I got this for review a while back and, well, I’ve got to admit that my son has been using this quite a bit and I totally forgot to review the thing. It’s a really cool gadget for Christmas and actually doesn’t involve a screen or any messing around with geeky technology. This is all about your imagination and creating.
It’s basically a pen which you plug in. You then, rather cleverly, create 3D shapes.
Wait, I know what you’re thinking. A pen? That writes in three dimensions? Well yes. It’s perhaps best to see it in video, so here’s a look at it in use..
You then have a selector on the top which lets you choose between the type of plastic refill you’re going to be inserting. The pack we had (available for £69.99 here). This pack includes the 3D Pen and 75 Filaments, which is nearly 600 ft. of extruded plastic. There’s different types of plastic. ABS and PLA. You can get a stack more of these plastics on the 3Doodler shop. There’s a stack of colours and you simply switch the pen to adjust the heating so that the plastic comes out of the tip smoothly and as a flexible plastic “ink”. To put it in a more technical way, it extrudes heated plastic which then hardens rapidly. This creates a new piece or stiff plastic which can make the base of your new 3D model. Draw in 3D, freehand or over stencils.
This is the very latest version of the 3D printing pen and has a dual drive so that you can make it work slowly or quickly. This means you get a smooth and easy-to-use system which lets you create magical 3D shapes. There’s a really helpful and quick-start guide in the box and they have a stack of YouTube videos to help you along – it’s really simple to start creating your first 3D shape. You start and stop the flow of the flexible plastic my simply pushing the button.
First up, you plug it in via a hole at the top…
Note the two buttons at the bottom – in the ideal place when you’re using it. These adjust the speed that the plastic comes out and are labelled as you’d expect..
You’ll need to push in one of the many coloured plastic rods. You simply select which type of rod it is using a second switch near the top. You also turn it off here too..
This is great as a present and you can start from a simple pyramid and then begin creating coasters and anything else your inner artist can create. You can also create small DIY projects and designs for around the house. You can create and design wearable items, build models and much more.
It’s easy to use freehand, all the plastics used are non-toxic so it’s safe – the only thing you’ll need to watch is the end of the pen itself, which can get quite hot, but there’s plenty of warnings.
The system inside the pen is proper clever – there’s cogs inside which pull the plastic insert down and into the heating element. It’s a very clever system but, if you do have problems, there’s a set of tools and that LED up the top to let you know what’s happening. Here’s the tools, including what I’d call a “pokey thing” should you have any plastic that gets stuck. In my testing I didn’t have any issues at all, and we’ve had this for quite some time now – no problems at all with it.
We still love this thing, weeks after it was sent to us to review. You can fix things with it, you can decorate, you can create some excellent homework with it too (we’ve done that) and, perhaps the best part of this device, it’s not messy. When I first saw the thing I had nightmares of melted plastic dripping off furniture, but there was none of that at all. It’s lots of fun and we generated some really fun shapes very easily indeed.
If you’re looking for something for your kids this Christmas that releases creativity and gets kids away from the TV or any other type of screen, give this a try. It’s great fun and you can work together to have some quality time making shapes and designing artistic 3D creations. It doesn’t smell, it’s clean and it’s a great 3D pen that has the speed control and the ease of use that I really appreciated. Love this thing.
Head to Amazon UK to get yours!