How to 3D PEN Tutorial #1 | GETTING STARTED

Sharing buttons:

- [Ali] For these tutorials I'm going to focus on techniques

and tips that can be applied to any brand or model

of 3D pen.

I'm currently releasing three tutorial videos all at once

that cover different areas and skill levels.

This video will be for the absolute beginner

with a goal of getting you started on your 3D pen journey

with a minimal amount of frustration.

The other two videos will be on basic and advanced

techniques, so check those out if you're interested.

I'll put links to them at the end of the video

and in the video description.

So you'll see a lot recommendations in the equipment

that you need to get started for 3D penning.

But what you actually need is very simple.

The bare bones of what I recommend to get started are

a 3D pen, duh, filament.

I definitely recommend using PLA filament over ABS filament.

The reasons for this are ABS emits a strong odor when

penning, and there are more health risks of inhaling

those ABS fumes.

PLA is largely made from cornstarch or sugar cane

and is biodegradable.

Having templates for tracing and penning over it

can make it way easier to get started.

Many pens already come with some of these templates

so you can start with those, or you can take any image

you find on the internet, scale it to the size you want,

and use that to pen over.

And that's it.

That's really all you need, the bare minimum,

that you need to get started.

Two optional items that I will mention

are wax paper and tape.

If you're struggling with PLA sticking to what you're

penning on, or your 3D pen doesn't have temperature

control settings, you can also pen on wax paper

taped over your template to prevent this.

And note that I mean wax paper, not parchment paper

which doesn't work nearly as well.

Of course you can have lots of other equipment

and tools to help take your 3D penning to the next level.

And I talk about most of these in the other two videos.

But the items that I just showed are all you really

need to get started.

I kept these three tutorials independent of type

or brand of 3D pen.

If you wanna know the details of how your specific pen

works, either read the directions, duh again,

or search for videos using keywords of your pen

brand and model number.

So in keeping with that spirit, I'm gonna very briefly

describe how 3D pens work, because chances are you already

know what I'm about to say.

3D pens take raw plastic, also called filament

and use a motor that pulls the filament through the 3D pen.

When the filament hits the bottom of the pen,

it gets heated up so that it flows easily through a small

opening at the bottom of the pen called the nozzle.

There are typically three important buttons on a pen.

One for moving the filament forward, when you want to push

out some plastic and do some penning.

One for when you want to move the filament backwards

or unload the pen.

And finally there's a speed control, which allows you

to set how fast the plastic will come out of your pen.

The fast setting will allow you to easily make thick,

chunky lines, while the slow setting will allow you to make

thinner, more detail oriented lines.

Keep in mind that since the nozzle is hot, you can get

burned by it or the molten plastic that coming out the end.

So be careful and use caution.

To start drawing, treat it like it's a normal pen or pencil

with a nozzle making contact with what you're drawing on.

(pen buzzing)

The big difference with a normal pen is that you can change

the height of the nozzle with respect to the paper

and that can have a huge influence on the end result.

(pen buzzing)

Okay, let's now get in some actual tips that will help

you with your 3D penning.

My first tip for beginners is to think about speed control.

This can be done in two ways.

One, by adjusting the speed on the pen itself as I just

showed, or two, by changing the speed

at which you move your hand.

Here I am making the initial line with the speed set

all the way up.

And then I'm gonna set the speed down halfway

and try to make the same line while moving my hand at the

same speed, which is kinda hard to do,

You can see that this line is thinner because of the speed

setting that we changed.

Finally, I'm going to set the speed all the way back

up again, but move my hand much more quickly and you can

see that the line is a lot thinner.

As you practice using your 3D pen, you'll develop a feel

for what speeds get you a certain look and appearance.

And practicing and experimenting is a big part of getting

good with a 3D pen.

The second tip is about anchoring.

If you're having trouble getting your lines to stick

to whatever you're penning on, try using more anchor points.

What I mean by this is the following.

When you start a line, pause as you extrude some plastic

to allow a small anchor point to build up,

then go ahead and make your line.

Once you reach the end, pause again to allow another anchor

point to form.

The anchor points help to keep the plastic stuck

to whatever you're penning on.

In addition, if you're trying to make a long line

you can pause at points along the way to make anchor

points that will help hold it in place.

The third tip is about cooling.

Keep in mind that the plastic is still hot right after

it comes out of the nozzle and it can still move around

quite a bit as you can see here.

But as time passes it becomes more and more rigid.

So, remember to give your lines and layers the time

it needs to cool.

Also keep in mind that as you add hot plastic on top

of previously cooled plastic,

it can start moving around again.

Especially keep this in mind for thin or small parts.

The fourth tip is to be mindful of the direction

that you're penning in.

As you can see from this test case, when I pen left,

the nozzle itself can smear the filament

that's being pushed out.

If I'm mindful of this and lift the nozzle slightly

off the paper when going left, the smearing disappears.

But, as you lift the nozzle off the paper,

your stability and control are reduced.

Another way around this is to change the orientation

of the paper.

I can rotate the paper and avoid the smear.

This also improves visibility into what you're penning,

so don't be afraid to rotate.

I'm gonna end with a time lapse with me doing

some 3D penning using the tips that I've just gone over.

Sprinkled into this time lapse are gonna be a few of the

things I think you should watch out for.

This weeping, or oozing of your pen

after extruding is normal.

The amount of oozing depends on a few factors.

The type of filament, and especially the temperature

the pen is heating up to can have a huge influence on this.

This is why I especially recommend a pen that has

temperature controls like this one, where you can change

and tune the temperature for each new filament that you use.

When you're penning, the filament does not stop extruding

immediately after you stop pressing the forward button,

so it really helps to anticipate when you need to stop

penning and release the forward button one to two seconds

ahead of time.

Finally, always unload your filament when you're done

using your pen for the day.

This will help prevent clogging or jamming of the pen

during the next use.

Well, I hope you found these tips useful,

and that they've successfully gotten you started

with your 3D pen.

As I mentioned earlier,

I've also released basic and advanced tutorial videos,

so check those out if you want to find more ways

to improve your 3D penning.

I'll also be releasing more of my own 3D pen creations,

as well as additional tutorial videos

so please subscribe if you wanna see those.

Thanks for watching, and I'll see you in the next video.