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Cool! CreoPop 3D-printing pen doesn't use hot plastic

The secret to the cool temperatures of the soon-to-be-crowdfunded CreoPop 3D-printing pen is a special type of resin that hardens with UV light.

CreoPop printing pen
No heat means you can be more hands-on. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

There's no forgetting the 3Doodler, a 3D-printing pen that oozes out hot plastic into whatever shape you care to make. It captured the imagination of over 26,000 Kickstarter backers who flung $2.3 million at the project. The idea was freeing. It didn't take a big printing contraption, it was just about what you could extrude using a steady hand. It's no wonder other entrepreneurs have leapt into the pen fray.

The CreoPop 3D-printing pen will inevitably remind people of the 3Doodler, but in a critical way it's very different. It's cool, and I don't mean that as a statement on its level of awesomeness. The "ink" isn't melted plastic, but rather a light-sensitive resin that hardens when exposed to the pen's built-in UV light. This bypasses the glorified hot-glue gun criticism that has been lobbed at the 3Doodler. It also makes it safe for use by kids and anybody who is prone to accidental burns while using craft tools.

CreoPop will be launching soon on Indiegogo with an initial pledge price offering of $89, including five ink cartridges. The company is promising all sorts of cool inks, including conductive ink, temperature-sensitive ink, elastic ink, magnetic ink, glow-in-the-dark ink, and body inks that could be used for temporary tattoos or henna-style designs.

Extra ink cartridges will cost between $2 and $3 during the crowdfunding campaign. CreoPop says each cartridge can last for about 46 feet of resin lines.

The CreoPop certainly sounds like an intriguing prospect. The variety of inks is enough to make your mind whirl with the possibilities. We'll get more details once the Indiegogo project launches, though the company expects the pen to ship by early 2015 if all goes as planned. It may make the whole 3D-printing pen world a whole lot more chill.