The hype of 3D printers might have died down due to the cost of owning one as well as the technical knowledge required to operate it, so meet the younger, less sophisticated cousin – 3D Printing Pen.
The 3D Pen is just like your regular pen which allows you to express your creativity, however it is not limited to just a flat surface but also the third dimension. Without going into too much details about Space and Time, you will be able to create plastic models which are melted out from the pen’s tip with the use of plastic filament instead of regular ink. With so many colors to choose from, your creations are really limited only to your imagination. Some go as far as creating an entire T-Rex skeleton from scratch, check out this YouTube video:
3D Pen: T-rex Skeleton
There are a lot of brands that are available online for an exact same product due to manufacturers mass-producing (out of China) and selling them to retailers which give these products their own brandings. Take the 2 examples below – Packgout 3D pen (left) which is marketed on Amazon cost US $30.86 excluding fees vs Myriwell (right) which is marketed on AliExpress at US $22.63.
They are identical in every way, however there’s a huge price difference (more than 25%) even when the one on Amazon is on sale – this is the effects of Price Discrimination in different markets. Myriwell even offer free shipping and the ability to choose different plugs (US / UK / EU / AU).
For beginners, I suggest using a printout stencil like the one you see above from 3Doodler, yet another 3D printing pen company. Another thing to note is that the filament comes in two different types of plastics – ABS and PLA. I chose PLA over ABS mainly because the smell is much milder and it’s made out of organic materials like cornstarch, which are more suitable for kids. ABS plastic is stronger and less sticky – a lot more mainstream in the 3D Printing community. I also got 100m of additional PLA filament in 20 different colours (ABS is pretty easy to find).
- It is also fairly easy to use, just like squeezing coloured toothpaste out that hardens in a few seconds. Comes with a LCD to set the temperature required for ABS or PLA filament, and a slider to control the speed of discharge.
- This brand is much cheaper than most of the available brands in the market, which can go up to more than $100. There’s an even cheaper one at US $18.72 without an LCD screen, which is the predecessor – Myriwell v1.
- It might be easy to use, but difficult to master. You have to adjust to a comfortable setting and practice using it for more complicated designs.
I recommend this for the older kids who are able to appreciate creating 3D models and also careful enough to handle it due to the hot tip. For the adults, I highly encourage you hobbyists to watch some YouTube videos and get some inspiration – you’d also learn a few techniques like how to smoothen a surface and precision handling. Enjoy!
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