Getting Started

Not sure where to begin with your new 3D Build & Play? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll walk you through every step of the way.


Girl playing video game with 3D pen

Power Up Your 3D Build & Play

Before using your 3D Build & Play, you’ll need 3 AA batteries and a Phillips-head screwdriver. Before first use, insert 3 AA batteries into the bottom of the 3D Build & Play. Use the screwdriver to open and secure the hatch on the battery compartment door.

Enthralled woman and boy admire 3D pen art

Attach the Handle

Insert the yellow crank handle on the left or the right side of the 3D Build & Play, depending on whether the user is left-handed or right-handed. Swap sides based on what works best for you!

Women with laptop creating 3d pen art

On / Off Switch

Slide the yellow switch towards the tip of the 3D Build & Play to turn it on. Allow 30 seconds for the 3D Build & Play to warm up. You’ll know it’s ready when the light turns green! Out of power? Time for a fresh set of 3 AA batteries!

Lab team creates 3D pen art.

Insert a Strand of Material

Insert a colorful strand of material into the small hole on the back of the 3D Build & Play.

The Handle

Children and man creating 3D pen art

Turn Forward

Steady the 3D Build & Play by holding it in place with one hand as you turn the handle forward with the other hand. There is an arrow above the handle to show which direction is forward. It may take several cranks before the material begins to extrude through the tip of the 3D Build & Play.

Two people playing game with 3D pen art.

Turn in Reverse

Turn the handle backwards with one hand as you hold the 3D Build & Play in the other hand in order to reverse the strand of material out of the feed port. If your strand is too short to reverse, tip your 3D Build & Play back and give it a little shake. If that does not work and you want to switch colors, insert a new strand and turn the handle forward until the new color starts to feed out the tip of the 3D Build & Play!

Try holding the 3D Build & Play in different orientations if you find it difficult to get into tight spaces.

Character Mold Trays

John Lennon ink drawing with six figures, including three growing from the ground. 3D group of people with a dog and a man.

Create in 3D in Seconds!

First, assemble the mold tray by aligning and sealing the lid to the body of the mold. Next, pick the character you want to Doodle and place the tip of the nozzle against one of the corresponding holes. Turn the handle slowly in a forward direction until the mold cavity is filled, then move to the next hole and repeat until all of the character’s mold tray is filled with the color of your choice! Note: The extruded material will take about 15-20 seconds to harden.

For a consistent flow of plastic, try to turn the handle at a steady pace as you fill the molds.

Assemble Characters

Surrealist John Lennon drawing with whimsical animals, elongated neck, and strangely shaped heads.

Crank, Pop & Join

Once you’re done Doodling, lift the lid of the mold tray off to gain access to the character pieces. Pop out each piece and follow the step by step instructions to join the pieces together using a dab of plastic in between the joints.

Unique giraffe with grater 3D pen art

Personalize Your Characters

To make multi-colored Doodles, fill in one section of the mold, change plastic colors, and then fill in another section. Continue as desired until the Doodle is complete.

You can add detail to your Doodle by Doodling with the mold open. This will allow you to have more precise control.

Snipping Ends

3D pen art: Orange slice being cut with knife on white surface

Keep your plastic strands clean

Use clippers or scissors to trim the end of any strand of material before reusing it.

Tips & Tricks

  • For a consistent flow of plastic, turn the Handle/Crank at a steady pace.
  • You can add detail to your doodle by doodling with the mold open. This will allow you to have more precise control.
  • Try holding the Build and Play in different orientations if you find it difficult to get into tight spaces.
  • If you are having trouble filling in hard to reach areas, try adjusting the angle of the tip of the Build and Play. You can also open the mold and fill in that area directly.

Still Struggling?

Take a look at our 3Doodler 3D Build & Play troubleshooting guide.
Help Me
Close-up: 3D pen art cake with sticks design

Get Inspiration in Your Inbox

Sign up to be the first to have our latest 3D pen lessons, stencils, deals, and discounts (yay!) deposited directly in your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!