The 3Doodler pen, by WobbleWorks, is a popular product that is ranked as one of the best 3D pens and was also the first 3D pen to the scene. The original 3Doodler pen was released through Kickstarter in September 2013 and the updated 3Doodler 2.0 was released later in April 2015. If you already have a 3Doodler drawing pen or if you are up for the challenge and frustration of drawing with plastic, this article will provide an overview of and recommendations for the best accessories for a 3Doodler 3D pen in 2017.
What’s so Special about 3D Pens?
3D pens are known to have very high learning curves. They are not like desktop 3D printers (see printer reviews here) which allow users to download freely available .STL files and essentially press “print,” letting the printer do all of the work.
With 3D printing pens, you do all of the printing. Although this sounds like a lot of work, which it is, you are no longer constrained by the layer-by-layer printing process of a typical 3D printer. 3D printers use a slicing software that cuts objects into layers and print each layer successively from the bottom to the top. With 3D pens, you have an unlimited number of options in how you create. You can print in any direction as long as you have something for the plastic to stick to. Additionally, you don’t need to start printing from a flat build-plate and can start printing off of almost any object.
What are the Best Accessories for a 3Doodler 3D Pen?
1. NozzleSet Review
A NozzleSet is the first accessory you need to get for your 3Doodler pen. This set includes 6 nozzles, a case, and a nozzle changer. The ability to vary extrusion diameters and shapes is an essential part of mastering creating complex designs with a 3Doodler pen. Larger diameter extrusions give you the ability to make strong, rigid supports at the cost of more plastic being used. Also, ribbon and triangle extrusions give you additional options. The NozzleSet for the 3Doodler 2.0 pen is not interchangeable with the original 3Doodler pens. However, there are nozzle sets available for the original 3Doodle pens. Definitely go get a NozzleSet if you don’t have one already.
2. 3Doodler Pedal Review
The 3Doodler Pedal lets you use your feet to control your 3Doodler pen extrusion. Much like the pedal on a sewing machine, you can use your feet to control the machine, leaving your hands free to maneuver materials. However, with a 3Doodler, a pedal may not help out as much as you may think. Although you are controlling the extrusion of the 3D pen with the foot pedal, you will still need to hold the 3Doodler pen with one of your hands. Using your feet to control the extrusion may give you slightly better command over the pen’s extrusion rate. Since you don’t need to worry about holding the 3Doodler in a position where your finger has to be on the controls, you will also have a little more freedom manipulating the 3Doodler pen. The 3Doodler pedal fits both the original 3Doodler and the 3Doodler 2.0. In summary, the pedal provides a minor control and usability upgrade, but should only be purchased if you are a serious 3D doodler.
3. JetPack Portable Charger Review
The JetPack Portable Charger is a portable battery that lets you use your 3Doodler 2.0 pen anywhere. It is advertised as providing 2 hours of use with ABS and 3 hours with PLA. It comes with a belt clip that can be worn in case you decide to become a travelling 3D doodler. This battery pack is really more of an impulse buy since most 3D doodling sessions are multiple hours long and usually take place near a power outlet. Unless you have some small projects that require a battery-powered doodler, this is not an easy purchase to justify. The JetPack charger fits the 3Doodler 2.0 only and is not compatible with the original 3Doodler.
4. Doodlestand Review
The Doodlestand is a stand that holds a 3Doodler 2.0 and includes multiple strand holders to hold an array of plastic strands at the ready. Although this item looks pretty slick and can even hold a hot 3Doodler upright, unless you have a dedicated work-area for using your 3Doodler pen, you may want to pass on this item. 3Doodler pens lay flat and can easily fit in a drawer or bin for storage. Tabletop real estate in craft and project rooms usually comes at a premium and a stand like this would not find a home with most 3Doodlers. This stand fits the 3Doodler 2.0 and not the original 3Doodler. The original 3Doodler has its own stand which holds the pen vertically and includes buttons to control the pens extrusion.
5. Doodlepad Review
The Doodlepad, is a transparent plastic pad with grid lines. This plastic pad is used as a build surface and is placed over items you want to trace. The pad provides a firm base for the first extrusion to stick to. It allows your creations to be easily removed after making them, and can be reused multiple times. There is no reason to not have one of these. The DoodlePad is a definite must have accessory, especially if you are tracing stencils.
6. Some FREE Stencils
Lastly, one last item that you definitely need to get to make 2017 a great year for your 3Doodler are stencils (free!). The 3Doodler community regularly updates the site with new stencils and projects. If you’re looking for inspiration, or want to take your doodles to the next level, check out the stencils and project ideas freely available on the community section of the 3Doodler webpage.
In summary, you should definitely get some or all of these best accessories for a 3Doodler 3D pen. Specifically, I recommend the NozzleSet and a DoodlePad if you haven’t already bought them. If you are 3D doodling every day, you may want to consider picking up a foot pedal. The Doodlestand and Portable Charger are probably not going to help you that much, so seriously consider these before purchasing them. If you’re planning to pick up the 3Doodler Start, a wireless 3Doodler designed for children, the only accessory that will be compatible is the Doodlepad and of course, stencils.