3Doodler’s 3D printing pens are a lot of fun, and since there are already models for hobbyists and children, they are already very popular. Since the first device was launched in 2013, more than 750,000 units have been shipped. Now the company is getting things started with the release of the 3Doodler Pro, a brand new pen designed to provide an even more refined experience for professional users such as architects, engineers and fashion designers.
The most compelling aspect of the Pro is the materials used. Unlike previous pens, the new device can use plastics that contain high proportions of other materials such as wood, copper, bronze, nylon and even polycarbonate.
According to the company, a finished design made from one of these materials will have the same look and feel as, for example, a solid wood design. It even smells like burnt wood when a strand of hair runs through the tip (like we experienced at IFA), and the resulting 3Doodle can also be polished. The metallic filaments should have a similar weight to “real” copper or bronze.
The pen itself has adjustable dials to adjust the temperature (100 – 250 °C) and speed (10 – 100 percent).
The pen itself has adjustable dials to adjust the temperature (100-250°C or 212-482°F) and the flow rate of the strand through the pen (10-100%). In addition, an adjustable fan is integrated, which allows you to control how quickly the filaments cool down. Settings are displayed on an LCD display on the top of the pen.
The pen’s body is made of carbon fiber and the drive system inside has been redesigned to accommodate the new materials that only the Pro can use.
The professional pen comes with a protective case and includes a portable battery, a nozzle set and 100 strands of special plastic.
The 3Doodler Pro ships today for $249.
Update August 31st: Max Brogue from 3Doodler gave us a quick demo of the Pro pen and introduced the new materials. The carbon fiber body gives the new professional 3Doodler a premium finish, with a rubber grip in front of the tip helping to keep fingers away from the hot tip during use.
The Pro can use the company’s range of PLA, ABS and Flexy plastic strands, but the new materials offer professional designers more choice and, in some cases, greater strength for their creations, particularly with the addition of polycarbonate – which can be used with the Pro thanks to the increased heat capacity and dries completely within a second or two.
It took a few minutes to reach the required temperature, but the LCD display showed progress from the starting temperature to the desired temperature. There was still some residue inside the mechanism from the previous printing that needed to be pumped through and removed before the polycarbonate demonstration began. The material flow rate also had to be adjusted.
Design professionals can look forward to elaborate 3Doodle creations like the necklace and model house shown here
Paul Ridden/New Atlas
As mentioned above, the wood filament gave off a wonderful smoky aroma when heated and the simple 3Doodle had a real wood look. Brogue told us that the nylon design feels like fabric when 3Doodled and can be colored with fabric dyes.
In use it was similar to the other 3D printing pens. It will take a few hours of practice before you end up with not messy, mangled blobs, but designs like the intricate necklace or model house you see above.
The Pro appears to be a solid addition to the range and, as the price suggests, is definitely not aimed at the home tinkerer.