, you’ll need some pretty advanced artistic skill to make them look good.
A slew of Star Trek merchandise is also likely to be released when the new series begins on CBS in the fall.
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Should I crowdfund this?
Hell yeah. Or, as Jean-Luc Picard would say, “Do it like this”.
The pen-only project kit costs $24 (£19), while if you want the pen too, you’ll have to shell out $99 (£78).
No self-respecting Trekkie could argue with that.
And one to avoid…
Poof case. It’s a smartphone case that you fill with perfume, so you can smell good whenever you want, wherever you are. As long as you have your phone with you.
Is it just us or does it smell like a bad idea?
Have you seen any great crowdfunding projects recently? Let us know in the comments.