Monday, February 29, 2016

Playing with plastic (spoiler: it didn't go well)

IDO3D pen next to a miniature crate made with it.
I wanted so much to like the IDO3D pen set I won. It sounded like something that would be really useful for miniatures, and great fun to boot.

But it wasn't. At least not for me. It was difficult and sticky and time consuming and messy and frustrating.

I had some vague ideas of what I wanted to try making with the pens, and started with a tray.
IDO3D pen about to draw on a QR code.
The first surprise for me was that the ink wasn't as dark as I'd thought it would be. The green pen came out more the colour of radioactive sludge that the green I'd expected. 
IDO3D pen drawing around a QR code.
It was impossible to keep the lines straight, and when I 'coloured' in the middle of my shape, there were a number of air bubbles. At this stage I was thinking that I hadn't quite got the technique as it was my first try.
IDO3D pen colouring in a QR code.
The pen also leaked. Another thing I put down to my lack of experience.
Leaking IDO3D pen next to a finger with blobs of plastic in on it.
I followed the instructions, and used the UV spotlight included in the set to dry the plastic shape.
IDO3D spotlight drying a plastic shape.
Then I tried adding another layer of ink around the edge to start building up the sides of the tray.
IDO3D pen drawing on a plastic shape.
 It didn't go well. I realised that this pen doesn't cope with building up, so my tray would have to be built in five parts and then combined. Not something I felt like doing. So I dried the end result and peeled it off the backing.
IDO3D pen drawing next to a plastic shape with an edge drawn on it.
Which left a big sticky patch, which surprised me. The instructions had said to dry the shape for 30 seconds, and I'd dried each corner for that length of time (as the shape seemed too large to be covered completely by the light to dry all at once). This meant that drying this one piece took two minutes.
IDO3D pen drawing next to a plastic shape with an edge drawn on it. and a UV spotlight,
I decided it was a good first effort/ learning experience and moved in to my next idea: a lattice-work fruit bowl.
IDO3D plastic support, pen and spotlight.
Using the plastic support, I drew a circle and then a lattice within it. The ink from the edge of the circle dripped down the side of the support, and the ink on the inside lines spread across, filling the spaces between. 
Once again, I found the actual colour of the pens to be disappointing, and the end result sticky and floppy.
Drying a piece drawn with an IDO3D pen with a UV light.
Before I gave up completely, I decided to test the ability to build a 3D object by 'gluing' several flat pieces together with the ink, then drying the joins. By this stage I'd washed my hands several times with soap and warm water to try and get rid of the stickiness, without success (although I did succeed in making the taps sticky, the basin sticky and the towel sticky: don't even ask about my camera and keyboard!)
IDO3D UV spotlight drying three square grid pieces.
I drew some basic crate sides and dried them. And dried them. And dried them. And dried them Five shapes times two minutes per shape equalled ten (very boring and sticky) minutes in total.

Then I tried to attach them to each other.

Granted it did work, but the result was wonky and floppy and sticky, rather than the square and rigid and smooth that I'd imagined.
IDO3D UV spotlight drying two square grid pieces attached to a base.
After telling myself that I couldn't expect perfection on my first try, I decided to check out the reviews on Amazon, which pretty much agreed that it wasn't me that was the problem.

If you want to learn more, here's a good review on YouTube.

Would I recommend the IDO3D pen set?
No.

Am I glad I didn't have to pay for this one?
Yes.

Would I give my set to a friend's children now I don't want it any more?
Only if I hated said friend. I'm not even going to donate it to the op shop. I'm not that mean. I will keep it, though,  in case I want to try again to see if my technique has improved and the stickiness is less of a problem on a second attempt...

5 comments :

Kitty And Kat Miniatures said...

I wonder if you could work that goop around a sphere and make an abstract light fixture?

Rebecca said...

How disappointing! Marion Bewley showed photos in the facebook Lundby Lovers group of her grandson using a 3D stereo drawing pen which does have a plastic line feeding into it. His efforts looked a bit shaky, but they did stand up, and would no doubt improve with practice. With this one, though, it looks like you could make some lime and strawberry jellies, and that's about it! (Or, as you say, radioactive sludge!)

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Rebecca: one of those is next on my list of wants :-)

Susan@minicrochetmad said...

What a crock! Imagine how disappointed a child would be. Thanks for the review!

Mad For Mod said...

I've wondered if these things work...now I know.