New pens for the product developer’s toolkit

Digital pens or old fashioned pen and paper? To most designers – and others who sketch as part of their daily routine – digital and analogue drawing complement each other for different tasks and situations.

If you’re into product development, however, there’re pens out there for so much more than regular drawing. The outputs are very physical, letting you draw  three dimensional models or working electrical circuits.

Draw your own circuits with silver ink

Pens filled with conductive silver ink are as straight forward as they sound. If you can doodle, you can draw functioning electrical circuits. You can even do it on regular paper.

Of course, the circuit you draw will need power to actually work. But the video demonstrating the concept below, shows how simple it is.

The company behind the pen in the video, Electroninks, even sells different components to help you build new concepts that could make your prototypes much more interesting and convincing.

Free hand 3D-printing

If you ever make physical models of your ideas and concepts, there’s another interesting pen-concept to look out for: 3D pens.

Allowing you to draw three-dimensional objects by hand, 3D-pens could technically be considered small, handheld 3D-printers. They function by heating and then cooling a plastic filament, as the designer draws freestanding structures.

Depending on your skill and patience, these 3D-pens could offer a new world of opportunities when you design prototypes – or express yourself artistically.

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