"3D printers are getting more and more popular, the problem is that only nerds know how to use them." So true! As wonderful as 3D Printers are, you still have to be a pretty serious techie to know how to use (and sometimes build) them.
Doodle3D said it perfectly: "Even though 3D design programs are getting more user-friendly and accessible (ie. Google Sketch-Up) they still form a major barrier for the average person. There are websites like Thingiverse where thousands of open-source 3D designs are made publicly available by others, but of course it is much nicer to print your own designs." So how can this be fixed? The Dutch company Doodle3D has found the way to do it.
Doodle3D is very, very simple software. Anyone who can hold a pencil can use it. The software consists of a drawing canvas, a couple buttons for deleting and saving your work, and a print button. As soon as you press print, the 3D printer will begin to retrace the drawer's movements and create a 3D object from the 2D sketch. You can make the object "more 3D" by sculpting the drawing much like you would sculpt pottery. The object can also be twisted by rotating the drawing layer.
Doodle 3D has been hosting some workshops and labs to help gain interest in 3D printing. They say that it seems like almost everyone - child or adult - get a keen interest for 3D modeling after seeing their very own drawing printed on a 3D printer. There are no workshops in the USA currently, but you can contact Doodle3D here if you are interested in putting a workshop together.
Download Doodle3D Here - For Mac OSX only, sorry Windows users! Don't forget to make a donation to this free software project while you are at Doodle's website.