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Giving shape to innovative ideas – 3D printing pens

05 September 2018

Ideas are aplenty, and innovation will never run out as long as we have those ideas. Our world today is fueled by umpteen ideas that can change the way we move forward and, to aid this, we also have tools that are designed to provide a pedestal for growth and progress.

Here, we focus on a tool that has been a blessing for artists and creators all over – the 3D printing pen. 

Breaking away from two-dimensional images and art, a 3D pen (or 3D printer pen) brings your work out of the paper and gives it an actual structure of its own. Using plastic, which is basically materials like ABS, PLA or Flexy as the “ink” to create art, you can draw on a particular surface and move upwards, creating a perfect 3-dimensional image that you can touch, feel and see like an actual object. 

What are the key features one requires to be aware of while buying a 3D pen? 

1. The flow of plastic 

You don’t want your pen to get stuck midway through while drawing anything because, unlike just a regular pen, you can’t erase what you’ve drawn or undo it either. A 3D pen uses heat mainly to melt the plastic that comes out of it, so a good, consistent flow is very important to create a sturdy piece. A great way to tackle this is to test out the pen first and see how long it takes for the plastic to come out. If you’re unable to test it yourself or this is your first time using a 3D pen, then you can look for the brand of your choice on YouTube and check out a tutorial video. 

2. Surface compatibility 

Not all 3D pens work the same on different surfaces. Just like regular pens, they have different quality and performance based on a number of factors, like the plastic being used or the quality of the technology in the pen. Some pens might not deliver smooth functioning on all surfaces. There have been instances where an art piece hasn’t been able to manifest on certain surfaces, which limits both the art and the artist. If you have a standard workstation, then this might not be a problem. However, if you’re looking to work in different places and versatility matters, then it’s better to read the manual and find out which surfaces the pen can be freely used on. 

3. Cooling in time 

If you plan to use this pen to create 3D images of bigger projects or larger art pieces, then how fast the pen cools down definitely makes a difference. If a pen takes too long to cool down, then it’s a lot of precious time lost. You can’t use the pen when it’s too hot, and waiting for it to be usable again can be quite tedious. Especially if you have a deadline or a schedule to follow, unnecessary time delays can pose quite an issue. In such a case, opting for a pen that cools down faster is a smart choice to make. Time is always an important factor, and you might just save yourself some with the proper research.

4. Warranty matters 

For any product, a solid warranty period is essential. Not just the period, the clauses of the warranty are important too. Some brands might offer only partial replacement or service, in case of any damage to the product. On the other hand, some brands offer complete replacement of the product under certain specifications. Whatever the case, it’s vital to be informed about the warranty conditions. Also, keep the intensity and nature of your work in mind. If you plan to use the pen very often and on a larger number of projects, then a foolproof warranty would surely serve you better. 

5. Temperature control 

As we’ve seen earlier, this type of pen uses a melting and cooling technology with the plastic that comes out. So, the heating capacity and the temperature of both the pen and the surroundings can make a difference. Does the pen heat up to an optimal temperature? Is the plastic sensitive to certain climates or temperature of your surroundings? Will external temperature make a difference to how sturdy your model is? 

These are the right questions to be asking if you want to be more informed about the pen and its tryst with temperature. 

Final thoughts 

And viola! There you have it – a designing tool that is truly instrumental in the way we look at, design and interpret various ideas. You could always check out the best 3D pens here. Picking the right 3D pen can be tricky, but the outcome is, more often than not, a rather fascinating one! 

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