3Doodler 3D printing pens have always had a lot of potential (who doesn’t want an improved glue gun that can draw 3D structures in mid-air?), but in our hands-on with the pens, their rough build quality means they look more toys than serious styling tools. The company’s latest model, the 3Doodler Pro, wants to change this perception, offering professional users more control, faster-setting plastics and a whole new range of materials to work with.
The new wood filament has real pieces of wood.
Some of the new filaments on offer are pretty wild too. 3Doodler says that Pro supports materials including wood, copper, bronze, nylon, and polycarbonate. Obviously, this doesn’t mean you’ll stick a piece of dowel on the back of the Pro to draw small wooden furniture; instead, these new materials combine elements of their namesake in standard plastic filament.
So in the case of the wood filament, there are pieces of wood chips embedded in the plastic. speaking to the edge3Doodler co-founder and COO Daniel Cowen said this means the filament not only smells like wood, but also feel like. “Because real wood is used, the finished items can be sanded or stained,” says Cowen. “Copper and bronze, as you’ll feel, also have the weight of real copper and bronze, plus strength, and can be polished or sanded for a real metallic sparkle or shine. This can’t be done with just plastic.” It’s an impressive claim, and one we’ll have to verify for ourselves to get the full measure.
Aside from the new plastics, the pen itself has also been revamped. It has a new, lightweight carbon fiber casing, an LCD screen to provide feedback on its status, and dials to adjust extrusion speed and temperature. The part of the pen that actually melts the filament has also been overhauled to make it faster, with 3Doodler claiming that users can now “create a solid structure with a single gesture.” The Pro goes on sale today on the 3Doodler website and at the MoMA Design Store, with prices starting at $249. Other retailers will soon follow, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.