3Doodler’s 3D printing pens are loads of fun, and with models now available for hobbyists and kids, they’ve already proven quite popular, with over 750,000 units shipped since the first device was launched in 2013. Now the company is taking things into a more serious sphere, launching the 3Doodler Pro, a new pen that aims to provide a more refined experience to professional users such as architects, engineers, and fashion designers.
The most compelling aspect of the Pro is the materials it uses. Unlike previous pens, the new device can make use of plastics that contain a high percentage of other materials, such as wood, copper, brass, nylon, and even polycarbonate.
According to the company, a finished design using one of these materials will look the same as, say, an all-wood design. There is even a scent of burning wood when a thread is passed through the tip (as we experienced ourselves at IFA), and the 3Doodle that is created can also be polished. The metallic filaments are said to be similar in weight to “real” copper or bronze.
The pen itself features adjustable dials to adjust the temperature (100 to 250°C or 212 to 482°F) and the speed of thread flow through the pen (10 to 100 percent), and there is an adjustable fan built in. which allows you to control how quickly the filaments cool down. Settings are displayed on an LCD screen at the top of the pen.
The pen’s casing is made from carbon fiber and the drive system inside has been redesigned to accommodate the new materials, which only the Pro can use.
The professional-quality pen ships in a protective case and includes a portable battery pack, tip set and 100 special plastic strands.
The 3Doodler Pro starts shipping today for $249.
Update August 31: Max Brogue from 3Doodler gave us a short demo of the Pro pen and introduced the new materials. The carbon fiber casing gives the new 3Doodler Professional a premium finish, with a rubber grip in front of the tip that helps keep fingers away from the hot tip during use.
The Pro can make use of the company’s range of PLA, ABS and Flexy plastic filaments, but the new materials offer professional designers more options and, in some cases, greater strength for their creations, particularly with the addition of polycarbonate. , which can be used with the Pro thanks to increased heat capabilities, and dries completely in a second or two.
It took a few minutes to reach the required temperature, but the LCD screen showed progress from the initial temperature to the desired temperature. There was still some residue inside the mechanism from the previous print, which needed to be pumped out before starting the polycarbonate demo, and the material flow rate also needed to be adjusted.
As mentioned above, the wood filament gave off a wonderful smoky aroma when heated, and the simple 3Doodle created looked like real wood. Brogue told us that the nylon design will have a fabric-like feel when scribbled in 3D and can be colored with fabric dyes.
In use, it was a similar story to the other 3D printing pens. It will take a few hours of practice before you don’t get messy, tattered spots, but designs like the intricate necklace or model house you see above.
The Pro looks to be a solid addition to the range and, as the price suggests, it’s definitely not aimed at the home doodler.