3Doodler 3D Pen Start Essentials Set for Kids Review
Editor's rating:
10.0
Nela Cvetanovska
Reviewed by Nela Cvetanovska
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We like

An educational STEM toy

A genuine tool for creative expression

Child friendly design with no heat threats

Eco-friendly and biodegradable materials

Multiple different colors and shape plates

High quality electronic components

A tech product which is easy to use

It charges wirelessly and you can take it on the go

We don’t like

The plastic stick supply runs out quickly

How it works

Is it childish to be overly excited about the 3Doodler toy or would it be more childish to act indifferent about it? Let’s be real, we all want to try it out! After all, you are basically able to draw anything in the air with it!

It is well known that art and creative drawing expression have allowed people to unravel their deepest fantasies on a blank canvas. However, what if you can transfer that imaginary two-dimensional world in 3D without any complicated building material components. Just using a flat surface and a magical 3D pen.

In order for a pen to seem out worldly and unique, it has to work instantly and effortlessly. The 3Doodler pen is a tool that will extrude warm plastic from its nozzle however it will not burn you. It is designed to be simple and safe so children can be introduced to the vast universe of 3D printing without any complicated tech or transferring file systems. It sounds very promising and most importantly, this 3Doodler truly delivers.

Origin

Origin

The legend of the 3D printing pen’s origin tells us a story of the WobbleWorks co-founders who found themselves desperate for a last minute solution and came up with a genius idea. Maxwell Bogue and Peter Dilworth actually invented this pen by accident when their 3D printer left a slight gap in the final print and the unplanned line caused them to think of a quick solution.

Anyone who had the chance to work with 3D printers, knows that the process of printing is long and can be unpredictable so instead of starting the print from the beginning, which can take for hours and days, they looked for a more convenient solution. By taking off the printhead and making a mini version with according gears and a heater unit, they managed to create a 3D printing pen that could correct every mistake manually and thus the 3Doodler was born!

By joining sides with a co-founder, Daniel Cowen, they raised approximately 4 million dollars with the help of Kickstarters and people who believed in the potential of this tool. Their effort and creativity really payed off since their invention became the best-selling 3D printing pen of all-time.
Design

Design

This product kind of looks like the hot glue gun and your favorite crayons fell in love and made this enchanting 3Doodler baby. When you unpack the box, you will find the pen, a USB charger, a palate of multiple colors, silicon plates and an Activity Guide to introduce you to the wonders of 3D doodling.

The blue pen is very elegantly crafted with an orange click button which controls the process of melting. The materials come in various colors including a classic red, a pastel baby blue, orange, yellow, green, grey, regular blue and white. They look like hard plastic sticks which similarly to the hot glue gun, you have to insert them in the pen in order to be melted and shaped into glorious creations.

It has a USB cable which allows it to be charged via your phone, tablet, computer or a wall charger. Like most electronic toys, once it has enough power, just click the ON/OFF button, and wait for the heating process. It should take around 30 seconds for the green light to show up and notify you that the pen is ready for use.

The small light in the middle is very convenient since it shows orange while it’s charging, red while it’s heating and green when you can use it. It’s as simple as that. It would appear that it heats up and melts the inside materials like the regular hot glue gun however unlike the actual gluing tool, it’s not warm and it’s completely safe to touch and model with it.

When you hit the button it helps feed the strain right in, so the whole process is quite easy to be managed by a child. The strain doesn’t stick out from the back and the melted part goes slowly and smoothly to the surface which allows children to be very precise in the crafting process.

There are a few lime-green silicone pads that help children get the desired shape of the object they are planning to recreate. The round silicon plates have multiple patterns and shapes on them so you children can get perfect results every time in case they need help in outlining the project. The melted plastic is easily removed from the silicon plate which is very convenient since you don’t want them to stick into each other and ruin the creation.
Education

Education

This is one of the safest and easiest ways to introduce your child to the glorious futuristic world of 3D printing. As we know, 3D printing already plays a huge part in medicine, science and technological development. It has an important role in sustainable fashion, industrial design and contemporary architecture. Therefore, it is an undeniably valuable STEM toy that would help your child practice its dexterity, creative building and spatial reasoning.

There are well known designers who create with the professional 3Doodlers and famous architects who use them for correcting their 3D printed building models. The 3D printing process itself is already integrated in every field and learning more about it would be of great benefit to your children. What better way to approach it than by an educational play-time activity?

The learning and knowledgeable value of this toy has been acknowledge with many awards and has received recognition from many futuristic schooling facilities. But did you know that the company also grants awards to its customers? In order to motivate the younger audience to explore its capacities, the toymakers have developed a contest and gave out awards for the most artistic doodlers.

Various categories were included such as; The Da Vinci Award for most innovative design, the Fantasy Tale award for most magical creation, Interior Design Award, Living Word Award, Macro Award as well as Micro Award, Single Strand Award, Wearable Award and last but not least Doodler of the Year Award.

This truly motivated children to upgrade their doodling skills and educate themselves in the 3D printing field which ultimately resulted in a lot of participant interest and a tough decision for the 3Doodler voting team. The winners got the 3Doodler PRO, a year’s supply of plastic and 3Doodlers accessories. This way they are encouraged to further develop their air drawing skills and fall in love with the 3D printing universe.
Creativity

Creativity

It is quite remarkable to see so many different ways of using this unconventional doodler. Whether it’s building cities by drawing in the mid-air space or creating outfits that your Barbie dolls can actually wear, this pen will allow you to turn your fantasies into an actual reality.

It’s almost if crayons had superpowers and made all your drawings come to life. The children can use the Activity Guide to get inspired and motivated, as well as the website that offers multiple tutorials in case they run out of ideas. You can create Halloween accessories, jewelry boxes, Christmas ornaments, birthday decorations, crowns, animals, name-tags, anything you can draw in 2D is pretty much printable in 3D as well.
Materials

Materials

The brand takes pride in creating a 3D pen made of high quality electronics and eco-friendly materials. Since 3D printing is supposed to make our future sustainable instead of polluted, the plastic components are biodegradable and child-safe. Even though the plastic is being melted, the process is completely non-toxic and it won’t harm your child in any way.

There has been proper safety testing for the 3Doodler Start Plastics which means all the components have been inspected following notoriously strict and professional standards. Intertek and Bureau Veritas who are well known as being two of the most reputable research laboratories have verified the quality of the materials by conducting RoHS Testing, Toxological Risk Assessments, Heavy-metal testing and LHAMA Compliance Testing.

It is also great that the eco-plastic is slightly softer than regular plastic and it can be easily bendable. The flexibility allows children to experiment with their designs however even though this starter pack includes 48 plastic sticks, you might be surprised how quickly you run out of the first supply. It is good to know that there are available refills online in multiple colors which you can order online for an affordable price.
Ease of Use

Ease of Use

Even though this is a STEM toy and a futuristic tech accessory, the 3Doodler is simpler than most of the electronic toys on the market. It weighs around 8 ounces and can be easily managed by younger individuals. In facts it's meant for children of/above the age of 6 years’ old who want to express themselves creatively and learn about 3D printing in middle school.

All the components are designed to be attached to each other in a simple and efficient manner, the plastic sticks easily enter the pen and the melted plastic hardens immediately so there are literally no burn risks. Even though it heats up from inside, the plastic that comes out is slightly warm and the nozzle is never hot. It is safe to say that children can use this product without adult supervision or fire hazards.

It is also very helpful that the creative team came up with multiple models and pattern designs which children can follow if they are not in the mood of inventing their own creations. The Activity guide has many outlines for children who need help in getting the right angle for their desired object so the final product can look as realistic as possible.
Price Range

Price Range

It would be quite expected for a toy of this kind, which is more of an actual electronic tool for children, to be a little bit pricey. However, if you compare it to the professional 3Doodlers, this 3D pen model for children is quite cheaper and very convenient as a starting point. The refill components are very affordable and you can easily replace them once you run out of plastic sticks. The fact that it’s wireless and does not require batteries is also a great plus.

It is by far one of the most valuable investments for the whole family since everyone will probably want to try it out and can be an interesting educational experience for all ages. It’s pretty much impossible to be disappointed by this STEM product however even if you are, it’s still a NO RISK PURCHASE. The creators offer a 360 days’ free replacement policy and a 24-hour global customer service to make sure you are properly familiar and satisfied with the product.

Conclusion

We are living in an era of holograms, augmented reality and 3D printing pens that can draw in mid-air! What a time to be alive! It is really hard not to be impressed by this invention or even slightly curious of its functions. Many adults who bought it for their kids are purchasing a professional version for themselves.

The adult versions require more complex knowledge and could burn your children, while this child friendly version is carefully crafted for your child to explore all its possibilities in a safe manner and without assistance. It is also great that the plastic doesn’t harden immediately and it’s not hot so children can even mold it with their fingers to get the proper shape.

They can build a whole miniature city on a flat surface in your own living room to make pretend play scenarios for their tiny toys and dolls. They will love making fashionable accessories and showing off their creative skills to their friends. It will definitely encourage young minds to step out of the comfort zone and explore the 3D printing world. The 3Doodler is probably one of the most entertaining STEM toys on the market and will most definitely awake the hidden artist inside your child.
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