3D printing pens offer a quick, fun, no-experience-necessary entry into the world of 3D printing. But, so far, using them has been a pain. Literally. Testing the 3Doodler pen last year left my hand aching. It’s just difficult to pack that much hardware into a pen-like shape that fits comfortably in the human hand.
Texas 3D printer maker Dim3printing says that it has finally created an ergonomic alternative. The Dim3W, which will ship to distributors and resellers in March, appears to be slimmer in shape, which would be a relief compared to the chunky 3Doodler.
It’s not yet clear where the extrude button is located. That was another major flaw of the 3Doodler, which had buttons located far too close to its tip. Dim3printing also states that the Dim3W does not have a cooling fan, which cuts out the worst of the noise a 3D printing pen can produce. But it makes me wonder if the pen could get hot to touch.
The actual quality of the printed product doesn’t appear to be any better than the 3Doodler. It will still be a learned skill to work with the pen.
The Dim3W still works with ABS and PLA plastic, which means fumes and an unpleasant plastic smell are still unavoidable. The pen will sell for $99.99 and be available in four colors.
“We believe that the best way to get ourselves educated with 3D printing and digitized manufacturing is to start with enjoyable playing experiences,” director Bin Hu said in a statement posted on the company’s website.
3Doodler’s big advantage over Dim3printing is its community. The company has done a nice job of curating projects and posting tutorials for its users. Then again, there is nothing stopping Dim3W users from just heading over to the 3Doodler website for project ideas.