At our house we are a little obsessed with 3-D printing, so it was no surprise when the 3-Doodler showed up under the Christmas tree last year. While you won’t get the same product quality out of the 3Doodler as you would a 3-D printer, it definitely has a niche in the crafting world and if you have never played around with 3-D printing it is a good place to start. There is very little set-up, no need to make 3-D CAD drawings, just heat it up and decide what you want to try to make. My kids love to play with this and I have used the 3Doodler for a variety of crafty projects.
You do need to get used to the different types of medium. If you want to draw straight up, have your finished object be a little flexible or if you are joining plastic objects together ABS is your best bet. If you want your object to stick to paper, glass, metal or fabric PLA is your best option. PLA will also allow you to stretch it for a few seconds after it comes out of the 3Doodler and comes in a larger variety of colors than ABS. Both plastics are good for building objects freehand.
My very first 3Doodler design was an embellishment for a hat. I had an hour before we went to a Derby party and this was my inspiration: Grace Du Prez’s award-winning Peacock Hat.
To change color in the 3Doodler you need to run all of the previous color through and then you will have a section where the two colors mix. Because I wanted different colors in my feathers, I decided to build all three at once and just free handed the feathers and color placement. I did need to go back and add extra support to the stem of the feather as well. Here was my finished product:
I was able to make three feathers in an hour and add them to my hat just in time. My hand was a little cramped at the end but with the hold button feature the 3Doodler 2.0 has it was much better than the previous model.
I have been extremely happy with the 3Doodler. What I thought was just a toy has become a worthwhile designing tool.