3D printing pens offer varying degrees of efficacy for layout and mock-up with less time and expense than using 3D printers. Whether for sketching or tracing shapes, or testing structural feasibility, they can be used by designers, architects, artists, craftsmen, teachers and kids to realize abstract concepts. There is a broad array of 3D pens to choose from and, as with all burgeoning technology, there are more on the way. An example of a safe and mid-grade introductory pen is the 7Tech 3D Printing Pen. For those of higher manual dexterity, the sleek Lix Pen uses filament rods instead of coils, thus bypassing tangles. Other 3D pens are multi-functional, such as the 3DSimo Mini, which possesses a rectangular shape, an extremely high working temperature, and a foam cutting attachment.
3Doodler bills itself as having launched the world's first 3D pen in 2013, and now claims the title as having the world's most popular 3D printing device. And while its website says that their pen is "perfect for sparking the imaginations of young and old," it also clearly states that the pen is for adult use only. The young can have their imaginations sparked at a safe distance. Perhaps 3Doodler refers to the Start Pen instead of the older model 3D Printing Pen, which heats up to 392 degrees, but it's hard to tell as only the current pen is listed on the site. The 3D Printing Pen has a cut-off in its heating element that begins after 5 minutes of inactivity. A blue LED signifies the ABS setting and a red LED signals the PLA setting.
The 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen has 2 speeds -- fast and slow -- and can also reverse. Warm-up time is approximately 1 minute, and the pen comes with 50 strands of plastic in 10 different colors with more than 60 color options available. As with all 3D pens, the 3Doodler requires both patience and a learning curve. Also, it's quite bulky, possibly leading to wrist and hand fatigue, though the newest 3Doodler is much slimmer.
Hulky, but comfortable in the hand as it’s not too heavy.
The speed at which the plastic is fed through the pen can now be altered to meet the user's preference.
The coolest gadget I own.
Cheap, messy and the most fun we’ve had in ages, the 3Doodler is our new favorite tech toy.
The pen also smells and sounds awful. Every time you press an on button, the pen’s motor whirs to life, and it’s not a discrete sound.
3Doodler start inspires creativity, design, building and spatial understanding, opening up 3D creation to a whole new generation.
The 3Doodler is a great concept and, with some further work, it could overcome its flaws.