3D Printing Drawing Pen

One of the coolest technology developments in the recent years is the sudden accessibility and proliferation of the 3D printing technology. 3D printers have come down in price a lot, but they are still just outside the reach of most small hobbyists and maker enthusiasts. Furthermore, there is a pretty Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 10.48.04 AMsignificant barrier to entry in terms of the ability to use 3D printers right “out of the box” for your own small scale projects. You need to learn about modeling your objects in some sort of CAD/modeling software which can be tricky. Furthermore, 3D printers can still be tricky to operate, even the most user-friendly ones. So if you want to find out what 3D printing is all about without investing too much time and money and learning all the necessary skills, then a small and convenient 3D “printing” pen like this one can come in handy.

This 3D pen is in a way a modified glue gun. This means it uses high heat to soften and melt the plastic filament which can be applied in a way that creates an interesting two dimensional or three dimensional pattern. However, since the pen can get pretty hot you really want to be careful when using it. You could easily get burned, or even start a small fire. I recommend getting a little support stand for this pen before you start doodling.

3D doodling is not too hard, at least not after you get used to it. Getting elaborate 2D patterns is pretty straightforward, but getting into the third dimension can be very, very tricky, especially if you do it by hand. If you really want to make cool three dimensional objects I suggest that you build them up from two dimensional pieces that you “glue” together with this pen. There are many nice patterns available on the web for this, and I made a decent little replica of the Eiffel tower this way. (See some of the included pictures.)

The pen comes with four different colored filaments, about a couple of meters in length for each. That seems a lot, but I quickly ran out of material after just a couple of little projects. I didn’t see any info on what kind of material these filaments are made out of, but I guessed that it’s the ABS plastic, one of the standard 3D printing materials. I have a lot of extra of this stuff laying around, and I tried to use one of the spools with this pen, and it worked like a charm.

One of the issues that I have with this pen is that the filament deployment speed can’t be adjusted very precisely. I ended up primarily using the higher speed, but at that speed you really need to be very skillful to apply it well.

Overall, I really enjoyed playing with this pen. It’s a cool gadget that will nicely introduce you to the world of 3D printing. It’s primarily intended for hobbyists, and I would not recommend making any “serious” stuff with it. However, as an art tool it’s one of the coolest little gadgets that I have ever used. Highly recommended.

**** Product provided for review purposes. ****



Bojan Tunguz

Bojan Tunguz was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he and his family fled during the civil war for the neighboring Croatia. Over the past two decades he has studied, lived and worked in the United States. He is a theoretical physicist with degrees from Stanford and University of Illinois. Tunguz has taught physics at several prominent liberal arts colleges and has been writing about physics, science and technology for more than a decade. He also has a wide spectrum of interests, and reads and writes about current events, society, culture, religion and politics. Over the years he has reviewed many of the books that he has read, and posted his reviews on various online outlets. In 2011 he had become a top 10 reviewer on Amazon.com, where he continues to be very active. Aside from reading and writing, Tunguz enjoys traveling, digital photography, hiking, and fitness. He resides with his wife in Indiana. You can follow my review updates on the following pages as well: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tunguzreview Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tunguzreviews Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104312842297641697463/posts

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