How does a 3D pen work?

Artists across the world got a major boost with the influx of 3D pens in the market. Creativity stepped up a notch higher. And now adults as well as the young ones can venture into 3D art at the comfort of their homes. 

If you’re looking to know how they work, you may be in the market for a 3D pen, or you’ve just bought one.. But if you are just starting out, have a look at this detailed buying guide by Reviews Rabbit. Order your favorite 3D pen and I’ll help you get started. 

What is a 3D pen and how does it work?

A 3D pen closely resembles a ballpoint pen. The major difference is that, whereas the ballpoint pen uses ink, the 3Dpen uses plastic. With a ballpoint pen, you can only write in 2D mode. The 3D pen allows you to write in 3D, or rather create 3D objects.

The plastic, herein referred to as the filament is fed into the rear end of the pen. By pressing the button on the side of the pen, you drive a motor, which pulls the filament through the pen. Once the filament hits the bottom of the pen, it is heated up so that it flows through the tip in molten form. 

In addition to the motor button, most 3D pens come with two other buttons:

  • A button for unloading the filament from the pen. Yes! The filament is not stored within the pen as is the case with ballpoint or fountain pens. 
  •  A button for controlling the speed with which the plastic flows out of the nozzle. The faster the speed, the narrower the molten strand – and the vice versa is true.

To use the 3D pen, hold it like a normal pen. Press the printing button and wait for about 30 seconds for the plastic to start oozing out. Remember the nozzle is hot. Don’t attempt touching it. You will badly burn your fingers. Move the nozzle to and fro the template in line with what you are drawing. The nozzle doesn’t have to be in tight contact with the surface as is the case with the normal pen. Lift it off slightly to allow the plastic to flawlessly flow out.    

Is a 3D pen worth it?

In my opinion, the 3D pen is a very valuable tool for artists, children, and DIYers. Artists are able to advance their creativity into the 3D realm and create whatever object their mind thinks of. For children, it is a really reasonable playing tool as it improves their creativity. They are able to create the toy that they want to play with, rather than just get a complete toy from the stores. DIY enthusiasts will definitely find the 3D pen useful in fixing damaged objects or adding decorations to everyday household items. 

How do you use a 3D pen?

The best way to get started is by using a template for penning over. Draw the shape you want on the template using ink or pencil. Once you deposit the plastic onto the template, give it time to cool and harden. Handling it immediately may considerably distort your work of art. To keep your work neat, consider releasing the motor button some 2 or 3 seconds before the end of a specific line you are drawing. This is due to the fact that the plastic keeps oozing out for sometime after you release the button. 

What do you draw on with a 3D pen?

Experienced artists mostly use 3D pens free-style, meaning they directly create their 3D imaginations without the need of a template. To get to that level, consider drawing your objects on a piece of paper on which you have sketched the faces of the desired object. In case you are lost on what exactly to draw, feel free to search online for 3D pen stencils. Kick off your artistic journey in style.


It is a tool once reserved for the electrician and electronic technicians, multimeters—sometimes called “multitesters”—have come down in price and size, making them indispensable for homeowners who have basic knowledge of circuitry. When troubleshooting problems with small appliances, smart-home modules, speaker systems, or just about any other electronic item, a multimeter will be among the most valued tools in your arsenal.

If you’re new to multimeters, these gadgets may seem daunting at first. Learn the basics, however, and you’ll soon be able to perform a number of diagnostic tests on your own. Because multimeters vary from model to model, be sure to study your specific unit’s operating manual before you get started.

How to Use a Multimeter – Check an Outlet

Two Types of Multimeters

Analog multimeters, or volt-ohm-milliammeters (VOM), have been around for decades and can still be found, affordably, at any do-it-yourself-type store. The new kids on the block—digital multimeters (DMM)—offer greater precision with decimal point readouts, even enhanced functions, such as the ability to auto-detect alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

Applications and Limitations

Both VOM and DMM models measure voltage, resistance, and current, replacing the need for individual voltmeters, ohmmeters, and ammeters. While you can test household voltage with a multimeter, electrical-current-testing is limited to low-voltage circuits, such as small direct current (DC) motors or low-voltage alternating current (AC) appliances—your thermostats and doorbells, for example. To avoid blowing a fuse, destroying the multimeter, or risking injury, do not attempt to test a current higher than the maximum allowed for your unit.

Among other things, multimeters can determine:

Available battery charge

The voltage at an outlet or switch

Damage in cables and cords

Viability of fuses, diodes, and resisters

The conductive ability of an electrical pathway

Measuring Voltage

With a multimeter, you can measure both AC and DC voltage—particularly useful for locating short circuits or determining if a rechargeable battery is holding a charge. Start by selecting the corresponding current on the multimeter and a voltage range higher than the current you’re testing. For example, if you’re measuring the voltage in a 120-volt wall outlet, turn the multimeter knob to the next highest option—200 ACV. If you’re testing a 12-volt car battery, select the next highest option—20 DCV.

Then make sure to connect your test leads to the proper jacks before testing: For voltage testing, plug the red lead into the port labeled “V.” For this and all multimeter tests, the black lead plugs into the common (COM) port.

To test a battery’s DC charge, touch the red probe to its positive terminal and the black probe to its negative terminal; the multimeter will display the existing charge in the battery. Since polarity isn’t an issue in AC voltage, it doesn’t matter which probe you insert in either hole of a wall outlet; insert both probes, and the multimeter will display the voltage at the outlet.

Safety Tip: Hold probes by their insulated handles. Do not touch the metal part of the probes to avoid electrical shock.

How to Use a Multimeter – Check an Appliance

Testing Resistance and Continuity

In electronics, “resistance,” is the amount of hindrance to the flow of electricity, and less is more—or, rather, good for the operation of your appliances. Multimeter in hand, you can test resistance in circuit board components and appliance elements throughout the house. If, for example, a microwave isn’t operating as it should, this checkup could help you determine if you should replace a single non-functioning component on the circuit board or buy a new microwave outright.

First, make sure the appliance is unplugged before testing. Plug the red lead into the port with the ohm’s symbol, “Ω,” and select the lowest ohms’ function on the dial. While you can test individual capacitors and components directly on a circuit board, you’ll get a more accurate reading if you remove a component and then test it. When you touch the black and red probes to both ends of a component, simultaneously, you’ll get a reading. The lower the reading, the less the resistance to electrical flow. By comparing the readings from other components on the circuit board, you can determine whether or not to replace a component with an unusually high reading.

To test the continuity, or continuous flow, of an electrical path between two points, plug the red lead into the “Ω” jack and turn the dial to the continuity symbol, “continuity”. A small reading—or a beep—indicates there is a continuous path between the two points. No reading or beep, however, indicates a problem. For example, if you’ve just put a new bulb in your lamp but it still doesn’t turn on, running this test at both ends of its power cord can confirm that an internally broken cord is to blame for your dim room.

Testing Low-voltage Current

In order to measure low-voltage current, the multimeter must become part of the circuit, allowing the current to actually run through the multimeter. This is handy for determining whether a low-voltage circuit, such as a looped set of solar-powered landscape lights, is getting power to all the lights. For this test, plug the red lead into the port labeled, “A,” for Amps, and select the next-highest Amps function on the dial.

Your operating manual may provide a chart, but if not, you can test a simple circuit by connecting the live feed from the power-supply (usually black) to the multimeter’s red probe. The multimeter’s black probe then connects to the positive wire (usually black) on the appliance you’re testing. Finally, the neutral power-supply lead (usually white) connects to the negative appliance wire (also white). When you’ve hooked up the circuit correctly, turn on the power source to measure the electrical flow rate, or amps, through the circuit.

Safety Tip: As previously mentioned, do not test a circuit that exceeds your multimeter’s capability. Multimeters are “fused” at a maximum amount of voltage, which is typically lower than household current. If a multimeter bears the words, “10A MAX FUSED,” do not test any current you suspect might be higher than 10 Amps.

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