The 3Doodler pens (Start Create, Pro and Pro) look similar to the traditional pen. However, they use PLA or ABS filaments for 3D modeling. The filament rods are heated in the molten state and then extruded from the other end. The molten plastic can be used to create all sorts of shapes, forms, and patterns in the air. Each pen comes with 10 filament colors.
There are five strands of filament available, with a decent selection including clear, white and black. You can also purchase the entire 3Doodler refill range of PLA colors. It includes 65 colors including sparkly, flexible, and glow-in–the-dark features. 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen. The Marine Blue unit I reviewed was available, but they also sell it in Camouflage Green and Artic White.
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The pen feels solid in the hand and is made of smooth plastic. The pen is four-sided but its bottom is narrower, giving it a pyramidal feel. The angularity of the pencil makes it feel like a pencil. You can also hold it and control it like a pencil. On the front, there is a large rubber “FAST” and smaller “SLOW” buttons. The plastic will extrude or come out at the speed you choose, and it will stop if you press again.
Double-clicking on the Fast and Slow buttons pushes plastic out of pen’s backport so that you can remove it. An indicator light is located near the bottom. It indicates that the pen is still heating up. Blue means it can insert and use ABS plastic, while green indicates that you can insert and/or use PLA plastic. To make things easier, we would prefer a two-color system.
You must first plug the 3Doodler Create+ in and allow it to heat up before you can use it. The ABS/FLX setting should be used for matte or flexible plastics, and PLA for shiny, clear, metallic, or sparkle plastics. The pen will become ready after about 90 seconds.
When the light indicator at the bottom turns from red to green for ABS (better to draw in the air), FLX (for bendable prints), or green for PLA, (glossier), the pen should be ready. After the 3Doodler Create+ has been heated, you can insert the plastic of your choice through the hole in the bottom.
It will push through the drive gears, and you can see the pen through the plastic cover at the back. The 3Doodler Create+ Essential Pen Set includes three plastic packs and the pen. However, there are also upgraded packages. The Create+ Deluxe Pen Set costs $99.99 and includes four plastic filament packs, a Mini DoodlePad paper surface, and six changeable nozzles.
The Create+ Master Creator Pen Set costs $149.99. It includes the pen, six plastic packs, six nozzles, a book, six nozzles, a full size DoodlePad, six packs of plastic, and a book with printing ideas. Trade-up bundles are available for those who already own the 3Doodler and Create pen. It takes approximately 80 seconds for the pen to heat up.
At that point, the light will change from red to blue to show that the Create+ has been ready to use. The nozzle tip is very hot, but it’s small. The silicone cap is located between the lower speed button (and the nozzle) and blocks heat. However, it will not completely protect fingers from burns if your hands slide forward.
It’s best to keep it away from children younger than 14 years old. 3Doodler’s website states that the 3Doodler 2.0 (the older version) is for ages 14+. The Create+ box doesn’t mention any age range, but a representative of the company suggests 12 years and older. Insert a stick of plastic into the loading port.
This is the small hole located at the end opposite to the nozzle. The Fast key turns the drive gear that pulls the plastic through Create+. The first plastic stick is loaded in 8 seconds. When the plastic reaches its melting point, a fine line will form from the nozzle. Then you can start creating. There may be a slight burning smell or smoke. Each pen comes with some extra parts.
The Polaroid Pen comes with a small plastic plate that is the same size as a cell phone’s build plate, while the 3Doodler has a similar-sized letter-sized plate. These plates can be used to create a base for printing on top of a template or outline. This app is available for Android and iOS. This will convert an image to a black outline, or load a template from the pre-made templates available in the app.
To create your piece of art, place the plate on top of the phone. This is where the 3Doodler Create Plus comes in. Download stencils and print them. Then, place them under the build plate for tracing. 3Doodler has hundreds of stencils. These range from toys and models of animals and birds to architectural models. These stencils include instructions and build tips for assembling your models.
The 3Doodler Start can be a fun toy. If your child is “methodical,” or enjoys spending quiet time making things, then this could be the right toy. The recommended age for this toy is 8 years and older. A child who expects or wants to create a masterpiece straight out of a box might find that gravity is still an enemy. See the pictures below to see how you can draw in space. It’s not as simple as it seems.
It takes patience and time. This doodler is cool. It’s a slow process. You can squeeze the plastic sticks out slowly and it’s not possible to rush it. Otherwise, the plastic will become too thin and hairlike. The 3Doodler Creator was a great tool. The 3Doodler Create is a fun tool that you can use to create 3D printed objects.
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Contrary to our expectations, we found that working with project stencils downloaded from the community portal was more rewarding than hand-drawing. We may be able to create more original items as we gain confidence, but for now we are more open to exploring the suggestions and ideas already available. The 3Doodler Create cannot be fully transported.
You must always plug it into a power source. The individual filament strands can run out quickly so you will need to reload frequently for larger projects. These are minor issues. There are many 3D printing pen options available, with some being cheap copies of the 3Doodler.
If you are considering buying one, it is a good idea to invest in the company that blazed the way. Keep in mind that each pen has its own plastic stick, so Create+ sticks can’t be used in the Start. These sticks are not inexpensive. Amazon sells 144 strands in packs of 24 each of six colours for PS29.99.
While the initial cost may seem low, the consumables can quickly surpass the price of the pen. There are many colours available, as well as special finishes such wood-infused plastic that makes your creations look almost like they are made from wood.