3D printing pen seems to be the buzzword around 3D printing enthusiasts and hobbyists. Be it a child or a professional artist, everyone is eager to have a 3D printing pen. The fact that it brings fun at the workplace, inspires creativity and helps in learning, is making 3D pens a craze all over the world.

Through this article we share the information about a 3D printing pen.

What is a 3D Printing Pen?

3D printing pens are just similar to ordinary glue guns, but these pens extrude 3D printing filaments. This extruded/melted material is used to draw figures and artwork. It is similar to a regular writing pen but in these pens the figure can stand on its own in the third dimension (Z-axis). The subsequent result is a three dimensional figure which is draw by hand and looks like a 3D printed part.

Since the drawings are made with hand they are not as finished as produced by a machine but they are a great tool to inspire creativity.

Inventor of the 3D Printing Pen

Grown out of a necessity to democratise the 3D printing technology and make it accessible to even the average person, three enthusiastic people worked on creating a device which is not as bulky, costly and techno-centric as a 3D printer. The three inventors built, Peter Dilworth, Maxwell Bogue, and Daniel Cowen of WobbleWorks, Inc their first prototype in 2012 in a makerspace. They invented the first 3D pen which they called as a 3Doodler. It is said that they had a bad experience with 3D printers and wanted to create a product which was simple & affordable to every hobbyists and artist.

They launched their first product, the 3Doodler, through a Kickstarter campaign in February 2013. The fund raising target was a modest $30,000 and it booked all reward levels on the first day of the campaign itself. Within three days the campaign raised more than $1million and by the end of the campaign it raised more than $2million.

Operating a 3D Printing Pen

The working principle of 3D printing pens is straightforward. Since the pens use polymer filament as the material the working is as simple as melting the material in a heat chamber and extruding it through the tip (read nozzle) of the pen and deposit the material on any platform. The user can then move the pen around to draw different figures and shapes. The melted material oozing out of the nozzle quickly cools and this makes the deposited material to stand on its own accord. Once cooled the plastic shape holds its shape and remains permanent.

The heating temperature is adjusted as per the material used in the pen. Only a limited number of materials can be used in a 3D pen. The requirement for a material to be used in a 3D printing pen is that it should melt quickly when heated and solidify quickly once it is extruded out of the pen. The user should also note that he should not draw with the 3D pen like a regular pen. The 3D pen should be moved slowly so the figures can be drawn and it holds its shape.

3D Printing Pen Materials

Only a handful number of materials are commonly used in 3D printing pens. Some of these materials include Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Poly Lactic Acid (PLA), & Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA). The latest 3Doodler pen works with a new range of materials including polycarbonate (PC) and Polyamide (Nylon). It also handles plastic-based composites of wood, copper or bronze.

Also Read: The A to Z of 3D Printing Pen

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