3D drawing pen, 3D pen printing in 5 steps

3D Drawing Pen, if you are new to 3D pens, this is a good place to start. On the following pages, a quick introduction to what and why 3D pen for printing?


3D Drawing Pen, is a pen that ejects warm or hot plastic from the nozzle of the pen. You don’t need any software. No files to transfer, no difficult technique to master, “Whatever you can imagine, you can draw. It goes from your mind, to your hand, right there.” With a 3D pen you can draw a raised drawing on a piece of paper or any flat surface. But what makes the 3D pen really unique is its ability to “draw” in the air, allowing you to instantly create 3D structures right in front of you, which you can pick up and hold in your hand.

What is a “3D printing pen”?

A 3D printing pen is similar to a handheld 3D printer. It uses the same type of heating element and extruder that you would find in a desktop 3D printer. But instead of controlling the computer software and drivers, you guide the print head manually.

Who will use the 3D pen?

Our community is very diverse and there is no one size fits all, but we see 3D pens used primarily by artists, makers, designers (fashion and home), educators, engineers, DIYers, hobbyists and just about anyone who ‘ a little creative want to have fun. Check out some of the examples below and be sure to click on their name to see more of their work.

Also Read: “Thermal Printing Project, 8 Tips To Help Increase Its Profits”

How does 3D Pen work?

3D Pen
3D Pen

Like all 3D printing devices, a 3D drawing pen (3D pen) works by heating a plastic filament to its melting point and forcing it into the tip of the extruder. This is very similar to how a hot glue gun works. The molten plastic is very soft and can be melted onto the surface or worked into any shape you want. Once the molten plastic leaves the tip, it begins to cool rapidly. After a few seconds, the plastic hardens and retains the shape you worked in.

Also read: “Printify, a print-on-demand service to sell your designs online”

What can you do with a 3D pen?

These pens allow you to draw effectively with plastic. You can make plastic into any shape and apply it to most surfaces. You can use it to add decorative highlights to everyday things. With practice, you can even make 3D graphics in an empty space. These pens can also be used to modify and repair other 3D printed objects.

Also Read: “3D Printing Technology”

Steps to use a 3D drawing pen

Step 1: My 3D pen, which is included

3D drawing pen
The first step

In this Instructable, I will show you how to use a 3D stylus, which is provided by GearBest.com and can be found in online stores. This is a very cheap version of a 3D pen. For under $50 you can get your hands on 3D possibilities. My pen came with a few items…

  1. 3D pen (of course)
  2. 3 samples of color filament
  3. Power supply, 12VDC 3A
  4. Operating Instructions
  5. European to American AC adapter, the power supply came with those weird external teeth.

Step 2: Pin process

The pin is a bit more complicated than I expected. I thought he would only have one button to go. It appears to have a forward and reverse button, cruise control and two LED status indicators. The tip is also removable, I believe you can buy different sized tips for greater accuracy! I marked the different parts in the pictures…

Step 3: Add the pith

Adding threads to your 3D pen is very simple, but you can skip a simple step if you don’t know anything about it!

pressure pen
The third step
  • When you connect the power to the 3D pen, you will see an orange power light, shown in the image. At first I thought that meant it was heating up and ready, wrong! After power is connected to the device and you see the orange LED, press the submit/print button. This will also cause the status LED to turn red, indicating that the pen is heating up. Once the pen has warmed up, the LED indicator will turn green.
  • To add the fuse gently insert it into the slot on top, you won’t be able to push it too far as the motor is right at the slot. Once you push the filament a small amount and it becomes difficult to push it, simply press the forward/extrusion button and you will feel the filament start to break. Make sure you push the cruise control to the top where the fuse and power plug are, it’s at full speed. If you leave it at low speed, it can take forever for the fuse to reach the hot point.
  • When the fuse reaches the tip, you will be able to hear it in the car, and then you will start to see it flow from its tip. You are now ready to print! I like to take out some of the excess plastic at the start of a new color to get rid of any bits left over from the previous color. You can now push objects and adjust the speed to perfect your masterpiece!

Step 4: Change the fuse with the 3D pen

When you start making things, you may want to use different colors. To do this, you must first remove the color you used before. The steps are almost the same as placing the fuse…

  1. Power supply
  2. Press the forward / extrusion button
  3. Wait for the status light to turn green
  4. Now, instead of pressing the extrusion/forward button, you press the back button and the filament will start pulling out of the pin.

You can now upload new color clues or throw your pencil in a bag and take it with you!

Step 5: Final Thoughts

Overall I thought it was a nice and neat game. I certainly wouldn’t use it to replace a 3D printer, but it could be useful for 3D printing finishes, and of course fun to play with. When I first got it, one of my buddies came over and enjoyed playing with it.

Also read: “Chromebook. What is a Chromebook and should you buy one?”

3D drawing pen used

Assembling 3D objects from 2D drawings

3D Pen
Assembling 3D objects from 2D drawings

The simplest way to make a 3D object with a 3D pen is to assemble it from several 2D drawings. For example, I make a simple bridge from Warren Truss.

  1. Start by drawing each side. I used a stencil to help me keep the edges even.
  2. Place the bottom piece in the center of your work surface. Then lift the first side piece next to it. Place a small plastic bead at the ends where the pieces meet. It is easy to stick to some places with exposed surface. Then connect them at the corners of each triangle. If you want a stronger connection, you can apply a new line to the entire corner where the two pieces meet. Do this for each side piece of the pattern.
  3. Finally, attach the top piece in the same way.

Once the overall shape holds together, you can go back and add drops of plasticine to reinforce any weak areas. To give the model a fuller look, go back and trim any stuck ends with scissors or wire cutters. I don’t recommend placing a 3D shape in the toaster as you would a 2D drawing, as the shape will likely distort.

Create free 3D objects in space

3d pen
Create free 3D objects in space

The ability to make freehand drawings is probably the most famous feature of the 3D pen. It is also the most difficult. It is very difficult to make graphics in an empty space. You will need a lot of practice before you can make beautiful shapes like the ones you see in commercials. So don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t look very good.

  • To start a 3D drawing, you need to start with a solid anchor point. Make a large plastic dot on the paper. Then slowly raise the pen into the air while pushing it out at a slow speed. You have to move your hand as fast as the extruder pushes the plastic out.
  • To make a straight line, hold the pen body next to the plastic and pull very gently. A small amount of tension will keep the plastic line straight as it cools. When you get to the point where you want the line to end, stop pushing the plastic out and hold the pin for a few seconds. The plastic must cool and recombine before it can support its weight.
  • You can help the plastic cool down faster by blowing on it or directing a small fan at your work area. Once the plastic has hardened, pull the pin away. The plastic melted into the nozzle may leave a small spot or roll out of the 3D pen in a thread. You can cut it with scissors or wire cutters.
  • The hardest part of creating freehand space diagrams is working at the right speed. You need to move your hand at the same speed as the plastic extruder. Otherwise it will relapse. You have to move the pin to shape the plastic as it cools. So you have to intuitively know how quickly the plastic cools and hardens. It takes a lot of training to get off.

Also read: “Canva MailChimp, how do you integrate your Canva templates with MailChimp?”

Make two-dimensional sketches

The easiest type of project to start with is to use your pen to make 2D drawings out of plastic. It might sound like a strange “3D pen” app, but these drawings are different in that you can pick them up on paper when you’re done.

  • First, choose a nice clean surface to record on. Paper works well for this. You can also use the printed graphic as a stencil. You can find many stencils on the internet.
  • To start drawing, squeeze out a small plastic bead on the paper. This will be the initial point of support. Then draw a line by moving the pen slowly across the paper while squeezing out the plastic.
  • Hold the tip of the pen close to the paper so that the melted plastic is pressed against the paper before it has a chance to cool. The hotter the plastic is in contact with the paper, the better it will stick. You want the entire line to adhere well to the paper because many wires shrink as they cool and this can pull the plastic off the paper and distort the shape.
  • At the end of the line, stop pushing the plastic out, but don’t move the pin. Wait a few seconds for the plastic to cool on the paper. Then pull the pin away. This will leave a small tip of plastic sticking out where the tip of the pin used to be. You can smooth it out by lightly touching the side of the tip. The tip will re-melt the tip of the plastic and crush it back into the line.
  • When you want to connect two lines, break at the point where the two lines meet. This will allow the heat from the tip to partially re-melt the first line and create a stronger connection.
  • When your drawing is complete, gently remove it from the paper. You can now use a knife or scissors to carefully cut out any jagged edges.

This special 3D printing pen comes from GearBest.com. They have a lot of neat products and many of them have to do with Arduino compatible devices. Take a look at the different ideas presented here. I hope you enjoyed this little Instructable. .

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