Those that are looking for new outlets of creativity should consider checking out the 3Doodler 2.0 Printing Pen. It combines 3D printing with a hot glue gun to allow you to create unique drawings that stand on their own, allowing you to draw in the air! For their first model, the company found great success getting the project funded on Kickstarter, setting the goal at $30,000 and earning a little over $2.3 million dollars. It’s clear the idea is in high demand, and the first model was released to great success. The 3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing Pen is WobbleWorks second attempt at allowing users to sketch in 3D, by using burning hot plastic that solidifies on contact with air, letting you draw off the paper and into the air. The company envisions business scenarios where leaders draw out their visions with the pen, or children bringing their favorite characters to life.
Version two of the 3D drawing pen promises added features, and a more intuitive creative process, the real question is did they achieve what they promised? In our 3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing Pen review, we look at the features of the model and decide on a verdict.
3Doodler 2.0 Printing Pen Features
Lightweight and Easy Design
The 3D pen is akin to a standard pencil where you just hold it between your fingers and draw, but it’s slightly larger than your average pen, as it hosts the plastic heating technology inside. Despite the furnace inside, the model is extremely lightweight and easy to hold. This is essential as you need to hold the pen in the air in order to draw freely, not being limited by bulky weight.
On the side of the pen, you will find arrow buttons that control the speed at which the device releases plastic. Simply press and hold down the button and wait a few seconds for plastic to start flowing out. If you’re working on adelicate piece, you can slow down the release of plastic and make sure your moves are exact. Alternatively, if you want to quickly draw the base of a structure, the rapid release system works great. Above the buttons is a small LED that lets you know whether the 3D printing pen is heating (red light) or ready to draw (blue light). When the device has properly heated up, you’re ready to start drawing.
Design Improvements over the Old Model
The 3Doodler 2.0 Printing Pen offers a variety of improvements over its previous version, boasting a much better make and model than their first attempt. The device in general is much smaller than version 1, also including a better nozzle design. The nozzle that releases the plastic gets extremely hot, so ensuring it’s as protected as possible is critical if you want to let your children play with the device. It features a variable temperature speed and heating controls. Instead of remaining constantly high heat, the system works to efficiently heat the plastic only when you need it. They also improved on the system that feeds plastic out of the machine, solving the most complained about issue of trails of plastic leaking out. Across the board version two is a clear improvement on the first model, and positions itself as the premier 3D printing pen on the market.
One of the most asked for features was a “continuous” mode where you could flip a switch and plastic would feed out of the printer pen automatically. The 3D art pen added this feature on the second model, which coupled with the lighter model, makes it easy for long drawing sessions or complex designs with different colors. You simply double click the button that releases plastic to activate this mode, and lifts a massive strain in your hand holding down the button for long periods of time.
Ease of Setup
Out of the box, the 3Doddler 2.0 3D Printing pen is intuitive and simple. What the model loses in precision, it gains in simplicity and fun. All you have to do is plug the pen into a power source, feed in the plastic stick and turn the heat on to begin preparations. While you think about what design you’re going to make, the 3D pen quickly heats the plastic, and the light change indicates that you’re good to go. Simply press the fast release, slow release, or constant release buttons and you’re ready to begin drawing. Build a strong base so you’re model can stand effectively, and watch as you draw into the air with ease.
Heating the device takes about a minute, this internally heats the 3D printer pen to about 450 degrees. Once the light is blue the plastic is effectively melted and you can press the button to begin drawing. The fan on the device ensures that the actual pen is of no harm to you, remaining cool and confident to draw to your creative ends. When you leave the product idle for a decent amount of time, it will recognize and start to cool down. Simply turning it back on will have the device quickly heat up again and you can get back to drawing.
During our 3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing Pen review, we came to the conclusion that the pen is easy to start, but difficult to master. You don’t need to be a technological expert or understand physics to start using it. There is no complicated process where you download 3D modelling software or files to create intense structures or devices. It’s as simple as feeding a piece of plastic in, turning it on, and drawing whatever you feel. The device looks to bridge the gap between 3D modelling and those without a technological background, if you’re creative, you can use this pen and draw whatever you can imagine.
This approach however, is a challenge to your drawing skills. Just like all drawing, it takes time and experience to learn how to use this3D printing pen effectively enough to create complex models and designs. The first few tries may result in collapsed structures or piles of hardened plastic, but after a few attempts and failures, you begin to get the hang of the process and can create cool designs quickly.
When the model runs out of plastic, you simply feed another piece in and get back to work. We recommend ordering a few bags of the plastic as you may burn through the first few sticks fairly quickly as you get a grasp of the 3D printer pen. If you want to swap colors, pull the plastic from the back of the machine and switch them out easily. Along with the actual pen you can purchase huge packs of plastic sticks, lasting you for long periods of time or allowing you to create massive projects. There are a multitude of pictures online of amazing creators making miniature houses, logos, skyscrapers and a variety of other creative ideas you can use for inspiration.
Many compare this device to a traditional pen vs. a traditional printer. It may not be able to produce massive quantities of work. It is a very useful tool for creativity, allowing you to make magnificent small pieces of work with this 3D drawing pen.
Long Term Maintenance
This3D drawing pen is designed to be easily cleaned, maintained, and used for years after its purchase. The upgraded3D pen’smodel improved the stream of plastic, meaning it almost never jams up or clogs. If the model does get jammed, simply wait until the unit has cooled down, unscrew the top and clean it out simply. WobbleWorks put their Kickstarter money into a quality 3D pen, you can be sure you’ll be getting something that will last in your house for a long time.
Heat of the System
Even when working for long periods of time, the unit does not get hot on the outside. The fan will blow a steady stream of warm air out of the system, as it draws the massive amount of heat out of the unit. You can ensure this 3D art pen is designed with your safety first, heating plastic to extreme conditions, but keeping your creative hands safe and protected.
3Doodler 2.0 Printer Pen Pros/Cons
Simple, intuitive, and fun
This is the most critical part of the 3D printer pen, as with a more simplistic design, it needs to be fun and exciting. After some time spent with it, you’ll find that you’re constantly coming up with new ideas, and pushing the boundaries of what you can draw in the air. Learning how to build off of a base is one of the most essential skills you can learn with it; soon you’ll be drawing complex designs in thin air! Out of the box the system is ready to go, you can be ready and drawing in a matter of minutes.
Smart, comfortable design
You would think that heating plastic to 450 degrees would make this a dangerous device, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The 3D art pen is extremely lightweight and is designed for long drawing sessions or holding your hand in the air for long periods of time. The 2.0 version reduced the size even more, meaning that it rests comfortably in your hands like a bulky traditional pen.
Plenty of Accessories and Add-ons
Along with the model, comes an entire community of creative artists that have made tools to make it even easier to create the wildest designs imaginable. The 3D pen has capabilities for different nozzles releasing the plastic in unique patterns or in a variety of directions. There are stencils that help you form solid bases to build on, or ones that branch into the air that help you make objects such as trees or castles. If you’re looking for inspiration, a variety of design books exist that give step by step guides to make large cathedrals, towering dragons, and many other larger scale designs. These creations are usually much more difficult as designing the base is critical, but the books keep the process easy, so you can focus on being creative and having fun.
As discussed earlier, the model sacrifices intense pinpoint accuracy for simplistic design and easy access. Lines will curve and it is difficult to create very tall structures, the 3D printing pen is designed to be fun and creative. If you are looking to create real applicable designs that will look sharp and specific, you should consider investing in a real 3D printer, allowing you to make larger scale designs. If you are instead looking for a unique artistic tool, this3D pen is perfect.
Not very practical
Beyond artistic endeavors, the 3D drawing pen does not have as much use as anticipated. The team dreams of having one of these on every executive’s desk, allowing them to draw mock-ups of models or write out ideas in thin air. Unfortunately this is not the 3D pen to achieve that. It is instead a tool for simple creative expression, and an excellent toy for kids or someone looking to blow off steam and draw.
This 3D printer pen’s value is dependent entirely on the person using it. Some people may find themselves putting the pen down due to frustration early on, but once you get the hang of design, you will quickly be able to make 3D objects that look the way you intended them to. Design books and unique 3D pennozzles help those that are more artistically inclined, looking to create fascinating designs and applications for the plastic. Unfortunately the integration to the workplace and creating prototypes seems not yet ready, as it is still too uneven.
The 3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing pen definitely is leaps and bounds ahead of version 1 in just about every way. The quality of the device and design are the most significant factors by far. The professional looking aluminum casing and much smaller size make the pen easy and comfortable to hold in your hand.
If you’re in the market for a really creative gift in the $100 price range, this 3D printing pen would make a fantastic choice for the artistic person in your life. At the end of the day it is a quirky and fun tool for creating interesting designs. If you’re looking for a real 3D printer and hoping this is an economic solution you may have to look elsewhere. However, if you like the concept of drawing in 3D and jumping over the technological limitations of high tech machinery, programming, and software, then the 3Doodler 2.0 3D Printing pen should definitely be in your workshop.