3D Printers, Makers, DIY hacks, solutions and post printing tools

Created by Emil Pop on 13 April, 2018

As you might found out, in general creating an object with an 3D hand held pen is harder than the marketing materials implied.

Human beings are not 3D printing machines, we lack the stability, repeatability and ... patience to carry such annoying task.

If you try to do what a 3D printer does in 3 hours, most probably you will abandon the task in 30 minutes or less. Unless you are up against a bet and want to win that bear, than you might last an hour or so.

The end result will be an absolutely devastation to anybody looking at it, and the functionality far from what a 3D printing machine can get you. I mean like... from the Earth to the Moon.

So what are those things good for?

Well with patience you may, after you get some exercise to get a grip of it, might be able to produce some urgent bracket, support or some other functional part of absolute simplicity, that might work as a patch until you print the real deal.

I however found them extremely useful in repair tasks, sometimes when you print you might have some printing imperfections, like stringing, boghery stuff, etc, and the print between two layers might not be well welded where the nozzle hopped after dragging over such obstacles, so what I do is I heat up the pen with a bit of same filament, dip the pen into the layers without filament extrusion to make a welded connection that leaves a ditch behind, than do a second pass with filament extrusion to cover the ditch with a welded layer, sometimes I need to do that more than once.

Clearly the result is not impressive, but it holds fast, so I can sand the surface and have my 3D printed object functional without re printing it for many hours, and still looking good after sanding.

I sometimes use it during printing, if I see something that is not well welded, happens if the printer shaken, I just pause the printer, weld the bits together the best I can, than re start the printing process, most of the time if I work well, it does the job and is not visible in the final print, or not too bad.

My take on this is: no, you cannot do 3D printing with this kind of things, not what they show when they advertise for it, not even by far, but yes, you can use them for repairs, like a welding machine, a TIG or a MIG MAG, depending how you go for it, just hot nozzle or filament extruding while passing the hot nozzle.

Anybody else?