Tag Archives: 3D Printing Pen

3Doodler Start is a child-safe 3D printing pen

Kids can now draw their own 3D creations in thin air.

With aspirations of bring 3D printing to the everyday consumer, the WobbleWorks team launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund its 3Doodler 3D printing pen back in 2013. This handheld device lets Makers draw in mid-air or on most surfaces, heating and solidifying plastic material so that the thing being drawn is able to come to life as an actual object.


And after upgrading its pen in 2015, which yet again garnered more than $1.5 million on Kickstarter, the Boston-based startup has returned with a child-friendly version of its popular drawing tool, which will enable those ages 8 to 13 to explore their creativity beyond using just crayons and paper. Instead, the 3Doodler Start will allow children to design their own figurines, art, jewelry and pretty much any other 3D model that comes to mind. This should come as great news to parents, because let’s face it, the sight of a discarded toys is all too common these days.

“3Doodler Start inspires creativity, design, building and spatial understanding, opening up 3D creation to a whole new generation. This is not a fad toy; we believe that, like LEGO and now Minecraft, the 3Doodler Start will become part of every kid’s upbringing,” company co-founder Daniel Cowen explains. 


The most notable thing about the 3Doodler Start, however, is that has no hot parts, and uses an environmentally-friendly filament that melts with barely any heat. Just pick up the single-temperature, one-speed device and it’s ready to go. Click once on its main orange button to extrude the plastic automatically, click again to stop, and double click to reverse the plastic — it’s as simple as that. Meanwhile, LEDs will indicate warming up, ready, forward flow and reverse.

The 3Doodler Start dispenses with the conventional pen shape, but has adopted a shorter, thicker and more ergonomically-designed frame that’s suitable for smaller hands. Weighing under a quarter of a pound and measuring 5.4” x 1.4”, the turquoise unit can operate wirelessly for 45 minutes per charge or run while plugged in via a micro-USB port.

“The core values of 3Doodler are creative freedom and limitless imagination, so it was a natural progression to create a pen for a younger audience. The 3Doodler Start provides the perfect educational platform for kids around the world and we cannot wait to see what the next generation creates,” Cowen adds.


What’s also nice is that those just starting out can follow along with what’s called a DoodleBlock, which is similar to a 3D coloring book and allows users to draw in grooves to form a shape, then pop them out. Once they’ve traced all the pieces, they can then use their 3Doodler Start to join them together to form a finished three-dimensional creation.

Does this sound like the 3D printing instrument for your youngsters or perhaps even you? Head over to WobbleWorks’ page here to get your hands on one today.


3DSimo Mini is like a Makerspace crammed into a pen

The 3DSimo Mini is a next-gen pen that not only draws in 3D, but solders, burns and cuts as well. 

Although they may not have taken off as quickly as its desktop counterparts, 3D printing pens have certainly attracted quite the attention in recent years. Since 3Doodler first launched back in February of 2013, several other startups have emerged with hopes of pioneering the space. The gadgets, which feature a hotend that is capable of extruding filament like the heads found on any FDM machine, are used to add a third dimension to drawings in thin air.


Among the first of those looking to take 3D pens mainstream was 3DSimo, who some of you may recall from its Indiegogo debut two years ago. Now, the Czech startup has returned with a new and improved, and much smaller, model of its handheld device that not only prints but can offer a plethora of other tools as well. The aptly named 3DSimo Mini incorporates an LED display that shines through a minimalist case, while boasting a much lighter and more compact design than its predecessor — without compromising speed or strength of the feed mechanism. With its ergonomic shape, Makers can easily handle the pen as they doodle.


What’s nice is that, unlike some of the others available today, the Mini is not limited to materials thanks to adjustable temperature and speed. Meaning, users can draw with a variety of 1.75mm filaments ranging from the typical ABS and PLA, to FLEXI and fluorescent, to Laywood and Thermochrome.


And proving that it’s more than merely a 3D printer, the all-in-one device can expand its capabilities through a set of convertible tips, including soldering metal, burning wood and cutting foam. For instance, Makers can easily throw on an extension piece to transform the Mini into a soldering iron by setting the temperature up to 490°C, depending on the melting point of the metal, or etch designs on wood and leather. Not to mention, it can even cut any sort of thin material whether it’s Balsa wood or rubber.


Though it is equipped with an LED screen, the Mini also connects over Bluetooth to an accompanying mobile app that allows users to control the temperature, speed and various material profiles. Based on an ATmega32 MCU, the pen is rechargeable via microUSB and packs a clip-on 2000mAh battery that can last for roughly an hour.


Interested? Head over to 3DSimo’s Kickstarter campaign, where the team is currently seeking $35,000. The Maker-friendly instrument, which will come with all four of its interchangeable extensions, is expected to begin shipping in March 2016.

3DFormer is a 3D printing pen for Makers

This easy-to-use, even easier-to-hold pen draws 3D models right in thin air.

While 3D printers may have stolen the buzz as of late, 3D pen makers aren’t too far behind in meeting the successes and mainstream appeal of their much larger siblings. In fact, handheld gadgets like the 3Doodler and Lix have already experienced multi-million dollar backings on Kickstarter over the last couple of years.


Hoping to be added to the list is new 3D printing pen 3DFormer, the brainchild of Austin-based Dim3printing LLC. Designed with students in mind, the device allows users to trace and draw 3D models right in thin air using FDM printing technology.

“3DFormer was developed for arts and STEM education projects. Kids may design and build artworks, and develop geometrical, engineering, and astronomical models for learning. 3DFormer may help kids to be more creative than ever,” the team writes. “Using 3DFormer together with other electronic or mechanical components, the inventions are instantly happening out of your imagination with a new look!”

Based on an ATmega8A, 3DFormer features a hexagon cylindrical shape with a 27mm grip width, and impressively, nonstop use of over two hours. Compatible with 1.75mm ABS and PLA 3D printers, users may feed the filament from either a standard 2.2lb spool or a stick. 3DFormer is looking to set itself apart from others on the market today through three key differentiators. These include continuous variable speed control, an ergonomic design for easy holding and precision in movement, and advanced cooling mechanisms to prevent clogging and ensure quick heat dissipation.


“The challenge in the 3D printing nozzle design is to maintain a high temperature to melt the ABS/PLA filament for extrusion while keeping temperature in filament feeding chamber low enough to avoid swelling in filaments. For a hand-operated 3D printing device, the form factor of the nozzle makes the challenge even bigger than that for the desktop 3D printers. On the other hand, to prevent injury from overheated nozzle we must keep outer shell temperature at 50 degree Celsius or lower.”

Beyond that, the pen is equipped with separate buttons to control the speed of the filament output and a minimum flow rate of 0.5mm per second, while a maximum filament flow rate is said to be upwards of 20mm per second. At this rate, its creators note that the extruded filament volume lets users deposit multi-layer plastics on a two-dimensional surface for layered structures and enhanced strength. What’s also nice is that the fan-free 3DFormer is super quiet, making it a welcomed addition in any classroom.


“We believe this is the right product for both 3D drawing fun and classroom practice,” explains Mr. Bin Hu, Dim3printing CEO. “Launching the 3DFormer on Kickstarter will help us to smooth mass production and get the product to our long waiting customers sooner.”

Those interested in a 3D pen can head over to its official Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $20,000. Shipment to early bird backers is expected to begin in May 2015, with full-out delivery slated for June 2015. In the meantime, you can see it in action below.

Polyes Q1 may be the safest and coolest 3D pen yet

Polyes Q1 is a brand new 3D printing pen that enables Makers to draw in the air without danger. 

While 3D printers may have stolen the buzz as of late, 3D pen makers aren’t too far behind in meeting the successes and mainstream appeal of their much larger siblings. In fact, handheld gadgets like the 3Doodler and Lix have already experienced multi-million dollar backings on Kickstarter over the last two years.


However, many of today’s products rely on a feed of ABS/PLA plastic that is heated up and extruded through a hot nozzle. The Future Make crew looks to change all of that with the launch of the Polyes Q1, a 3D pen that doesn’t involve any hot parts or melting plastics. Instead, photo-polymer ink is extruded out of a cool nozzle, and when exposed to blue LED light provided by the device, immediately solidified. What this means is no more nasty smells or burns! Not to mention, its colorful ink is sure to be more attractive than the traditional ABS/PLA filament.

“The 3D printing pens currently available in the market aren’t easy to operate and safe — take for example, all pens using ABS/PLA materials that give off unpleasant odors and the risks of getting burned by high temperatures,” the team writes.


Based on what we believe to be an AVR microcontroller, Polyes features a USB port for convenient charging and an easy-to-read display for ink levels. To further enhance the child-safety aspects of the device, the Q1 is embedded with a tilt sensor that, when combined with a child-safety switch, will automatically shuts off the light if the pen is turned beyond ground level.

What’s more, the gadget is equipped with integrated control buttons that allow a user to be in total control while doodling. Especially designed for children who look to explore their creativity without supervision, parents and instructors can take comfort in knowing that there’s no need to worry about any eyes being damaged.


“Polyes has all the capabilities of 3D printing pens without the pitfalls. From the totally safe and cool nozzle to sleek, optimally-proportioned white body, the pen is as easy to use as it is versatile. Do you want to play tic-tac-toe without having to waste paper every other game? You can draw the grid and symbols in minutes. You can even color-code them,” its creators write. “Are you the sort of person who likes to think big? Are you a fan of architecture maybe? You can build anything from a small house outline to the Medieval Castle!”

Unsurprisingly, Future Make recently concluded what was surely a successful crowdfunding campaign. The innovative device nearly tripled its initial goal on Kickstarter, garnering just shy of $150,000. Interested in learning more? You can head over to the product’s official page here. Shipments are slated to begin sometime this month.