One of the recent innovations that has piqued a lot of interest is the 3D pen. This pen has a lot of uses and has proven to be one of the most artsy technological tools in recent times. A 3D pen produces three dimensional shapes and requires no software or computer to work. But how exactly did the 3D pen come to be? Despite the fact that several people know about the 3D pen right now, only few know how it came about. Everything about the history of the 3D pen is about to be revealed to you; from its inception, to how it has fared overtime. Brace yourself, as you are about to be taken on a journey of how the 3D pen rose to its present state.

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What Is A 3D Printing Pen?

History of 3D Pens

A 3D printing pen is an innovative handheld pen-like device for designers, artists, creative and hobbyists. It works just like a normal pen or pencil, but operates with the use of plastic filaments. These filaments are inserted into the 3D pen and heated up to their melting point. They are then ejected through the pen by the artist, making whatever shape is desired. Thereafter, they are left to cool and solidify into the desired shape. The filaments come in several colors and their speed of ejection can be controlled by a switch on the 3D drawing pen. 3D pens can be used to make several decorative arts, and they can also be used for repair purposes.

Origin Of The 3D Pen

The 3D drawing pen dates back to 2012 with the birth of the first 3D doodle drawing pen prototype. The inventors, Peter Dilworth, Daniel Cowen and Maxwell Bogue, came about the idea after waiting for their first 3D print job to be completed, only to realize that their printer had missed out on an important line. The inventors designed the 3D pen to use a plastic filament made of Poly-Lactic Acid (PLA) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). Overtime, other filament sources have been used, but these two remain the most prominent.

However, before this invention, the idea for a 3D pen had been conceived in a 1995 patent for an apparatus that can create three dimensional objects. The patent opined that wax guns or glue guns could be used to create 3D objects by ejecting highly heated fluids that solidified and hardened into a desired shape.

The wax guns described in the patent melts wax in a heater internally, and ejects it via its nozzle. The ejected wax can then be cooled with a fan or inside water. These wax guns have been used for casting jewelry and other ornamental works in the past. The wax gun provides the basis for the functionality of the 3D pen, although it is not capable of making what the 3D pen can. The wax gun can create small niche prints, but the 3D pen uses thermoplastics that can cool very quickly when compared to other materials. These thermoplastics also have the strength to create stand-alone and complex objects unlike those of the gun wax.

How Has The 3D Pen Developed Overtime?

Every great innovation must constantly make progress overtime, and the 3D printing pen is no different. Since the 3D pen was invented in 2012, several changes have been made to this wonderful device.

In 2015, an enhanced version of the 3D printing pen was introduced into the market. This version was better and more detailed than the first 3D pen. It featured several updates which included an option for changing the shape and size of the 3D pen tip. It also featured a quieter fan than the first version, as well as a smaller and more convenient design.

Overtime, several other changes have been made to the 3D drawing pen. Different makers of these pens have emerged. However, most changes have been centered on usability and experience. Some key changes and properties that have taken the lead in the design of 3D pens are:

1. Temperature Indicators: Temperature indicators have been a recent introduction to 3d pens. These indicators show the temperature at which the filament is being melted at. Certain designs require a range of temperatures, and these indicators do a good job in making you aware of the temperature your pen is operating at.

2. Extrusion speed of filament: The extrusion speed of the filament is another important design feature that has been improved overtime. You can now set your desired speed of extrusion, unlike previous 3D pens.

3. Filament Change Buttons: The filament change buttons are now easily accessible, making it a piece of cake to change pen filaments. These buttons make sure you can easily switch between filaments of different makes and colors, adding variety to your designs.

4. Adjustable Temperature Settings: The temperature settings in newer 3D pens can now be adjusted to suit your needs. Exact temperature values can now be selected, giving you more freedom in your design specifications.

5. Reliability of Pens: The reliability and longevity of 3D pens is another important feature that has been improved overtime. Pens are now being made of materials that can withstand the constant heating of the pen for a long time. These pens are also being designed to be easily maintained and repaired if need be.

6. Ergonomics: The ease and comfort of use of a 3D pen is a very crucial success factor. You definitely want a pen that is easy to use for a long period of time without causing stress. The locations of the buttons on the 3D pens are carefully selected to provide a convenient and wonderful experience using the pens.  


There is no room for doubt when we say the 3D pen is one of the most important design tools of the 21st century. This pen has many uses. It has driven many design and artsy genius in recent years, and it is really a worthwhile cause to know its history. 3D pens are here to stay, and now that you know their history, you will further appreciate them more.

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