Products like the 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen makes me a little jealous of the amazing things kids these days get to play with. It’s a pen that literally makes your drawings real! This is stuff I could only imagine when I was little, so I was pretty excited to try out a couple of 3Doodler complimentary demo sets recently, including the Start Essentials Pen Set and the Star Trek themed set with the Create Pen.
What exactly is a 3D Pen?
The 3Doodler pens are similar in style to traditional pens, but use PLA or ABS filaments to create 3D models. The long slender filament rods load into the pen on one end, are heated and then extruded on the other side in molten state. It is pliable as it comes out, and you can use the melted pliable plastic to draw all kinds of shapes, forms and patterns in the air or on any surface. Then it dries and you have a solid real-world model.
What pen should I get?
A good place to start for younger kids is the Start Essentials pen set. It came with everything we needed to get creating – the pen, plastic and instructions. It even came charged and ready to use, so my son was doodling while I was still yelling “Wait! Let’s read the instructions!”
But that tells you how easy it is to use. You just load the plastic into one end, press a button, and start drawing. It’s recommended for ages 6+, but my four-year-old enjoyed playing with it and didn’t have any problems making small things. The Start Pen is kid-safe so the end doesn’t get hot like on the Create Pen, and it uses special Start Plastic that also doesn’t get as hot. The instruction booklet has several activities to get you used to the basics of constructing and a few fun projects to make small items like glasses and a flower pot.
Adults will want to go for the more advanced Create Pen, which gets hotter and can use different plastics. Warning- it will burn you! This is definitely not recommended for younger kids. A couple of differences besides the tip getting hot is that the 3Doodler Create 2.0 has a button on the side for controlling the filament speed and is used while plugged into a wall outlet, while the Start Pen has one speed and is gets charged so it’s cordless.
The Limited Edition Star Trek Pen
I couldn’t resist getting the Star Trek pen set to try out! I figure it’s a perfect fit for my geeky blog.
It’s true that I am a big Star Wars fan, but I also like Star Trek and have been known to dress up like a member of the U.S.S. Enterprise from time to time. Good thing the Star Trek set comes with stencils, stickers and everything you need to you build your own Spock ears, Klingon forehead, visors, communicators and more.