TOOLBOX: Samto 3D Printing Pen Review

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I saw a “3D Printing Pen” for the first time a couple of weeks ago on an old Kickstarter. Which made the one that arrived on my doorstep yesterday that much more interesting. (Happy Birthday to Me!)

How is it that there’s a bizarre doodling device that I hadn’t heard of? What else am I missing?

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The set I got (Samto® 3D Printing Pen) came with three spools of ABS plastic filament (my dear sister-in-law made sure I had lots of extra color choices though), a charger, the “pen”, and a manual that’s little or no help at all. Fortunately, there’s a labeled diagram, and after pushing all the buttons I think I figured it out. (The kickstarter videos for LIX and 3Doodler are also helpful.) If you watch the videos, or look at the ads, you’ll see beautiful samples of the Eiffel Tower, birds, naked ladies and lettering. I managed to make this masterpiece…

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It’s modern art. You don’t get it because you. aren’t. meant. to.

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The pen itself is a lot like a glue gun with a motorized feeding system that feeds plastic. You push the little trigger button, and a stream of hot plastic comes out (you adjust the speed) then cools (as you hold it) in 3-D. It was lots of fun to play with, but almost impossible to direct into any recognizable shape unless you drew something out on paper.

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If you use the higher speed to draw on paper, it’s a lot like icing a cake. The plastic spreads on, cools, and pops off of the paper easily. (I figured out that it worked best to use lots of pauses while drawing. Draw a bit, then let off the button, then continue. Any hot material will bond to cooled material.)

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To make 3D letters I drew the letter twice, then pulled the pieces off the paper, held one above the other, and connected them at the corners.

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A tad messy for my taste, but still somewhat legible.

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Notice the heart thrown in there? You’ve got one more day to enter your own heart into out Monthly DIY challenge, for a chance to win a card with little patch embroidered by yours truly. I might even 3D doodle you something special.

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It was very difficult to get a consistent flow of plastic, since the little motor went “cachug cachug”. Messy messy messy stringy mess.

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Am I a cat? I just don’t know.

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So. The Samto® 3D Printing Pen is messy, tricky, unpredictable, and had a tendency to smoke a little (Safety Husband says “… It really shouldn’t.”)

What’s the point?

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Here’s the point: I spent the majority of the afternoon making abstract messes, and I had a blast.

I got that tickling feeling that I do when I am using a different part of my brain. Managing the goopy material in three dimensions is absolutely fulfilling. I wanted to try every color, and loved the feeling of crushing my little messes in my fingers. I was a kid again for an afternoon.

Now I’m going to make Safety Husband try it out himself.

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It’s Cooper approved.

Get yours here – Samto® 3D Printing Pen

(We didn’t receive anything from this company or any other for writing this review. We just like playing with new toys. If this looks fun to you, and you’d like to try it out, support Adventures-in-Making by purchasing with the link above. We get a tiny cut, and you pay what you normally would.)

Comments

  1. says

    Awesome review, Alison! I’ve been wondering if 3d pens are hard to use or not. I think they would be super fun, but at the same time, I’m afraid I wouldn’t make much with it…

    • says

      Hi Katie-
      I think with some practice you could figure out how to make it do something that you intended. I didn’t have too much luck. A lot of the examples I saw online used the plastic more like a thick paint or clay, building a thicker coat of material rather than “drawing in air”.
      That said, boy is it fun to play with.

  2. says

    i have a problem with my 3d printing pen even when i stop pressing the extrude button the plastic just keeps coming out has anybody the same problem ? plz help