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Meet the world's smallest 3D printing pen: Draw in thin air

As the 3D printing industry booms, a new, pint-sized contender has muscled its way into the market. Meet Lix, the world's smallest 3D printing pen that raised £100,000 on Kickstarter in just 24 hours.

The initial goal was to raise £30,000 in 30 days, but at the time of publication Lix has raised £281,352 with a total of 3,224 backers. Amazingly, it still has 28 days left of crowdfunding.

Created by Ismali Baran And Anton Suvorov of Belgium alongside Delphine Wood in London, the Lix 3D pen allows users to doodle in the air – essentially to write and draw without paper.

"We knew there were 3D pens were out there, but we wanted to make it much smaller," Wood told The Register. "Each part has been completely redesigned from scratch to fit this particular product - all the parts are new and we designed the parts ourselves."

No bigger than a fountain pen, Lix uses the same technology as larger 3D printers but in a much smaller package. By melting and cooling coloured plastic it allows users to create rigid and freestanding structures, such as mini sculptures, teacups and product prototypes. The pen is powered from a USB 3.0 port, requiring users to wait just 60 seconds for the nozzle to heat up before they can start to doodle in mid-air.

It's good news for creative industries, such as architectural design, who could use the pen to quickly design freestanding structures in time for client facing meetings - even while on the move.

Weighing just 40g, Lix is the most lightweight and portable 3D printing option on the market and a competitor to 3Doodler, another British 3D printing pen that was one of the standout products of the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 in Las Vegas.

The device is penned to go on sale in September 2014 for £85. In the meantime, head to the product's Kickstarter page to find out more.