Disruption is a word we hear more and more. Uber disrupted transportation, Airbnb changed the way millions of people book accommodation the world over, and social media has altered the way we interact with everything from friends to news. This theme of disruption and reinvention lives at the core of 3Doodler, a company that is built on the strength of our community and your never-ending support for our work.

As we hit our pen’s fourth birthday, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate with four stories of disruption and reinvention that made our journey possible, many of which started with you!

From one disruptive technology to another

3Doodler began with a mistake—a 3D print gone wrong. Back in 2012 we were a two-man band, inventing toys—anything that could be a hit—and licensing them to much bigger companies. Our go-to tool for creating new concepts was our 3D printer, an invention which is still disrupting industries large and small. The printer we were using missed a line in our print, leaving a glaring hole in our latest model. The print would have been unusable, wasting valuable time and materials.

That’s when inspiration hit: what if we just took the head of the printer off and filled in the gap?

And so, unexpectedly, disruption bred yet more disruption. The 3Doodler was born.

Community-led disruption

We had the idea, but without a community of users it would have ended there. Enter Kickstarter, and our community of visionary early adopters. Relying on the power of the internet, and our hope that you would recognize the potential of the 3Doodler (or just want to have fun with it!), we launched our campaign.

The result was one of the most-funded technology Kickstarters of all time, and a 25,000-strong community to join this amazing journey. A decade ago we would have been asking for money, pleading with retailers to take a chance on us, and most likely seen our dream end in disappointment. With community-led crowdfunding, this paradigm has been turned entirely upside down.

More than a passing fad

Disruption is only good until it is disrupted itself. We have made it a mission to ensure that whatever comes next, it comes from us. Most importantly, while we’re on our way there, we’ll do all we can to keep you engaged and inspired.

That very much speaks to our focus on growing a vibrant and engaged community (more on that soon!) as well as the wide product universe we have created around 3Doodler—ensuring you have every color of plastic you could need, as well as all kinds of accessories to help bring your ideas to life. Now with three pens in our product range—the 3Doodler Start, Create, and PRO—there is a pen for everyone, ages 8 through 80, hobbyist or professional, and we’re not stopping there!

Taking “toy” to 3D

A special mention to the 3Doodler Start, the little pen that could. Three years in the making, and as a newcomer to the highly competitive toy market, we wanted to get this one really right.

To do that we had to develop our own plastic, stubbornly insisting that it be biodegradable, and melt at impossibly low temperatures. We were also going up against a growing tide of tech-connected toys with a pen that is entirely (and proudly) “unconnected”.

The result was amazing, with the award-winning Start kicking butt at retail, and our whole team glowing at the amazing things made by our new community of young creators. Bye bye screens, hello drawing in 3D!

It’s humbling to stand here after four years, with an amazing team of over 30 talented people around us, on course to hit our millionth pen in the next few weeks. Thank you all for helping us on this journey, and we hope to provide many more disruptions in the years to come.

Sincerely and with thanks,

Max, Dan & Pete

Co-founders, 3Doodler