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What is 3D Printing Pen?

Updated on January 2, 2017

The 3D Technology

If you have not seen a 3D printer, it may really sound so futuristic and close to impossible. That's because we are used to seeing regular printers where the output comes out on a piece of paper. But the 3D technology, or at least the concept, is not new and has been around for three decades already. Back in the 1980's, the concept of 3D printing was conceived to provide a fast and cost-effective solution to industrial prototypes and product development. During that time, the 3D systems introduced were very expensive, huge, slow, and limited capability. Today, 3D printers are commercially available which you can buy for $300 at Amazon.

How Does It Work?

A 3D printer will literally print a three dimensional object out of thin air. But printing an object is probably the easiest part of the process. It starts with creating a virtual design or a 3D model of the object and the fastest way to do that is by using a 3D scanner. Then from the 3D model, the software will convert it to thousands of horizontal layers for the actual printer to print. The 3D printer creates the object by printing one layer at a time of polymer resins until the model is completed. If you wanna see how it works, watch the following video.

By Fred Hsu - Own work, CC
By Fred Hsu - Own work, CC | Source

Then Comes The 3D Pen

The 3D pen branched out of the 3D printing technology and will surely change the world in the near future. The possibility is endless. A 3D pen has the structure and shape as the regular pen that uses plastic filaments instead of inks or traditional lead for pencils. The pen has a heating mechanism inside that melts the plastic filaments so you can use it to conjure pretty much anything you desire but instead of paper, you draw the objects in the air. If this is still hard to imagine, perhaps the concept of a glue gun will help you visualize the magic behind a 3D pen. Same principle but different application and technology. The melted plastic filaments are hot enough to come out of the pen and then cools down and hardens which allows you to create three dimensional objects. The 3D pen opens up a whole new opportunity for the gifted artists out there to expand their horizons and help change the world.

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Best 3D Pens Available Today

The best thing about these 3D pens is that they are relatively cheaper, less bulky, and although fairly new, have several to choose from. Here are a couple of 3D pens that are worth checking out.

1. LIX 3D Smart Pen is probably the slimmest and smartest 3D available today. It is lightweight and slim which makes it very easy to use just like a regular pen. First of its kind to use USB as power source which is a huge advantage because you can charge it on your laptop if a wall outlet is not close by. The quality is pretty good as well. I would say that LIX 3D Smart Pen is created for professionals because of its advanced design. The price of this 3D pen at the time of this writing is $139.95 and available in black or gray color.

How LIX 3D Pen works

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2. 3Doodler Create 3D pen is Amazon's best seller which comes with 50 FREE Plastic strands in a selection of multiple colors and materials. Talk about value for your money! It has a sleek design with changeable nozzles and unique accessories which makes it enjoyable to use by the whole family. The website also offers a lot of tutorials on how to conjure different objects which is really helpful especially for kids and newbies out there. The price tag is $98.85 and free shipping which is not bad really.

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3. 7TECH 3D Printing Pen features user friendly functions and controllable extrusion, temperature, and filament. The 3D pen is also very light weight, only 65 grams or 0.14 pounds! The ability to control the filament extrusion comes in handy especially at the stage when you are new to 3D pen. And because of the heating mechanism inside the pen, it can get too hot so it is a big plus to have an LCD screen to display the temperature and be able to adjust as necessary. This pen also supports both ABS and PLA refill filaments. The discounted price of 7TECH 3D Pen at the time of this writing is $69.99.

4. Scribbler 3D Pen has been around for a while now and has a very ergonomic design that fits your hand for comfortable use. It comes in several colors (Blue, Green, Purple, Red, White, Yellow, Blue Metallic, and Silver Metallic) which is really awesome! It weighs 6.4 ounces or 181 grams. This pen has LCD screen too and lets you control the filament feeding speed according to your desired setting. It has unclogging feature that prevents filament jams which is really nice. 3D pens may experience clogging when overuse. This pen sells for $109.

Scribbler 3D Pen

Scribbler 3D Pen
Scribbler 3D Pen | Source

Conclusion

The 3D pen technology offers artists or even hobbyist another avenue to express their artistic side and hopefully opens up a bigger door of opportunity. The limitations of what you can do with these 3D pens really are the only things you set in your mind. Still a relatively new technology, but no doubt, give it time, this will create a huge impact in our world in the years to come.

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