A group of students from the University of Tokyo have developed a 3D-printing pen that can be used to create architectural structures made out of plastic sticks. Overseen by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the device prints out strings of thermoplastic filament emitted from a pen triggered by the user and guided by a digital tracking system to calculate the precise positions of the sticks in realtime. The strings bond with acrylic rods that makes building complicated forms possible and are more durable than most 3D-printed structures. Kevin Clement, a member of the design team, tells Dezeen in an interview:
What makes this system interesting for us is that the shape can be modified to match different site conditions, and it is simple to add or subtract members to the construct, allowing it to grow and adapt to user preferences. The ease of drawing together the members means that anyone can participate in the process of making complex forms at full scale.