3D printing technology continues to amaze us, especially since it can now be accessed at our fingertips thanks to 3D pens. These pens allow consumers to create small-scale models and mock-ups, make minor repairs, or simply craft things for the fun of it. They are useful educational tools for teachers and their students, and provide a great way for families to engage in artistic activities together. As many of them as there are, the real downside lies in their size. Fortunately, many newer versions are less bulky, as manufacturers continue to produce pens that are more comfortable to grip.
3Doodler is the company that brought 3D printing pens to the consumer market. They used to make pens that were kind of cumbersome, but have since proven with the 3Doodler Create that slimmer is better. The Xyzprinting Da Vinci 3D Pen is an example of a pen that is easily gripped, about the size of a fat magic marker, but isn't as comfortably thin as the Lix 3D Pen. The Da Vinci represents the midway point between older model 3Doodlers and the ultra-skinny LIX, which is called the world's smallest 3D pen and also uses extremely high working temperatures. Hence, it's most suitable for professional types.
Hong Kong-based CoLiDo, maker of industrial and desktop 3D printers for professional, commercial and home use, has their own 3D pen as well. This Kickstarted pen is a good-looking and slim device, with a unique attribute not seen on other pens, though it should be -- an auto-retract nozzle. When the pen is idle, the nozzle automatically retracts, which prevents accidental burning and eliminates the need for a stand. This obviously makes for a safer pen, especially for kids.
Additional features include speed adjustment for Fast or Slow, filament selection buttons, and an indicator light. The CoLiDo comes with 1 pack of 1.75-mm PLA filament in 5 colors and 50 sticks, 1 pack of ABS, a power cord, and a user manual. This safety nozzle is the main selling point here, and hopefully, other companies will follow suit.
Easy to use, and no learning curve. If you can write or draw with a pencil you can draw with this pen in 3D.
Small and easy to take with you anywhere, yet operates like a little computer, offering fast and slow settings, as well as an automatic sleep mode.
The nozzle of the CoLiDo 3D Pen retracts automatically when in idle mode. So you can put the pen down without the need of a special stand.
It has a portable design and fast/slow modes. You can use the pen to bring your ideas to life with ABS or PLA filament...safe to use.
Portable and light. It has fast and slow modes. The print-head has a stable temperature throughout the process and slides up when the 3D Pen is not in use.