You never know what you can create until you have an innovative thought in your imagination and a right tool in your hand to shape that thought on a paper in three dimensions. Yes, it is possible now to draw things exactly as you imagined!! You can lift your pen up the paper and create real objects.
Now its time for it to jump into the world of 3D printing. We are no more limited to two co-ordinates. You can draw what ever comes in your mind into a three dimensional output. If you can scribble, trace or wave a finger in the air, you can use a 3D pen to create simple or complex objects. Just plug it in and start drawing anything within minutes. It represents a whole new media for artists, makers, 3D enthusiasts and anyone who wants to express their creative side. Possibilities are endless including 3D models, jewelry, decorative art, toys, a model of Eiffel tower or a complex engineering design.
Engineers who for long struggled with Isometric projections, can draw complex 3D drawings on two dimensional paper. The Orthogonal drawings can be turned into 3D models now. The 3D printing pens are not much famous outside the United States as 3D printers. The first 3D pen prototype was made by 3Doodler at Artisans’ Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts in early 2012 and launched in 2013. 3Doodler came up with update version 2.0, with reduced power consumption and new accessories such as nozzle set and jet pack, a battery back up tool. Scribbler 3D, Samto 3D pen, YaYa 3D, Crenova 3D, Soyan 3D are the other producers of a 3D pen in the current market.
Interestingly enough, a 3D printing pen doesn’t even need any software to operate and can also be made using a glue gun. It is a small hack made by an enthusiastic, using lego bricks. He made a system which allowed him to produce extruded plastic working in the same way as a 3D printing pen.
There are two dominant plastics that are by far most suitable for 3D printing; ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) . Both ABS and PLA are known as thermoplastics; that is they become soft and moldable when heated and return to a solid when cooled. Their ability to melt and be processed again is what has made them so prevalent in society and is why most of the polymers we interact with on a daily basis are thermoplastics.
The 3D pen uses ABS, a petroleum based thermoplastic polymer. The very same type of plastic is used in making Lego Bricks as well. It has good flexibility and toughness, and it doesn’t deform at high temperatures unlike PLA. However, PLA plastic is eco-friendly and cools rapidly making it a better option for beginners to use. The 3D pen has a filament or a heat source inside and it melts the plastic used for printing. ABS and PLA both have different melting points.
Let me know your favorite type of 3D printing pen and the feature about it that impressed you the most. My personal favorite is 3Doodler 2.0. It does costs a little high, but is better and so much fun to work with. More importantly, if something inspires you and taps your creativity, I say it is worth every penny!!