Product Review: Soyan 3D Pen #makerspace #edtech

Christmas has come and gone. You know how the drill goes. All too often, the gifts that we buy for our kids get used for a bit, then get tossed aside. Every now and then, we parents hit a gold mine. I managed to hit mine this time with the Soyan 3D pen.

If you have never heard of a 3D pen, you MUST check these out. Just for the record, I am reviewing model # PR006-1.

My daughter didn’t ask for this gift, so I took a bit of a gamble here. Being a teacher, I understand the importance of creativity, and I wanted to help push her in that direction.  I can honestly say, I don’t know that she has EVER gotten a gift that she liked this much.

Having done some research and reading the reviews, I found there were a few negative reviews out there. I was willing to take a chance, after all, I was purchasing this on Amazon.com, and they have a generous return policy.

I paid $51.89 total for the pen and 480 linear feet of filament. Not a bad deal, assuming it all works as expected.

Christmas morning arrived, and my daughter did what was hoped for… she ripped open the package and plugged it in. At this point, I was at a crossroads. As a parent, I wanted to read the manual myself and make sure everything was hooked up correctly, etc. As a teacher, I wanted her to figure it out. Good thing, because she didn’t even slow down to ask for help. She had this thing zipping filament out within minutes.

Her first creation, a guitar. A 3D guitar, to be precise. I was instantly impressed. The pen functioned flawlessly, and everything went well. She was pleased, I was pleased, and I instantly saw the value of this item in schools… this is perfect for the makerspace movement. Now, before you start thinking of all the cutesy things that can be created, if you know me, you know that what is being created needs to be connected to a learning standard. Granted, this leaves a lot of flexibility, but make sure that what kids create is meaningful and applicable to the class.

I am blessed. I teach my own child 7th grade English. We are currently reading The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan (great book, btw). I was surprised when she came out and said she wanted to create something to represent the book, an oak leaf. If you’ve read the book, you get the connection here. I have various items hanging from my ceiling representing the different texts we read as the year goes on, and the oak leaf is now hanging among these items. It turned out GREAT!

Again, she drew a quick template on paper, and within minutes, she had the pen spewing forth green filament building an oak leaf.

Overall, this is a great pen. There were reviews that said it didn’t work, but we found no issues with this at all. The filament was easy to change and fed through the pen flawlessly. It is simple to use and easy to create anything you can imagine. In fact, my daughter is now creating a 3D structure, Halt’s cabin from the book. This time, she is building walls and roof pieces and putting it together.

One word of caution. Buy extra filament. Not because the item is wasteful, but because once the creation starts, the filament goes fast. Also, be careful about what packages you buy. Some of the colors are brighter than you would like. For example, we would have loved a darker green for the oak leaf, or even a metallic color to represent the oak leaf pendants the characters wear. You can find a wide variety of colors out there, just take your time and choose wisely.

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