Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Make Your Own 3D Printing Pen from a Hot Glue Gun, a CD Drive Motor & Lots of Duct Tape

ST Medical Devices

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A couple of years ago, WobbleWorks LLC raised $2.3 million in crowdfunding and sold more than 130,000 of their 3Doodler 3D printing pens. It’s basically a “pen” that allows users to lift the tip off the page and create three-dimensional objects using plastic filament like a 3D printer.

FFKCK0XI5MD1FGM.MEDIUMSince then, a few competitors have entered the game and now, the market for the pens has expanded to include the CreoPop 3D Printing Pen. It’s a “cool” version of the idea which takes a different approach than typical pens. Rather than melting plastic filament with a hot end extruder like an FDM 3D printer, the CreoPop uses a version of stereolithography (SLA) and a photosensitive resin. The resin is cured by a UV laser and no heated parts are necessary.

FFOAX1PI5MD1FHA.MEDIUMIf you aren’t up to spending about a hundred bucks for one of these mass manufactured devices, perhaps you want to make your own.  If that’s the case, you can find an Instructable to let you build your own version of the 3D printing pen at home from some pretty humble and easily found materials.

Instructables user Zepherocity took a few relatively common materials to make the pen, and it’s a nice little idea indeed. The homemade 3D printing pen makes use of a high heat hot-glue gun; a battery; a relatively new version of a CD drive motor; some u-shaped, relatively thin, bendable plastic; a little metal wire; and an on-off switch.

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“I’m 14, and ever since I saw the 3D printer pen I thought, ‘I need to find a way to make this work but (so) everyone can do it.’ Just snip anything that could block the inner components from not fitting right,” Zepherocity says.

The maker says it’s key that you only use ABS thermoplastic 3D printing filament with the device. It’s a very interesting idea, though the Instructable could use more detail about how the motor feeds the filament and perhaps additional detail about the actual parts used.

That, and use lots of duct tape, because, well, “duct tape is awesome.”

Do you think this homemade 3D printing pen will work? Is it worth the time it takes to create?  Let us know if you have tried taking on this project in the DIY 3D printing Pen forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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