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ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Handy Home Master
Hi everybody. I’m going to explain to you how to make a colorful mask with a Styrofoam head and a 3D pen I’m going to be trying out. I’ve got it from China, and it’s charming. This thing has little paw prints on it. It’s got cute little eyes, cute little whiskers, ears, and, of course, a cute little nose that you can boop if you want to. I’ve written about 3D pen printing before, and hopefully, this will make it easier for me to explain. And this one, this pen works pretty much the same.
You can put PLA or ABS fiber in it. And… basically, I think the main difference between those two is it needs slightly different temperatures for it to work. And then you can also choose the speed with it. Next, when you up the speed, you can choose between low, medium, or high. Personally, I had it on high the whole time. Ah… it just gets a little hotter, so that it can pump this weird, colorful, gooey stuff out a little quicker. But the cool thing about this stuff is—I don’t know if you have used it—it is fun to mess around with. It can get a bit frustrating just because it’s so different from anything that any of us have used before.
It can be a bit frustrating when you turn it on the first time, but you’ll get the hang of it fast. It’s gooey at first when it’s hot, but then, as it cools down—it cools down really quick, and then it gets hard. And thankfully, it’s not brittle. It’s actually pretty flexible.
Creating the Mask on a Styrofoam Head
I’m making a mask today, on the Styrofoam head. I called him Greg, and he is a real trooper, and even though he’s made of Styrofoam, and it was burning and melting his face, he didn’t flinch or complain at all. And I really appreciate that about Greg. I used to have little burn piles in my backyard, and the only thing my mom didn’t let me put in those piles—I would burn cardboard, leaves, and stuff—and the only thing my mom didn’t let me put in those piles of leaves and stuff was Styrofoam. So I was a bit worried about me melting the Styrofoam. It melted a bit under the heat of the filament coming out of the pen, so… I didn’t get any weird headaches. Maybe it will catch up with me in a few years if I keep going down this dangerous path. Anyways, you can get a bunch of different colored filaments for this.
In the past, when I was playing with a 3D pen, I was just using very basic stuff. I had a big spool of white filament, a big spool of the black. But with this pen I got a bunch of different colors– different shades of those colors, and I was excited to use them for this mask, whatever it ended up looking like. I can’t tell if it was like a clown… something a clown would wear to go into battle, but also kind of… Mayan? Incan? Incandescent. Glowy.
Some colors like the green and the yellow did glow under the blacklight, so maybe I will toy with that later. We’ll see. I am a bit on a bit of a blacklight thing when right now, as I’m typing and creating the mask. I don’t want to wear that out. Anyway, if you’re looking for a review of this, and you’re looking for a 3D pen, this one obviously is geared towards children, and it works pretty good towards children.
Just make sure they know the tip of it does get pretty hot. And the stuff right when it comes out of there—by the stuff I mean the filament—right when it comes out of there it’s pretty hot. But if you don’t touch that, I mean, if your kid is old enough to use, like, a hot glue gun they can probably use this. Trust your kids. Kids are smart, smarter than we think they are. They can do it. Obviously, this is shaped like a cat, so your kid will love it. And it goes to sleep automatically after a little while so you probably won’t burn your house down like some other models of pens. You could just leave them on forever. They do cool down a little bit, but I think this one will even turn off all the way.
The Same Filament That Goes in 3d Printers
These pens use the same kind of filament that goes in 3D printers, and so basically, when you use these, you become a human 3D printer except we’re a little less accurate, but a bit more able to adjust on-the-fly to changes in situations, in attitudes and altitudes. You can change what you’re doing halfway through. You might be drawing an eagle, a lot of people make eagles or trees. You can switch from a tree to an eagle halfway through, and you’ll have a ‘treeagle.’ We see that all the time. I reckon if you had enough time and patience and determination, you could make a whole suit of armor out of this stuff. A mannequin would help with that. The only thing is you do want to make sure the mannequin is roughly the same proportions as you.
Although this stuff is pretty flexible, you need to get the size right. I made the mask for Greg’s head, but his face is not exactly the same size as mine. However, it’s flexible, and I was able to squeeze it onto my face. Afterward, I tried that sucker on. And I felt… regal. And I felt powerful. And empowered. And I felt like I could do anything after I put that mask on. A colorful creation that I created out of thin air. It was amazing. It was exhilarating. I would do it again. In a second… or a year. I mean, I’ve got so many projects. I’ve got so many things going on… I’m splintered. Divided. We’ll see. We’ll see what I get up to.
All in all, I would highly recommend the pen if you have kids. If you’re an artist and you want to create, well, the pen is for you! It’s a fantastic item that you can use to create amazing stuff, and the price is just right.