Let’s get down to the hardening the plastic.
Knowing how (and when) to use the ultraviolet light goes back to the design of your project.
- If you are going to create separate pieces and combine them into a new construct, you will start with the ultraviolet light off and create the piece (usually flat) on the plastic sheet, then turn on the ultraviolet light and harden each piece when you have drawn it and filled it in. Don’t forget to pick up the plastic and expose the back side of the project piece to the light also.
- If you are going to draw the piece in 3D – that is, you will be drawing pieces out “into the air,” you will draw with the ultraviolet light turned out.
You really need to think about this ahead of time. It’s obvious that if you don’t have the light on, the liquid won’t draw out into the air, basically defying gravity. Well, you might think it’s obvious. (You’ll notice pretty much immediately if you leave the ultraviolet light off.) But if you have the light on, the liquid will harden into plastic right away, and what you draw is what you get. If you’re unhappy with the results, just break it off and start that section again. It takes practice, and you’ll get better results as you get more experience. Going slowly helps, too.
I’m pretty stoked about this pen set. Yes, the kids like it, and at first, I thought it was pretty “artsy-crafty,” and not serious like filament based pen my son owns. But then I got to thinking. I was so used to the 3D printers that use solid plastic filament strands, the IDO3D pen looked like a toy. But then I got to thinking. 3D printing isn’t limited to plastics. In this video, they use concrete in a 3D printer to print a castle. As in, life size. And here, we see in another video they are printing with glass, metal, food, even living cells. So, 3D printing with the liquid in these pens is another great way to explore these STEM concepts, one that kids are pick up fairly quickly – and the limit is only their imagination.
The IDO3D Vertical Four Pen Set that I received came with four pens, in the colors pink, white, yellow, and blue; an ultraviolet light tip for hardening, a plastic sheet for tracing and shape molds to “write” on to create shapes, and a “guidemap” (an instructional sheet). It appears that this set is no longer available, but there is a nearly identical Four Pen Set available on Amazon that contains the colors pink, white, green and purple.
The IDO3D Vertical Five Pen Set come with four pens, in the colors green, purple, orange, red, and blue; an ultraviolet light tip for hardening, a plastic sheet for tracing and shape molds to “write” on to create shapes; and a guidebook with beginner, medium, and advanced projects.
I received these IDO3D Vertical Pen sets at no cost for testing and review purposes.
Any opinion expressed here is mine alone.
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