review

QPAU SL-300 Intelligent 3D Pen iii with OLED screen

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A nifty way to test out if you are ready for a 3D printer is through the use of a 3D printing pen such as the QPAU SL-300 3D pen III.
With a 3D printer pen you can literary do what a 3D printer does and sketch vertically though you can also use a 3D printing pen to trace shapes from templates, which is great for quickly prototyping ideas on the fly.
built-in heated motor housed by anti-heat grip
Having played around for a bit with the QPAU SL-300 3D pen III, I have to say I've been bitten by the 3D pen bug! Sketching in 3-dimensions is actually pretty fun. The QPAU SL-300 3D pen III works similarly to a 3D printer in the way this device heats and cools plastic as it passes through the body of the pen, but instead of using motorized controls to position the tip of the nozzle you manually control it.
The ceramic nozzle tip of the pen actually melts the plastic, while the plastic strand is fed through the back of the pen and pulled by the built-in motor (and, just like a 3D printer the plastic cools rapidly and becomes hard).
QPAU's SL-300 3D pen III uses both 1.75mm ABS and 1.75mm PLA 3D filaments refills, which come in different colors (some of which even glow in the dark).
Both PLA and ABS are thermoplastics but there is a noticeable difference between ABS plastic filament and PLA plastic filament and that is the smell the give off when heated. The PLA filament has a subtle pleasant smell when heated, while the ABS filament gives off a bad plastic smell. Then again, it isn't surprising since PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is made from plants while ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) filaments are chemically made plastics.

unit auto sleeps after 5 minutes of inactivity
With that said, PLA 3D pen filament refills are probably the better alternative as far as health is concern, plus it is biodegradable so PLA plastic can be decomposed naturally by nature.

OLED screen with two LEDs and two buttons either side
As mentioned earlier, QPAU's SL-300 3D pen III has a built-in OLED screen that displays PLA/ABS modes as well as the heating temperature.
The unit automatically adjusts the temperature (around 165 C), though you have the ability to lower and increase the temperature via two buttons located on either side of the OLED display.
feeding and unloading buttons
You can also manually adjust the motor speed of the SL-300 3D pen III as well as unload the plastic from the body of the pen.
speed control buttons
The buttons that control the motor speed as well as the feed/unload are located near the tip of the 3D pen. You can choose from a total of 8 motor speed settings (speed 5 is the default).
3D pen holder has suction cup at the bottom
After testing out this 3D pen, I can see many other applications beyond creating crafty 3-dimensional objects or fixing flaws in 3D prints from printers. With a 3D printer pen you can also fix plastic character figures using it as a hot glue gun.

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