A 3D printing pen is like a small hand held 3D printer. The only difference is that instead of using a computer software to print the three-dimensional object, you will be guiding the printer head by hand in a 3D printing pen. Initially, the melted plastic is very soft, so you can maneuver it in any shape. You can draw on a plain surface and follow a pattern. You can also draw in the air. Once the melted plastic cools, it will be rigid and it will hold to whatever shape you worked on.
3D pens are easy to use, but if it’s your first time to hold the pen, it may take a little while to get used to it. However, once you already understand how it operates and find the most convenient way to handle it, on your next use it will be just another pen.
So, how to use it? Set up your 3D pen by connecting the power and turn the device on. Most 3D printing pen comes with an LED indicator that informs the user if the pen is already warm. If it is already warm, you can insert a piece of filament and press the extrude button to start feeding the filament into the pen and after a few seconds the pen will start to extrude a melted plastic and you can now start drawing.
You can start with a 2D sketch or make up your own design. Just hold the pen close to the paper, press the extrude button to release the melted plastic and move it to lay down the line of plastic on the surface. At the end of each line or when your sketch is done, pause for a few seconds to let the plastic solidify before moving the pen away. To connect two lines just hold the tip of the pen over the junction long enough for the heat to fuse the two lines. Continue adding lines until you complete the sketch. Once it is done, you can slowly peel the plastic off the paper and there you go, you just made your first 3D art with a 3D pen.
You can use a pair of scissors to trim off the rough edges. If you feel that the lines on your sketches are still rough, you can stick it in a toaster oven for just a few minutes and set the temperature above the melting point of the filament and this will soften up the edges.The simplest way to make three-dimensional objects is to draw them from two-dimensional sketches. Sketch each of the sides and attach them together with a small drop of plastic. When all the sides are already attached, apply more plastic in the connections. This is the easiest way to make a wireframe model.
To draw in the air or do a free hand 3D art, start by making a large drop of plastic on the surface to start as your anchor point. Then, slowly lift the pen while pressing the extrude button to make a line. Pause for a moment and wait for the plastic to harden before moving your pen away. To make a curve line, you need to move the pen around while the plastic is cool. This process is difficult because it needs a lot of practice to get the perfect timing.
You can use 3D pens in several ways from drawing shapes, prototyping, customizing accessories and even customizing Lego pieces. For those who love arts and craft, you can draw any animals or object with a 3D pen. You can invent a house decor like vases, a miniature of your dream house, a toy, accessory that you want to wear or even design a dress with it. 3D printing pens are also efficient for support.
Maxine, an artist and illustrator with a background in medical study designed different sculptures with her Doodler. The tool was like a toy to her at first because she never found a practical use for it until she broke her hand. She created a custom ABS plastic exoskeleton to support and protect her hand while it heals. Her own version of exoskeleton using 3D printing pen enables her to hold things while protecting it from accidental knocks and movements that might re-break her bones. She loves her own version of plastic exoskeleton because it was flexible, colorful and washable. Also, it was easy to put on and take off.