loading

In this project, I am going to give you a basic introduction to 3D printing pens and how to use them.

What is a "3D Printing Pen?"

A 3D printing pen is like a handheld 3D printer. It uses the same kind of heating element and extruder that you would find on a desktop 3D printer. But instead of being controlled with computer software and motors, you guide the printer head by hand.

How Does it Work?

Like all 3D printing devices, a 3D printing pen works by heating a plastic filament to its melting point and forcing it through an extruder tip. This is very similar to how a hot glue gun works. The melted plastic is very soft and can be fused onto a surface or worked into any shape that you want. Once the melted plastic leaves the tip, it begins to quickly cool down. After a few seconds, the plastic hardens and holds whatever shape you have worked it into.

What Can You Do With a 3D pen?

These pens allow you to effectively draw with plastic. You can work the plastic into just about any shape and apply it to most surfaces. You can use it to add raised decorative designs to everyday objects. With practice, you can even make 3D drawings in empty space. These pens can also be used to modify and repair other 3D printed objects.

Step 1: Watch the Video

Here is a video walkthrough of the project.

<p>cool! i have the new 'i do 3d' pens, settled by UV light.</p>
<p>Honestly, they suck. They don't dry well and are very stickywhen they're not dry...</p>
<p>I really want that one</p>
<p>Same here</p>
​When you tried a 3D pen with HIPS, PC, or metal-filled 3D filament or wood filament, then all the I do 3D, creopop can be forgotten and put in history. Like 3d dreamer pen with instant solid, you can draw something in the air, instead of on a flat surface.
<p>I've actually used the 3D printing pen I bought at a local radioshack to fill in a rather large gap on the casing of a donated defibrillator. Worked a lot better than I had thought it would.</p>
feels right at home with Chinese warning tag! so want one! brilliant Lego application!
<p>I don't think it is fair to compare a 3D pen to a hot glue gun in term of size, functionalities and its applications. The current problems is that most of 3D pen is prone to be clogged/jammed. That put people off from 3D drawing and doodling. Who could come up with a jam proof 3D pen?</p>
so it's basically a hot glue gun bit with PLA instead of glue
Yeah. That is basically what it is.
great tutorial, I was looking for a way to built my own 3d printer, but I think I'll go for the pen. <br>It looks much easier to work with, then built and program a desktop printer.<br>
<p>Do you think you could modify a glue gun to do a similar thing</p>
<p>&quot;American Hacker&quot; (YouTube) Made a 3D Pen from a hot glue gun</p>
<p>hot glue doesn't cool fast enough for this kind of thing but you can make sculptures out of it if you are patient and putting plastic inside a hot glue gun is a very bad idea( I've done it before) it will ruin your hot glue gun</p>
<p>What i meant was could you modify a glue gun to use the plastic filament.</p>
<p>You can buy those devices from Aliexpress too (I bought fro U$ 70 with free shipping)<br>Its cheaper than branded ones<br>Got one and a few ABS rolls to try and they work fine</p>
Great, that sounds like a pretty good deal, thanks for the info
Hey im bit sure if I can post links, but newegg has 3d pens for 50 new or openbox for $35ish. Ive always bought open box items from them and theyve always been brand new, I guess people have just returned them and they cant sell it as new anymore. In anycase they have free 3 day shipping so itd be much better than ordering from aliexpress or dhGate. Heres the link<br>http://m.newegg.com/Product/index?itemnumber=288-000S-00002R if you cant share links here, just search &quot;open box 3d stereoscopic newegg&quot; on google and it should be first!
<p>Just remind to check for the seller rep, number of sells... just like you were using ebay</p>
Thanks, I probably wouldnt be getting one anytime soon but I will bare that in mind..... thanks for the advice
You could, but hot glue takes a lot longer to cool and solidify. So that might cause some problems. But they do sell precision hot glue guns.
OH what I actually meant was could you modify a precision glue gun to use the plastic filament ?<br>Also, where can I buy a 3d printing pen and for how much?
<p>There are links in step 2 to websites where you can buy the pens. It also lists current prices. Hot glue guns won't really work because most of them don't get hot enough.</p>
<p>Right,thanks for a lot for the help :-)</p>
<p>Great job but it's a little big for now. </p><p>Do you think you could make it more compact later ?</p>
<p>:'( but but the zero force members.. the flexure.. tiny plastic people could die</p>
<p>extraordinaire instructable, on apprend comment ces stylo fonctionnent et comment s'en servir de fa&ccedil;on rationnelle, ce qui &eacute;tait jusqu'&agrave; pr&eacute;sent un obstacle &agrave; l'achat.</p><p>Gr&acirc;ce &agrave; vous je vais imprimer le dessin d'un papillon et au lieu de le r&eacute;aliser en papier, je vais le faire en mati&egrave;re plastique.</p>
<p>Great information. This is very useful tutorial for beginners.</p>
2D sounds very similar to piping icing on a cake. The key to straight lines with icing is to extrude some in the air first and then drape the line on the surface rather than try to &quot;draw&quot; a straight line right on the surface. I wonder if that is possible with the plastic? The lines would look less &quot;wiggly&quot;.
It can work the same way. But keep in mind that plastic is a little more viscous than frosting and it harden much more quickly. It is also much more rigid after it hardens.
<p>Does it fuse with ABS Plastic or just support it?</p>
It will easily stick to the surface just like it will stick to most surfaces. But it will scrape off. If you want it to fuse to the base plastic, you need to hold the tip very close to the surface so that the extruded plastic will still be really hot when it is applied.
<p>For any questions about international delivery you can mail us at info@3dprinterpen.nl</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>The <a href="http://3dprinterpen.nl/" rel="nofollow">3D Printer Pen:</a> (available in the Netherlands)<br>Is also avaible for other countries and can be order from every place across the globe. The 3D printer pen is also compatible with Interchangeable tips, extruder and motherboard.</p>
<p>Does it fuse with ABS Plastic or just support it?</p>
which pen would you recommend as being the best?
I have only personally used the Yaya brand. I can't talk from experience. But just based on the reviews that I have read, I would recommend 3Doodler 2.0. The second version of the 3Doodler is much much slimmer and easier to manipulate. Most of the 3D pens are so big that it is really difficult to make any fine details. This model is in the kickstarter now and should be out soon.
I am the first!
<p>As an owner of a 3Doodler, I must say, you make this look easy. These <br>definitely have a learning curve and it takes time even to be able to <br>make straight lines that are even a little close to looking good. Great <br>instructable!</p>
<p>Yeah! 3D to the masses!</p>
nice job.
<p>Ha! Love the custom LEGO hair. That might be the best use I've ever seen for one of these 3D pens so far. Nice!</p>
Nice guide and documentation...

About This Instructable

79,746views

444favorites

License:

Bio: My name is Jason Poel Smith I am a Community Manager here at Instructables. In my free time, I am an Inventor, Maker, Hacker, Tinker ... More »
More by DIY Hacks and How Tos:How to Make a Festivus Pole Add Wings to an Infant's Halloween Costume Bubble Bath That Never Runs Out Of Bubbles 
Add instructable to: