3Doodler Start wants to get kids creating plastic masterpieces

A handheld 3D printing pen to distract and inspire young brains

3Doodler Start wants to get kids creating plastic masterpieces

3Doodler has officially revealed the Start - a 3D printing pen designed for kids to create whatever it is that they're into these days - robots? Emojis? Kardsashian figurines? We're a little out of touch.

But we digress. The main difference between the Start and its existing 3Doodler brother is obviously its big, bulbous design, as opposed to the sleek, plain grey suit of the regular model.

Apart from being easier for tinier hands to grip (and neutrally coloured for both boys and girls), the Start emphasises safety, with no hot points to be found.

In addition to reducing the risk of little Cecil burning his classmates, the Start keeps things simple, with only one speed option available. The 3Doodler in comparison, lets pros adjust the temperature and speed to their liking.

Despite this, we struggled to make even a simple cube when we had a brief whirl with the Start at CES, instead producing what appeared to be a hangman's noose.

Still, we were presented with extremely impressive examples of what the Start is capable of, and given that we spent all of 10 seconds trying it out ourselves, we're confident we can re-create a scale model of David, if given the chance.

Special rubber templates called DoodleBlocks are also available, letting users inject melted plastic into them, before popping them out to create uniform shapes for jewellery and anything else that they can think of.

The Start is said to be good for 45 minutes to one hour of use, and can recharged via microUSB.

If you fancy nabbing one for you or your kids then you can pick up the Essential pack - consisting of a Start pen, two packs of eco-plastic, a project book and charger - for US$40.

The confidently-named Super Mega Pack includes eight packs of plastic and eight DoodleBlocks, and will set you back US$80.

Update: You can pre-order the 3Doodler Start from £50 at Firebox, with units expected to start shipping out in May.