The 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen allows you to draw in air… in 3D! As you draw, it extrudes heated plastic, which quickly cools and solidifies into a strong stable structure. This allows you to build an infinite variety of shapes and items with ease!
3D Printing PrimerIf you are new to 3D printing, get up to speed before reading my reviews. I have also created a 3D Printer Buyers Guide so you can easily compare all the different models and choose the right one depending on your budget and requirements.
My 3Doodler Review
This 3d printing pen is a lot of fun! If you are like most people with limited artistic ability, you will still be able to instantly trace objects on paper, and after only a few hours of practice you will be able to make far more intricate objects.
By following the instructions and clips on YouTube, there are many ways 3Doodler can be used.
- 3Doodles can be created as flat forms and peeled off a piece of paper.
- Draw freestyle 3D objects.
- Draw your creations in separate parts, ready to be joined together using the 3Doodler (like a glue gun).
Once you get started, you will find that the creative opportunities are endless.
It's really affordable and no software or computers are required.
But what Exactly is a 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen?
You have probably been thinking… what if you could lift your pen off the paper and draw a real three dimensional object? Wouldn't that be cool?
Well that day has arrived and now you can!
3Doodler is the world’s first 3D Printing Pen. It uses the same ABS plastic filament that is used by many 3D printers.
With 3Doodler you can draw in the air or on surfaces. It’s really compact and easy to use, and you do not need any software or computers so it's a great gift for the children.
To start drawing, just plug it into a power socket, wait 1 – 2 minutes for it to warm up while you think of your next creation and then start drawing anything you like!
And it’s also the most affordable way to get started with 3D printing. The 3Doodler is making 3D printing accessible to everyone whilst having a lot of fun. No setup, no software, no computers, no firmware upgrades, no manuals to read… just start creating.
How it Started
The guys that invented the 3Doodler started out through a kickstarter campaign.
Here's their Kickstarter trailer video that managed to get more than 26,000 backers and got this great 3D pen into production.
How Does it Work?
Anyone can use a 3Doodler to make squiggley 3d objects. If you can trace, scribble or even wave a finger in the air, you can use a 3Doodler to create nearly anything. You don't even need to have a super steady hand, because the final models all have the look of a freestyle 3d drawing.
As you draw with the 3Doodler, the pen extrudes heated plastic filament which quickly cools. Your freestyle 3d drawing will solidify into a strong, stable structure.
Since the plastic filament cools quickly, this allows you to build anything you can imagine and it's really easy to use.
Anyone can get started by tracing objects on paper and then once you have the hang of that… start drawing freeform in the air above the paper.
The 3Doodler is a brand new way of creating objects that is simple and inexpensive. It's great for artists, hobbyist or experienced 3D printer enthusiasts.
What do the Two Buttons Do?
The 3Doodler is dead simple to use.
The upper button feeds plastic at a low rate (for fine work) and the lower button feeds plastic at a much faster rate (for filling in large areas).
If you press both buttons at the same time, the plastic feed reverses so you can change plastic filament colors. You might get a bit of color mixing when changing colors, but that's cool too!
What can you Make with the 3Doodler?
There are three main ways to use the 3Doodler:
- Create 3Doodles at flat forms by tracing objects on paper.
- Create freestyle 3D objects.
- Use a combo of (1) and (2) to create separate parts that can be joined together using the 3Doodler.
The creative opportunities are endless, including:
- Basic 3D shapes and 3D models.
- Jewellery, pendants and hanging ornaments.
- Decorative art and fridge magnets.
- Personalization of everyday objects (iPhone cases, laptops, pens, etc.).
- A mini Eiffel Tower or a soccer pitch for your Lego men.
- And much much more…
The great thing about the 3Doodler is that it works on almost any surface, including plastic.
This means you can personalize existing items such as sunglasses or toys or whatever you like. You can even use 3Doodler for minor repair work… think of it as a mini glue gun.
Online 3Doodler Stencils
If you want to make the 3D Eiffel Tower (or other planned projects), you can download stencils directly from the 3Doodler website.
The stencils are sophisticated print-out stencil kits that help you create some really awesome 3D objects.
Just print out the stencil, 3Doodle each part as necessary and then join them together with your 3Doodler. It couldn't be easier and the stencils are free to download and use.
Examples of what you can Create
Before the official launch, a few wire artists on Etsy started creating some 3Doodles. Here are some examples of what they created.
More About the 3Doodler
The 3Doodler pen is 180mm by 24mm and weighs less than 200 grams or 7 ounces.
It uses a universal power supply, so provided you have the correct adapter for your country, the 3Doodler will work just fine on 110v or 240v.
The 3Doodler is not a toy for children (and it's recommended for ages 12+). While the plastic extruded from 3Doodler is safe to touch once it has left the pen, the pen itself has a metal tip that can get as hot as 270C… so don't touch it!
The Ink (ABS or PLA Plastic Filament)
The 3Doodler uses 3mm ABS or PLA plastic as its “ink” – just like a 3D printer. Note that a 1 ft strand produces approximately 11 ft of 3Doodling fun… yes, you read that right, a foot of plastic goes a very long way in the 3Doodler.
The average 1kg spool of 3mm ABS contains approx 360 feet of plastic. That works out to approx 4000 feet of 3Doodling… that's heaps!
The 3Doodler can use ABS or PLA plastic filament as each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
ABS is one of the most common plastics around. It's used in most of the plastic stuff around you.
PLA is what we call a “bioplastic”. It's made from corn, is biodegradable and has a lower melting temperature than ABS.
You can't use a spool of filament, so it's best to just cut lengths of up to 2 feet to use in the 3Doodler.
Left or Right Handed?
You can use the 3Doodler in your left or right hand.
What about Noise?
I've found that the 3Doodler make a low hum… but that's about it.
Hooking up Spools of Plastic
I'll just mention again that the 3Doodler cannot be used with spools of plastic filament. You need to cut the filament into maximum lengths of 2 feet so it feeds correctly into the pen.
Since ABS and PLA melt at different temperatures, the 3Doodler has a temperature switch so the pen works correctly with whatever plastic filament you choose.
What's the Difference between ABS and PLA?
ABS: Stronger, more resistant to chemicals, commonly found around us and has been around for a long time, as a result more is understood about it as a plastic daily use item, it takes more stresses, it's oil-based, melts at a higher temp, but it has a smaller transition temp i.e. when going from liquid to solid – this means it's easier to lift the 3doodler up and have it cool and harden. It is more expensive then PLA.
PLA: “Environmentally friendly” it's made from starch (corn/plats etc.) i.e. biodegradable. Cheaper then ABS, melts at a lower temp, has a bigger transition temp i.e. when going from liquid to solid it will remain in an in-between state for longer, as a result it is more flexible for longer as it cools. And it's not as good for building off of or when drawing in the air. It's more gummy and sticks to things well.
So as you can see there are a lot of +/- and each one has it's own specific characteristics and use cases, just pick the one that is best for you.
How do the Speeds Work?
The 3Doodler has two speeds, fast and slow. These determine the flow of the plastic and allow you to doodle large items and fill a large area at pace, or doodle intricate and delicate details. You can switch between the two speeds by pressing down on the upper or lower doodle buttons on the body of the pen.
How to Load the 3Doodler and Change Colors
Plastic is loaded into the back of the 3Doodler. You can stop the flow of plastic by letting go of the main button (the same one you pressed to start the flow). If you press both main buttons at the same time the plastic will reverse up the 3Doodler, allowing you to remove it by hand. Now add a new color and repeat! Note: You will still need to extrude any plastic remaining in the heated/lower part of the pen, or you may get a color mix taking place (which can look cool).
What about Maintenance?
The 3Doodler does not require much in the way of maintenance. If the plastic starts having trouble coming out of the pen, wait for the pen to cool and rub it down with cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to get all the burnt plastic off of the tip.
If the burnt bits are particularly difficult to get off, you can remove the tip for a more thorough cleaning. Do not attempt to clean a hot 3Doodler.
3Doodler 3D Printing Pen Gallery
The is a great 3D printing tool and a lot of fun. It's really inexpensive and a spool of filament will last a lifetime. The box comes with enough ABS and PLA filament to get you started with a range of colors.
It's great for anyone who wants to get started with 3D printing without the hassles of software and computers and is a bit more freestyle, like an artist, but being able to create 3d objects (similar to wire-art).
The 3Doodler has a one year warranty.