The 3Doodler Create+ is the newest 3D printing pen from 3Doodler. For those not in the know, 3D printing pens use plastic filament to draw physical designs – like a kind of handheld 3D printer. Fun enough for children to enjoy, they also have more adult creative applications in art and design.
3Doodler 3D printing pens have been around in various guises for a few years now but the latest versions have felt more complete, while retaining their fun nature. We've tested the Create+ and created this comprehensive review to help you make an informed choice.
3Doodler Create+: Design and features
The stylus of the Create+ (there are other versions for younger users and educational settings) is streamlined and feels not much bigger than a standard felt tip pen. This is a big improvement as older versions felt somewhat unwieldy and were heavy enough to cause some discomfort over longer doodling sessions.
It's nicely built, with well placed buttons and a window that shows off the mechanism for feeding filament. When it comes to the kit it's worth noting that the power cable, which needs to be attached (it’s not a charger but a power supply) is a bit on the short side. I'd like to see a longer one, to reduce extension clutter. That said, it fits well and is light, reducing fatigue while drawing in mid air!
The 3Doodler Create+ allows for printing/doodling with different materials and each has a different use. PLA is pretty standard and is cheap and easy, whereas ABS is stronger and hardens faster. The third material, FLX, is similar to use as PLA but has a more flexible hardened state.
Part of the appeal of this package – other than the completeness of material, stylus and instruction bundled – is the online element. Although it’s hard to quantify something as changeable as a web-based content selection, it's really nice to see 3Doodler using the web to support their users, with many videos, tutorials and schematics, to help users really get the most from their experience. A little hand-holding can go a long way but the real power here is of the inspirational aspect of what can be achieved, from household fixes to 3D costume and jewellery designs.
3D Doodler Create+ review: Performance
The 3Doodler lets you draw on a surface in what feels like thick paint but then the fun begins as you can lift the tip into air, creating a lattice or framework. This may not have the precision of a normal printer but is far more interactive and entertaining. Templates exist to help you build different models, using the pen to weld parts together. The Eiffel Tower is an obvious choice for a demo but that doesn't detract from the fun and sense of accomplishment. It's fair to say that this can be testing at first, as the muscle memory isn’t there for most people but perseverance pays off.
Should you buy the 3Doodler Create+?
This generation of the device is much easier to handle and produces good, fun results, once you put the practice in. The kit comes with more than enough different material to get you up and running, which adds to both enjoyment and value.