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Your kids can draw and build 3D stuff with this $35 3D pen

The myFirst 3dPen Dolphin is a kid-friendly handheld 3D printer they can use to bring sketches to life.

Dave Johnson
2 min read

I remember the first time I saw a 3D pen, back around 2012. I was blown away by the ability to create 3D structures just by extruding plastic filament through a handheld pen -- sort of like a glue gun on steroids. At CES that year, one company had made an enormously detailed 10-foot-high Eiffel Tower to prove how versatile its 3D pen was. I wanted one for myself, but I knew I wasn't creative enough to have anything worthwhile to print. Kids don't have that problem -- they're endlessly creative. Which is why Oaxis has a kid-friendly 3D pen, suitable for younglings age 4 and up. Right now, Oaxis is offering the myFirst 3dPen Dolphin to CNET readers for 30% off when you apply discount code CNET. Usually $50, the Dolphin is $35.

If your kids are stuck at home thanks to social distancing, you're no doubt on the lookout for toys and activities to stimulate their minds. And a 3D pen is a natural for the job. First, let me clarify that the myFirst 3dPen Dolphin isn't like a glue gun -- it doesn't get dangerously hot and is safe for kids to use. The PCL plastic filament is made from a biodegradable polyester and melts at around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so it doesn't need extreme temperatures to soften and push through the tip of the pen, and it cools and solidifies rapidly after it's extruded. The pen has a rechargeable battery and a Micro-USB port on its side for charging. The filament is easily replaced and comes in a wide variety of colors.

Like robots and drones , this is yet another toy that I regret didn't exist when I was a kid. If you're looking for ways to keep your kids engaged and entertained through the coming long summer months, I highly recommend a 3D pen like the Dolphin. 

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