What is a 3D Pen?
Freezing your conceptual ideas and imaginations to a concrete shape 3D prototype is becoming the norm of tomorrow. On the first hand, this future technology of 3D Pen sounds like a science fiction but it is the technology of tomorrow. If the thoughts of such an innovative technology excites you, welcome to the world of 3D Printing. Mind you, 3D Printers and 3D Pens are not only for fun, rather some serious projects are underway. Gone are the days, when you drew only in X and Y coordinates. Now, you can also use Z coordinate to extend your drawing canvas of creativity.
How 3D Pens Work?
A 3D Pen is quite similar to a hot glue gun. Instead of glue, 3D Pens use plastic cartridges, better to call them 3D printing filaments. ABS filament (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PLA filament (PolyLactic Acid) are the two most common filament types used by a variety of 3D Pens. 3D Printing is the process of Additive Manufacturing whereby three dimensional solid objects are created by laying down successive layers of thermoplastic material. Today, 3D Printing is used as a synonym to Additive Manufacturing.
A 3D Pen extrudes warm thermoplastic (heated filament at the nozzle) which cools and solidifies in a matter of seconds. The property of instantly cooling and solidifying the melted plastic in the air helps us draw 3D objects, limited only to our imagination and craft skills. Most of the 3D Pens work under the concept of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
History of 3D Pens
The concept of 3D Printing was laid down in 1983 for the first time. Idea of 3D Printing is not as new as many of us believe. Chuck Hull patented his first 3D printing process in the name of stereolithography by defining it as “a method and apparatus for making solid objects by successively printing thin layers of the ultraviolet curable material one on top of the other”. Later, he extended his definition to include “any material capable of solidification or capable of altering its physical state” and founded his own company in the name of 3D Systems.
3D Pen Revolution
3D Pen Revolution was started by Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth in the year 2013. Although, an early prototype was already made in 2012 at the Artisans’ Asylum in Somerville, Massachusetts. They conceptualised this innovative idea out of their 3D printing frustration tasks. It was quite frustrating for them to realise that a line was missed after waiting for 14 long hours to finish a 3D printing job. WoobleWorks 3Doodler became the pioneer in 3D Pen industry, although many other companies namely Dim3W, LIX, CCbetter, iEgrow, Lay3r, Scribbler, Genesis, 7Tech, Sunlu, YAYA, Samto, Joyluxy joined the 3D Pen industry.
Standard Features of 3D Pens
- Temperature Indicators LED
- Extrusion speed control buttons
- Filament change buttons
- Temperature Adjustment buttons
How to Draw 3D Objects with 3D Pens?
Drawing any 3D object by using a 3D pen is not difficult. Switch on the power to your 3D Pen so that it heats up at the desirable temperature. Once heated, put the thermoplastic filament into the pen at its designated place and press the extrude button. You will see the molten plastic oozing out of the nozzle. Hold the pen like any other normal pen and start drawing your desirable object with the molten plastic flowing out of it.
It is important to ensure that the molten plastic is put in place before it cools down and solidifies. 3D Pens are one of the most creative tools used by art creators, craft designers, hobbyists and a great learner tool in the hands of kids. Watch this wonderful video to see how easily you can make your own 3D models.
Tips to Buy 3D Pens
Today, the market is full of a large variety of 3D Pens and its accessories. Anyone desirous of buying a 3D Pen should research the different types of 3D pens available in the market. It will help them understand their features and limitations. It is also important to learn about the different types of 3D printing filaments, its features and their adaptability to your specific 3D Pen type. Now, hold your 3D Pen in your hands and say “Sky is the Limit”.