Nearly 50 teens experimented with the 3Doodler 3D printing pens during our “Draw in 3D” workshop. The pens extrude heated plastic filament that cools almost instantly into a solid, stable structure. This makes it possible to draw up into the air or assemble several pieces together to create a three-dimensional object.
The participants started with drawing something simple, like their name or a cube. Once they were comfortable enough, they started spinning all sorts of creative objects. Some used stencils provided by the 3Doodler website; some imagined up their own projects; some collaborated with others.
A few tips on using these pens:
- If you want to make something curvy (like a cylindrical candle holder), make sure you tape your stencil on something curvy. The plastic cools instantly, so if the image is drawn flat with the intention of bending the design later, it may not work as well as you think. One teen used the shape of a marker to make rings (see photos below).
- In our experience, the black ABS plastic doesn’t heat up as well as the others.
- Some projects may require a partner for ease of assembly (see Eiffel Tower project or hipster glasses photos).
The workshops were 90 minutes long, but some teens could have easily continued for several hours. These projects stimulate imagination, arts, and engineering.
Here’s a selection of their creations:
Ava, Cary, and Lori with their 3D projects (8th grade)