When I was a kid, 3-D art pieces were limited to Perler Beads creations. I would spend hours filling peg boards filled with multi-colored beads and begging my mom to break out the iron to make them stick, leaving me with a cool, pixelated-looking 3-D masterpiece. But kids today have way cooler 3-D tech right at their fingertips.
With the 3D Magic ImagiPen, from Tech4Kids, kids can draw in midair and create 3-D structures that dry instantly without any heat or help from a parent. The pen is somewhat chunky, but suitable for the hands of kids ages 8 and up.
3-D printing and drawing is shaping the modern world. The ImagiPen gives kids the opportunity to create art while getting familiar with the newest technological phenomenon.
Before they start creating, kids can insert one of the gel cartridges and choose from one of three design modes on the pen. The first mode is gel. In this mode, kids can press down on the blue lever and watch the gel flow out, which is perfect for filling in molds. Skipping ahead, the third mode is light, which activates the LED light to dry the gel. It’s important to make sure the gel is completely dry before trying to remove it from the building platforms that are provided. The surface of these platforms makes it easy to peel the hardened gel off. This feature is great because kids can build different parts and then later connect them. The second mode is a combination of gel and light, and this is what lets kids draw in mid-air, since the LED light instantly dries the gel as it flows from the pen.
It may take some practice before kids can get the hang of how the pen works. I learned that it was best to create a solid base to build off of before trying to build up. With the ImagiPen, slow and steady wins the race. If kids move the pen too fast, the gel won’t harden fast enough, causing it to collapse. It’s also a good idea to keep napkins within reach while using the pen because the gel flows for just a few seconds after kids release the blue lever. The excess gel should continuously be wiped off the pen tip in between creating lines, otherwise it hardens, backing up the gel.
Kids will be drawn back to the ImagiPen time and time again after they get the hang of it. It’s a fun experience drawing in 3-D and it gives kids the opportunity to have art around the house that’s more than just a picture hanging on the fridge.