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How Do You Charge a 3D Pen? A Guide to Proper Care and Use

Dec 12,2023 | 3D4Create

3D pens have become popular creative tools that "draw" in 3D by melting and extruding plastic into rigid structures. 

This guide explains different charging methods for battery, USB, or AC adapter 3D pens. Following the right approach ensures your pen stays fully charged for long printing sessions.

I. Determine Power Options for Your 3D Print Pen

The first step is to determine how your particular 3D pen model receives its power. There are three main options:

  • Battery-Powered – Most standalone 3D pens rely on an internal rechargeable lithium battery as their power source. They include a charger for the specific battery type.
  • USB-Powered – Some 3D pens power through any USB port or charger without needing a battery. They draw current directly via the USB cable when connected.
  • Power Adapter – Certain heavy-duty 3D pens run solely off an AC power adapter and don’t have an integrated battery.

II. Charging a Battery-Powered 3D Pen

For 3D pens with an internal rechargeable battery, follow these charging guidelines:

  • Let it fully drain occasionally – Don’t continually recharge from a half-full state. Let the battery fully drain down once in a while to maintain the battery’s health.
  • Use the included charger – The pen’s battery is designed for the output voltage/amperage of the supplied charger. Use a compatible replacement if the original is lost.
  • Charge time varies – Depending on battery size, charging can take 1-3 hours. Larger capacity batteries naturally take longer to charge.
  • Insert correctly – Ensure the charging cable plug is oriented properly before insertion to avoid damage.
  • Don’t overcharge – Don’t leave charging for more than a few hours after it’s fully charged to avoid reduced lifespan.

Intelligent 3D Printing Pen for Kids

 

III. Charging a USB 3D Printing Pen

3D pens that natively run from USB power are convenient in that they draw from any sufficient USB source. Some options include:

  • Laptop/PC USB port – Plug into an open USB port on your computer. This lets you print directly from a 3D modeling program.
  • Wall/car charger – Use a USB power adapter or car charger. Match amperage to pen needs.
  • Portable charger – Some models can charge from a mobile battery pack for on-the-go power.
  • USB hub – Charge multiple devices from a multi-port USB hub connected to an outlet.

IV. Charging a Power Adapter 3D Pen

3D pens requiring an external AC power adapter have specific voltage and amperage requirements.

  • Identify adapter specs – The adapter’s output must match the pen’s power input needs exactly.
  • Use only manufacturer adapter – Do not use a substitute third-party adapter to avoid a fire risk from incorrect voltages.
  • Maintain contacts – Keep both the adapter’s prongs and pen’s charging port clear of debris for proper contact.
  • Disconnect when done – As with any devices, unplug the adapter when charging is complete and the pen is not in use.

 

V. Maximizing Battery Life of 3D Pens

To get the most cycles out of a battery-powered pen, keep these battery care tips in mind:

  • Avoid high temperatures – Don’t leave battery charging near hot areas or in direct sunlight. Heat degrades batteries. PCL can be the best filament due to its low melting point, which can ensure kids' safety.
  • Don’t overcharge – Once the battery reads full, remove from charger to avoid reducing lifespan from overcharging.
  • Replace as needed – Expect 500-1,000 charge cycles before needing a replacement battery.
  • Store at mid-charge – For longest lifespan of an unused pen, store it at a 40-50% charge level.

By taking care to avoid overheating and overcharging, your 3D pen’s rechargeable battery can last for years before needing replacement. Check voltage levels before longer 3D printing sessions.

Wireless Low Temperature 3D Pen for Education

 

FAQs:

Q1: How long does it take to fully charge a 3D pen?

A1: Charge times vary by battery size and pen model, but average 1-3 hours for a full charge. Larger battery capacities naturally take longer. Refer to your pen's manual for specific time estimates.

Q2: Can I charge my 3D pen with a phone charger?

A2: You should only use the charging cable and power adapter provided with your specific 3D pen model. Using an incompatible charger risks permanent damage or fire.

Q3: Is it bad to leave my 3D pen plugged in after it's fully charged?

A3: Avoid leaving a fully charged battery-powered pen plugged in for extended periods, as this can reduce the battery lifespan through overcharging. Unplug once fully charged.

See Also:

Advantages of Wireless 3D Pens and How to Use Them

5 Key Things You Should Look For When Buying a 3D Pen

The 5 Best 3D Pens for 2023 - Reviews by 3D4Create

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