Artsy-crafty types have an abundance of exciting new ways to express their creativity. 3D pens hold a particular utility to those who prefer a more hands-on approach to 3D printing than letting a machine have all the fun. Depending on the pen as well as the user's skills and patience level, children and adults can create objects -- or even blobjects -- quickly and affordably. These types of pens combine the familiarity of drawing with the basic technology of 3D rendering, all from the comfort of one's hand.
But as with anything cool and high-tech, the problem becomes that of market glut. There are now many companies that make and sell 3D pens, so how does one choose? You could start on a decent beginner's pen, like the Lay3r V2, which is rated for artisans 12 years and older. If reputation is a factor, then the 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen is from a company that made the world's first 3D pen. For the more professional user, the Lix 3D Pen is slender and shaped like a writing pen, and uses extremely high temperatures to melt the filament.
The SketchPro 3D Pen is a US-based brand, if "Buy American" is your preference. It's moderately praised for its light weight -- a tad over 1.5 ounces -- and curved contours, both of which make it easy to hold without the fatigue. It features a large LED screen, digital speed and temperature control, a quick heat-up time of over 1 minute, and an automatic stand-by mode for when the pen idles for over 90 seconds. It comes with an adapter, a power cord, filament spools in red, white and black, a user's manual, and stencils. Although the SketchPro can be used with either PLA or ABS, the company recommends using PLA because of its low toxicity, lower working temperature, lack of burnt odor, and glossy finish. These qualities make PLA more kid-friendly, which is why this pen is recommended for people of all ages.
This is a pretty cool product and I was excited to try for me and my kids. It is easy to fill, but takes a lot of patience to make something worthwhile.
This is a great product. Easy to use and to fill the product. The only thing that I found was hard, was my skills as making anything.