UNBOXED: Reviewing the 3Doodler Create+ Leather Pen
Being 100 percent honest, I get an absolute kick out of using the 3Doodler lineup of products. I could care less what the suggested age range is for these 3D printing pens, or the fact that they’re used in schools all across the country as educational tools. I thoroughly enjoy spending hours on end during the day crafting unique structures by tracing a few lines and watching those “drawings” take on a very real three-dimensional form.
The latest 3Doodler product that we were able to get our hands on was the recently released Create+ Deluxe 3D Printing Pen. Essentially, what 3Doodler has done here is take their more recent Create+ Pen and classed it up a whole lot in an effort to attract an older audience of creative minds—like myself. They’ve done that by wrapping the pen in “the finest Italian leather.” The idea with the improved materials is to quite literally make this pen look like something an adult would be willing to leave out on their desk in their home office. It’s a stark contrast from the blue or white plastic of the other 3Doodler pens, and certainly stands out. 3Doodler is calling this the “world’s first luxury 3D pen.”
Being wrapped in leather, the pen provides more than just an aesthetic improvement over the other 3Doodler pens. The softer materials actually make it more comfortable in the hand. The button placements don’t change much, and the pen was already simple to use from a functional standpoint. So making it more comfortable to hold just improves upon what was already a successful product.
As a Create+ pen, this leather edition of the 3Doodler employs the upgraded dual-drive system for improved printing, and users will be able to switch between two different temperature settings, meaning they you can doodle with wood, PLA, ABS, and FLEXY filaments.
In my time with the pen, I certainly had some fun. In previous attempts with older versions of the Create+ I didn’t really set aside the time or have the patience to dive in and build something worthwhile. But this time around, in an effort to really see what this thing is capable of (and what my personal limitations are in this space).
And if there are any drawbacks with this or any other 3Doodler—or really any 3D printing pen in general—it’s just that. You need to find the time and have the patience to commit to building something. Sure, there are two speed settings, slow and fast, that allow you to pick the pace you’d prefer to work at. But this is still 3D printing we’re talking about. The motions are familiar with a 3D printing pen, because you’re, in essence, drawing something on a flat surface. The real challenge comes when you have to peel those pieces off of the paper and physically put together the different parts. The pen basically becomes something of a hot glue gun where the filament acts as an adhesive between all of the different components.
Following 3Doodler’s stencils is a great way to build that experience and practice 3D printing with a pen. There are countless options that the company gives you right in the box, and there are myriad stencils available online and elsewhere to get you going. But even beyond building cool and functional structures (like key rings or bowls, or phone cases), the pen can be used to print replacement parts for some really obscure products—like that piece of plastic that allows you to tighten a strap, as an example. So, there’s more to this than just being a creative mind.
3D printing is an absolutely unique and awesome space to explore no matter your age or expertise level. 3Doodler is making it even more accessible with their line of Create pens, and this leather edition is just the latest example. It’s fun to use, it’s versatile, and, at $120, it’s affordable as well. Is it perfect? I’m not convinced that consumer-based 3D printing is perfect as a segment quite yet. But the efforts of a company like 3Doodler are certainly helping push the market in that direction.