3Doodler, maker of 3D printing pens like 3Doodler Create+, today announced the 3Doodler app, which lets you display templates on your smartphone or tablet and draw directly on the screen to make 3D prints. It’s a scary idea, putting a metal tip hot enough to melt plastic so close to your prized device, so you may be hesitant to try this on your prized new iPhone or tablet. But the app is an interesting way to get paperless 3D printing templates, if you dare.
3Doodler makes three different 3D printing pens, the Start (starts at $49.99 (opens in a new tab)), a pen for kids ages 6 and up that doesn’t get too hot, the Create+ (starting at $79.99 (opens in a new tab)), which is aimed at adults and reaches higher temperatures, and the Pro (starting at $249), aimed at creative professionals, such as artists, engineers, architects, and designers.
Today, 3Doodler introduces a companion app for iOS and Android. You currently have over 10 tutorials and projects to get you started with 3Doodlers. 3Doodler said it will add new projects every week. The app helps users save paper and ink by allowing them to view and draw templates directly on their device screen, rather than having to print the templates on paper.
While the 3Doodler Start doesn’t get hot enough to burn you, the Create+ goes up to 230 degrees Celsius (446 degrees Fahrenheit). As such, 3Doodler does not recommend placing Create+’s nozzle on a screen for a long time, as it will eventually damage your device. But to use Create+ correctly, the tip must not touch the canvas. It should only do the filament, which cools down in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, those with the more advanced 3Doodler pen, the Pro, shouldn’t be using a device’s screen as a canvas, 3Doodler told us. That pen can reach up to 240 degrees Celsius (464 degrees Fahrenheit).
But don’t think that just because 3Doodler is joining the app world, it wants you to have another reason to be glued to a screen.
“Skills learned on a screen don’t necessarily translate to the real world,” 3Doodler co-founder Maxwell Bogue told Tom’s Hardware. “For example, building blocks assembled in a virtual environment (eg Tetris) don’t help someone build that same structure in a 3D environment. The same is true when it comes to layering paint on a canvas to create a impressive 3D image, unlike [to] what it takes to create the same effect on a tablet. With the 3Doodler app, we can create a bridge between the digital world and digital learning and the physical world.”
New kits for 3Doodler Start and Create+
In addition to the app, the 3D printing company has released new Create+ pen starter sets. The Deluxe Pen Set ($99.99, in Navy Blue or Arctic White) includes 6 interchangeable nozzles, plus a DoodlePad and four packs of plastic filaments. We’re particularly interested in the nozzle set, which as well as enabling different effects should also come in handy if your pen gets clogged (which ours did during our Create+ review). The Master Creator Pen Set ($149.99) includes all of the above, plus a project book, canvas, and two more packs of filament.
3Doodler also announced new kits for its Start and Create+ pens.
The RoboSumo Activity Kit ($24.99) lets kids create “mini sumo battle robots” that wrestle in the included ring. The kit also comes with two motors.
The AlphaDoods Character Kit ($19.99) has a mold for kids to make their own characters, which the company says are suitable for stop-motion social media content. To see what this looks like, watch 3Doodler’s AlphaDoods video here.
They also announced the 3Doodler Create Make Your Own Canvas Bookend Kit ($29.99) for use with the Create+ pen.
Today, 3Doodler also brought its education-focused EDU learning packs to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and other e-commerce sites. Previously, they were only available on the 3Doodler website.