- Ease of Use
* Like all 3D pens, operating this device is as easy as pushing a button, however using it in a way that will produce recognizable shapes or objects takes hours of practice.
The AtmosFlare 3D pen is a unique 3D pen that uses UV-cured resin to build objects as opposed to the extruded plastic used by other 3D pens on the market. This allows the pen itself to be much cheaper than competitors; however the refill cartridges will be a problem.
What it Comes With
The AtmosFlare pen comes with the pen, two resin cartridges (referred to as ink cartridges) in red and blue, four nozzles, a quick start guide, and a AA battery. The quick start guide provides tips on how to get started with the pen and directs users to the website for videos with more in depth tips. Depending on the user these videos can be helpful or not.
What it Does
Unlike other 3D pens available, the AtmosFlare uses a resin cured by UV light, provided by some UV LEDs mounted by the nozzle. Because it uses LED lights, the power requirements are much lower than other pens and the AtmosFlare can run off a single AA for up to four hours.
Not using thermoplastics like PLA and ABS also means that the pen itself doesn’t hot at all and is safe for children (although the recommended age is 14). There are warnings not to harden the resin on skin and instead wash it off with soap and water, the resin gives off heat to harden when exposed to UV light and this can cause burns.
Like other pens, this device is intended for artistic applications. It requires a steady hand and patience to learn how to use it properly. Most of the Amazon reviews stress the artistic nature of the product and users. Many users complain about not being able to come close to replicating example objects after several hours of practice, and usually run out of resin while still learning how to use the pen.
Check out this video review:
Drawbacks of the AtmosFlare 3D Pen
The AtmosFlare does have several drawbacks with the resin system. First, the resin is proprietary and refill cartridges must be bought to continue using the pen. There are 12 colors available that come in packs of three. The proprietary cartridge of resin also mean finding 3rd party refills is impossible, unlike thermoplastic pens you cannot go and buy a 1kg spool of your favorite color plastic and use it for the pen and a 3D printer.
Finally, the resin is just messy. Like other pens it is very difficult to extrude smoothly and typically ends up blobby or too spindly to support itself. The resin is supposed to be easy to clean up with soap and water or curing and scraping off (for carpets or walls after a spill), however a few users have reported needing more heavy duty cleaners to completely remove the resin. It also does not cure completely, and almost every review notes how the finished, ‘cured’ objects are still extremely sticky and unpleasant to touch.
The AtmosFlare is definitely a unique product among a sea of 3D pens trying to be unique. It accomplishes this by using a different material to build with, which happens to make the pen safer and easier to power (one AA as opposed to the power chords other pens typically use).
This strategy is also the pen's shortcoming, as the resin is proprietary, expensive, and messy. The build quality is often questioned but nobody has reported the pen breaking or frequently clogging like other pens tend to. If you want to try 3D pens this is certainly an affordable option; however be wary of the resin and its cartridges, and expect to spend several hours learning how to use a 3D pen.