The advent of 3D printing pens provides the means by which neophytes and kids can learn the basic principles of 3D fabrication in an arts and crafts setting. Just as with 3D printers, the sky's the limit -- anything from butterflies to architectural structures can be produced with 3D pens by the simple process of extrusion of heated plastic through a nozzle. Hot-melt art. So while all 3D pens work their magic in the same way, they are perhaps not created equally. For instance, the Ido3dart Pen is definitely a toy, using hot melt glue at fairly low temperatures to create objects of questionable structural merit. The Victorstar RP-100A and the Future Make Polyes Q1 are decent introductory 3D pens, with the Victorstar being about half the price of the Polyes Q1, so users have some economic options.
Similarly priced to the Polyes Q1, the 7TECH extrudes into view. This upgraded model accommodates free-handed drawing in the air using FDM -- fused deposition modeling -- technology adapted by leading 3D printers like Makerbot. It features manual extrusion speed and temperature control, and can be used with either 1.75 mm PLA or ABS filament, thus offering a little versatility. An LCD screen shows the temperature, speed, and filament type being used. Button control allows the filament to be reversed, and an unclogging mechanism prevents jamming -- both very useful functions. There is also an auto standby mode for bathroom breaks and snacking.
The heating temperature can be adjusted from between 160 and 230 degrees, which is slightly cooler than the Victorstar. The 7TECH comes with a power adapter, filaments of random colors, a user's manual, and a spatula to slice filament off the nozzle. Recommended for hobbyists 8 and older, this pen is reputedly of average but safe quality. As with all 3D pens, however, much practice is needed to master it.
The tip broke within 10 minutes of being used, very disappointed.
The LED screen is easy to read. The buttons on each side of the screen allow you to easily adjust the thickness of the filament as well as raise or lower the temperature.