What exactly is a 3D pen? A three-dimensional pen is the most recent addition to the line of three-dimensional printing products. It is a pen but not primarily intended for writing a text on paper, but it’s designed and built mainly for printing objects in 3D.
If you are finding that a little vague and confusing, don’t worry; 3D pens are still a fairly new technology, and not everyone is familiar with it yet. Consider a standard glue gun that works with colored glue sticks and comes with a smaller tip to make it easier to use.
Rather than using the colored plastic oozing out from the nozzle of the pen to glue objects together, you can use it to draw figures or objects.
Who Would Think About Inventing a 3D Pen?
In the beginning, we only had 3D printers. During those days, 3D pens were unavailable and unheard of. 3D printer machines were also massive and the vast majority of them were expensive, too.
Evidently, only a small number of select groups of people, like hobbyists and artists, can manage to acquire and own such a groundbreaking machine. It requires a huge amount of computer expertise to figure out how to design objects in computer work.
During those days, what was lacking was a lightweight, compact, and self-contained pen that designers, artists, or engineers could use that would allow them to create 3-dimensional figures.
Enter Daniel Cowen, Maxwell Bogue, and Peter Dilworth, a phenomenal triumvirate who produced the very first three-dimensional pen after having a bad experience with a 3D printing machine.
They called their invention the “3Doodler”. This product offering they came up with is no less than a 3D glue gun. They held a public launch for this offering in 2013, and after which, as they say, the rest is history. From then on, 3D pens naturally became a must-have item for both seasoned and budding artists alike.
What are 3D Pens and How Do They Work?
The working principle behind a 3D printing pen is very straightforward. Plastic is thawed by the right amount of heat. Then, they are forced into a heating compartment where the melting process will take place. Basically, it is pretty much the same as how a simple glue gun works.
The temperature of the filament is never in a fixed state, varying usually and this would be highly dependent upon the materials used to manufacture it. The extruder nozzle will be forced through the molten filament.
The pen user, which is referred to here as a “doodler” pushes the pen around to make various shapes and figures. Once outside the pen, the melted plastic will be cooling down and taking form in no time, preserving the extruded filament’s newly assumed form.
The pen user (also known as a doodler) pushes the pen to make way for making shapes and figures. Once outside the pen, the melted plastic will cool and solidify in no time. This helps a lot in preserving the form of the extruded filament.
When extruded, 3D printing pen plastics need to melt and solidify easily. Unfortunately, only a limited number of plastics meet these requirements. Glass filled polyamide, PLA (polylactic acid), nylon (nylon), ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene), PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), and PC (polycarbonate) are some types of plastic material that readily fall into this classification. PLA and ABS plastics are most commonly used.