Today is National Technology Day so it’s perfectly fitting to share this product review of the 3Doodler Start 3D pen. This is not a technical review – so if you’re looking for filament info or product specs you’ll have to look elsewhere. This is strictly a child-user review and to spoil the end right at the beginning – we love it.
The 3Doodler Start + Essentials kit includes the rechargeable pen unit, a USB charging cable, as well as an assortment of filament sticks. It also includes an instruction book with a very unique feature – the paper is treated to make the softened plastic NOT stick to it. As such you can follow one of the many tutorials in the book by literally tracing the provided illustrations and your new 3D “print” will lift right off the page.
We wanted to start by trying it out on something small so Henri traced this skull’s little bow.
I then followed their clear, graphical instructions to write my name and turn it into a standing decor item.
At that point we both felt confident enough to tackle one of the real projects: these 3D glasses.
I traced the outlines of each piece with the light aqua filament and then we switched to yellow and began filling it in, taking turns between Henri and myself.
Before long we had all 3 pieces traced and filled, and since they don’t stick and solidify almost instantly they were able to be handled right away.
We used a bit more filament to join the arms to the front of the frame…
…and then we had a complete pair of glasses!
It was such a fast, easy project that really got Henri excited about the possibilities.
Just like when using a glue gun, the 3D filament can leave trails as you stop or switch colors. These trails are very easy to snip off with a regular pair of scissors and after playing around for a while on the projects we had very little filament waste.
Henri was SUPER proud of his creation and couldn’t wait to make more things.
Long-time readers of this blog might be a little confused now, since Henri looks a little young in this pic. In fact I first shared this pic in this post, back in 2017. It’s true – Henri will be 14 on Sunday and this pic was taken 6 years ago right after he received this gift for his 8th birthday. So why am I posting this review now, alllllllll these years later?
Because he still uses it and it still works JUST as good as on Day 1. It’s true! Most toys, and especially most electronic toys, don’t hold up to long-term wear and tear, but the 3Doodler start is in semi-regular rotation around here and it’s still working great. We have a bunch of 3D “printed” items around the house, from a heart that he made me for Mother’s Day 2-3 years ago to a solid 1″ cube/die to an automated vehicle he’s been working on here and there during school breaks using an add-on motorization kit. A few times now he’s even used it for some minor household repairs!
Not only is the pen still actively being sold and supported but you can also still get filament packs in all kinds of colors, including solids and variety packs. One fun thing we like to do is to use page protectors as “drawing” surfaces so we can put images or text inside to trace or use for inspiration. You can even get cases to hold your pen, charger and filaments to keep them compact and portable!
All in all we both agree that the 3Doodler Start is a great entry-level 3D pen for kids or adult beginners to allow you to experiment with 3D creations without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s durable, allowing us to use the same one without issue or repair for almost 6 years now.