Facing the Future with Kim Hyun-Kyung

Kim Hyun-Kyung wanted to take her makeup artistry to the next level. “Of the various materials used in makeup, I was looking for something that could express a new and creative object.”

Hyun-Kyung, a 24-year-old makeup artist from Seoul, South Korea, turned to the 3Doodler. “I was able to create a three-dimensional design of various feelings through actual Doodling,” she says.

Using a 3D pen allowed Hyun-Kyung to explore more shapes and concepts in combination with visual effects and makeup. “It was interesting to me that I could embody the desired form in three dimensions without going through a complicated process,” she says, “and it was good that I could create a shape or figure imagined in my head as a solid itself.”

"I could embody the desired form in three dimensions without going through a complicated process, and it was good that I could create a shape or figure imagined in my head as a solid itself."

But just as with any new medium, Hyun-Kyung’s first attempt with the 3Doodler wasn’t as smooth as her stunning beauty shots make it seem. “I wanted to follow the demonstration video making a 3D square, so I turned on the power and drew a square on the paper,” she remembers. “However, I was so unskilled and had to struggle ten times to get it to look good.”

Now Hyun-kyung has been using the 3Doodler for over a year, and there is no sign of struggle in her creative makeup combinations.

Taking inspiration from costume and runway shows, Hyun-Kyung felt that three-dimensional additions could take the drama of the catwalk to a new level. “I devised a makeup design according to the costume used in fashion shows,” she explains. “After understanding the atmosphere and color of the fashion show first, I chose an outfit that might be the most eye-catching when combined with the 3Doodler, and made the work after drafting a design with illustration.”

A look inspired by Iris van Herpen

Hyun-Kyung was especially inspired by bold designers who freely explore new shapes and dimensions, like Alexander McQueen and Iris van Herpen, a leading designer of 3D-printed fashion design.

"I chose an outfit that might be the most eye-catching when combined with the 3Doodler, and made the work after drafting a design with illustration."

Inspired by van Herpen’s 2011 Fall/Winter collections, Hyun-Kyung created her first unique 3D-makeup look. “Looking at the costume reminded me of the feeling of splashing water in the bathtub,” she says. “It took about four hours to make this look, and I captured the outline with clear PLA to show the wavelength of the water.”

It’s one of the pieces Hyun-Kyung is most proud of. “It was a look that many people were interested in, when we were in the studio on the day we shot the 3Doodler makeup.”

For other designs, she found that the FLEXY filaments were the most practical for creating wearable additions to makeup. “It’s comfortable when attached to the face because the FLEXY material is elastic, so it’s possible to form it to fit the facial structure of a person,” she explains. “I like black FLEXY the most. Black is good for expressing a sophisticated, chic, and dramatic feeling.”

A look inspired by the 2016 earthquakes in South Korea

“But not all of my works are inspired by fashion shows,” Hyun-Kyung adds. In 2016, South Korea was rocked by a total of 470 earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks reaching up to 5.8 in magnitude. “Many people were afraid,” says Hyun-Kyung. “These earthquakes occurring one after another were judged to be a warning from nature that we take life for granted.” To reflect the worry and concern of these natural disasters, she created a custom design inspired by the quakes. “It shows the cracks of the earth to raise awareness for the environment,” she explains.

Hyun-Kyung sees 3D printing and 3D pens like the 3Doodler as the way forward for all fashion, whether in makeup, runway shows, costumes, or cosplay. And she wants to help lead the way in the 3D trend. For her next project, she wants to blend the line between fashion, makeup and art. “I want to continue to use the 3Doodler in makeup to express three-dimensional designs which can show a variety of feelings when seen from various angles.”

Fan Creations: Cosplaying with the 3Doodler

For some, the adventure doesn’t end when the book closes or the credits roll. Fan Creators take inspiration from their favorite movies, games, comics, and cartoons and make incredible things. To see what that passion can produce, we gave some hardcore fans the latest 3Doodler Create for two weeks.

We talked to well-known crafter and modeler of fictional costumes Gina B as she unboxed the 3Doodler, and then checked back in a week later to see how her project was going.

Few fans are as dedicated as cosplayers. They spend long hours perfecting costumes that can involve incredibly elaborate feats of sewing, sculpting, and design to show off their passion for their favorite media. And Gina B is one of the best.

With more than 37,000 likes on her Facebook page, Gina’s creations are hugely popular. That’s a testament to the care and attention to detail she uses in producing loving recreations of some of the most popular characters from comics, cartoons, and anime. Whether she’s producing an exacting replica of an ancient Korean pole-arm, or she’s putting her own spin on the outfit of a classic character, Gina is always looking for new ways to bring her work to life.

That quest for perfection has given her a wide range of experience with a diverse set of materials. “I have a lot of experience working in fabric, I do a lot of custom body suit work, as well as elaborate armor based outfits. That’s anything from complicated headpieces all the way down to belt buckles and breastplates. In terms of materials, I’ve worked with things such as foam, styrene plastics, as well as fiberglass, and I’ve even tried thermoplastic used in car dashboards.”

Gina B unboxing the 3Doodler for the first time.

As she first sat down with the 3Doodler, she says she thinks that the 3Doodler will offer her an opportunity to do the sort of fine-detail work that often relies on a 3D printing service to accomplish, and is excited by the prospect of accomplishing it with something that costs a fraction of a digital printer.

When Gina holds the unit, she immediately has ideas about what to make with it. “This has a very wide variety of use. It’s great for something small—if you have a detailed item like a belt buckle, it would lend itself really well. For existing armor, I could also do detailed overlay pieces. It would probably be easier than sanding out a product, like I usually do. Instead I could add a layer with this, since it’ll probably adhere to the plastic.”

“Ultimately, I think I’m going to make something that’s in the cosplay department but isn’t super frequently seen, which is a horn item. There are a lot of different styles, whether it’s like a ram horn or a goat horn, or something sanded down like with Hellboy. I think this will work great because what I’m making, it’s really organic and not perfectly smooth.”

A week and an extra package of yellow plastic later, Gina has a horn. It is hollow, and made out of two tones of yellow plastic, one matte, and the other glossy.

The hollow horn took Gina two and a half hours to complete, including some time to learn the ins and outs of using the 3Doodler. She says that compares favorably to the time it takes to produce the item with other methods.

"The 3Doodler has a very wide variety of use. It’s great for something small—if you have a detailed item like a belt buckle, it would lend itself really well. For existing armor, I could also do detailed overlay pieces."

To construct it, she used the bottom of a bowl to provide a curved surface. She doodled an internal structure, than stitched the sides together rapidly in what Gina calls a “spider like” fashion to produce a tight chain of strings. Once the initial curved shape was done, she was able to repeat the process, building upon each previously extruded section.

She’s pleased with the results. The horn is immediately identifiable, and has even had passers by asking if it came off of a ram. Making it by hand gave it a natural look Gina’s pleased with. “I think that it has a good organic swoop.”

But her project isn’t over yet. She didn’t make a unicorn horn after all. “The biggest issue now is: can I create a second one?”

Gina B's horn created with the 3Doodler

In addition to crafting a second horn, Gina also plans to use some advanced crafting techniques to enhance the horns. Sanding, priming, and maybe even painting will give them a more advanced and literally polished look. She looks forward to sharing the outcome of her work after she’s brought the horns up to her exacting standards.

Tune in a few weeks from now to see the final outcome!

3Doodler x DonorsChoose.org: The Only Limit is Their Imagination

Late last year, a group of teachers in the US each got their DonorsChoose.org projects fully funded, thanks to a matching offer from 3Doodler. As a result, students in classrooms across the country got their hands on 3Doodler Start pens, and were able to unleash creativity in the classroom like never before.

In the second of our DonorsChoose.org teacher profiles, we take a look at two more educators, Patricia Dennis-McClung of Sonora Middle School in Springdale, Arkansas, and Christy Marta of Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming, Michigan.

Ask Patricia Dennis-McClung what it is that motivates her as a teacher, and she’ll tell you that it’s the ‘aha’ moments on her students’ faces. “It’s seeing their faces light up,” she says, when they finally grasp a concept, or when they make that crucial connection from A to B. Throw the same question to Christy Marta, and she’d agree and say that her students push her to be a better person and a better teacher. “They are an inspiration to others even if they don’t know it yet.”

Sonora Middle School has a very diverse make-up, with about half of the students identifying as Hispanic and 15% as Marshallese. “Springdale has the largest Marshallese population outside of the Marshall islands.” Over 52% of students meet the low-income criteria, and 78% of the students enrolled at Sonora Middle School receive free or reduced lunch – “and that’s those that have filled out the paperwork and qualified,” Patricia adds, as many of the parents simply don’t know how.

Aspen Ridge School is, Christy says, a rural school in a remote community. “We have a large preschool-8th-grade population, and with the cost of basic supplies, curriculum materials, and intervention programs, it’s sometimes difficult to meet all current needs.” One of her main priorities is ensuring that her students leave her classroom with a lifelong love of learning. Key to that is having access to proper materials, like the 3Doodler Start EDU bundle successfully funded late last year.

Much like Blair and Connie, Christy and Patricia both came across 3Doodler via DonorsChoose.org. Patricia had wanted for some time to incorporate 3D printing pens into her 3D design classes, and when she saw the matching offer made by 3Doodler, she knew that they would be perfect for the gifted and talented program at her school.

"The pens have turned an everyday assignment into something amazing."

“3D printing is something that a lot of these kids are going to be working with in the future,” she says. “And that’s something that I don’t think people have really thought about at the moment.” The 3Doodler Create Half EDU bundle that they received earlier this year has given her students an opportunity to have a hands-on experience with technology that already shapes the way the world works – from Hershey’s Kisses to homes that have been printed entirely with 3D tech. “It’s just insane the way technology is moving, so I think that it’s important for kids to have exposure to it.”

For Christy, the reasons for choosing 3Doodler were a little simpler – after discovering the Match Offer, she did a little research on 3Doodler and what the pens could do, she realised that they would be ideal for use in her classes.

“I looked into them,” she says, “And loved what I saw. I thought I could use them to help my students visualise shapes in their actual 3D forms in math, make models of plants, cells and planets in science, and write stories and create characters through 3D modeling in language arts. I saw the students being able to bring their ideas to life, and I thought it would add fun and excitement to the curriculum.” It has, Christy adds, gone beyond that – her students absolutely love using the pens. The pens have “turned an everyday assignment into something amazing,” and her students have come up with any number of ways in which to use the pens, which they beg to be able to use every day.

"I’m always just shocked by the people that I don’t know that donate. It shows how important something like DonorsChoose.org is."

It’s clear that this enthusiasm for the pens is shared by Patricia’s students too. “They love them,” she says. “When they see them laid out, they get really excited. The first time we used them, it was in a 45 minute class, and I was just so impressed that they did so much better than I did.” Patricia’s students went from using the pens to weld 3D printed pieces together, to using them to create small-scale models of things they’d create on a 3D printer. “There will be more ways for the students to use the pens than what I’d initially anticipated. I’m going to be creating a makerspace so that more students from the school can use them. I want to be able to provide an opportunity for more students to use them than just my class.”

Both Christy and Patricia have said that the pens, and the use of tactile technology, have been very easily incorporated into their classroom work. “They’re a great motivator for kids,” Christy says, “and are an effective teaching tool. Students are allowed free time to use the pens after all their work is complete, and it has been very effective.” Her students are always thrilled to be able to use them, and whatever they create is only ever limited by their own imagination.

Unlike Blair and Connie, both Patricia and Christy shared their DonorsChoose.org projects openly with their students – Christy’s students are in fact begging her to do another project to get more pens or more of the plastic refills. When it came to getting their projects heard, neither educator did all that much, other than post about it on social media. “Since we do have such an impoverished community, [the children and their parents] were not able to donate to it,” Patricia explains. “I have a classroom Instagram page so I put it on there, and I put it on Facebook too. I’m always just shocked by the people that I don’t know that donate. It shows how important something like DonorsChoose.org is.” Christy also shared her project on Facebook, and adds that this project had been fully funded by two donors. “Normally I’d have parents or companies to thank, but both of the donations were anonymous.”

As much fun as the students have been having with the pens (and both educators have plenty to say on that topic!), for Patricia it’s all about what they’ll take away from the experience of using them. “Are they fun? Absolutely,” she says, “but hopefully it’ll allow them to see things differently.” Tactile technology, and the benefits of hands-on learning with the pens can already be felt, mere months into use for both teachers. “I think they’re a bit more cooperative. There’s always someone that’s willing to jump in and help out another student, or they’ll swap pens and say ‘here, use mine and I’ll fix yours’.”

The possibilities are endless, agrees Christy, and it’s thanks to platforms like DonorsChoose.org, which has allowed educators access to materials previously inaccessible to them. “Every day, the students demonstrate that they are critical thinkers, leaders, dreamers, hard workers, and amazing little people.”

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.

DIY Accessories to Customize Your Bicycle

At 3Doodler we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to try and DIY—Doodle it yourself. For our latest exploration into Doodled additions, we decided to take our show on the road.

Avid cyclist (and 3Doodler Marketing Director) Kelley Toy teamed up with 3Doodler Product Development Engineer Samson Wong to conceptualize and road test a series of Doodled solutions for two common cycling needs: a drink bottle cage, and an action camera handlebar mount. While these solutions were prototyped and tested on a road bike, all of the designs could easily be adapted for a mountain bike, touring bike, or daily commuter.

The Prototyping Process

“I started by borrowing a bottle cage from Kelley,” Samson says. In order to start the design process, Samson needed a jumping off point. Using common accessories that any cyclist might need was the first step to getting an idea for a customized design.

While a water bottle cage attachment may seem like a simple enough design concept, Doodling one from scratch is a more complicated task. Getting the tension and strength just right while having it fit the bottle snugly is important, all the while making a sturdy enough design that would hold up to actual use.

It was also important for Samson to understand how the piece would be attached to the bike. “I needed an actual bottle cage to trace the holes used for mounting it to the bike,” Samson explains. “I made a template based on the original so I could Doodle the holes at exactly the right measurements.”

For his first prototype, Samson used the same design concept as Kelley’s old bottle cage, with two “arms” coming from the mounting to grip the bottle. “After the first Doodled trial, I found that the arms were a bit too weak,” Samson says. His Doodled version needed the right balance of strength and flexibility.

"After the first Doodled trial, I found that the arms were a bit too weak."

In his next prototype, he knew better what improvements he needed to make. “The second design focused on reinforcing the two arms,” he says. “To make it strong enough I Doodled three layers of ABS, building up the plastic to be roughly 5mm thick.”

When choosing which filament to use, Samson had to consider the different properties of ABS and PLA. “ABS is a bit more flexible,” he explains. “PLA is strong, it’s rigid, but it’s a little bit brittle. So for this type of project, ABS is a better choice, because the cage has to flex a little bit to get the bottle in and out.”

Testing and Re-working

Once Samson had a prototype in hand, it was time for biking veteran Kelley to test it out. After taking the new Doodled bottle cage through a variety of terrains, Kelley was pleased with the results, but still felt there were more improvements to be made. “The cage performed well and there was no sign the bottle was going to launch at any point, and it was very easy to get the bottle in and out while riding,” she says. “But I heard a small crack the first time I loaded the bottle into the cage, and the fit around the bottle was not snug and this reduced contact area with the bottle.”

As an end result, Kelley felt a sturdier design was necessary. “The bottle flexes the plastic cage a lot, and I would ultimately not feel confident about the durability of the design,” she says. It was back to the drawing board for Samson. “I did some research, checking how other bottle cages look,” he says. “I found a few designs that had a whole ring around the bottle instead of the two arms.”

"At first I thought this design was going to be a fail, as off the bike it was tough getting a bottle in and out."

With Kelley’s feedback in mind, Samson thought this new design could provide the stability and tighter fit around the bottle that the first prototype lacked. “Molding the cage to the bottle, this one has got a lot of gripping power and a lot of friction, so the bottle won’t move anywhere when you’re riding,” he says.

“At first I thought this design was going to be a fail,” Kelley admits, “as off the bike it was tough getting a bottle in and out.” But Samson was confident this new design would be an improvement.

And Kelley was pleasantly surprised. “It is totally rock solid!” she says. “Once loaded on the bike—and with a small adjustment on my part on the angle—I loaded and unloaded the bottle while riding easily.” Kelley also found another bonus of the new prototype: “I also like the minimal look of this design on the bike.”

Creating concepts for practical DIYs requires a continual process of prototyping and testing, but Samson says that in the end you can wind up with some great results.

The first step, he recommends, is to copy. “Copy existing products, and then go from there,” he explains. “Modify it to fit your needs.”

Innovation for Creative Solutions

Samson used this same principal when creating an action camera mount for Kelley’s bike. After researching existing mounting solutions, he was able to better understand how he could begin to construct his own. “Some mounts have a hinge on one side for opening and closing,” he says, “but it’s kind of hard to make a hinge out of Doodled plastic, so I made a whole ring in one piece, and made it a little flexible.”

Adapting a commercial design for custom use was exactly what Kelley was looking for. “While camera mounts for round handlebars such as mine are commercially available, I liked that the mount was custom designed for my handlebars and therefore I could place it exactly where I wanted so it didn’t get in the way,” she says. “Also the Doodled mount is considerably less bulky and lighter than the commercial ones available, which is always important for weight-conscious roadies.”

When designing the mount, Samson was faced with a new array of issues and problems to overcome. During the prototyping process, he says it’s important to experiment and take risks to find solutions. In this case, Samson found that mixing materials was the best fix for the mount. “I had to use FLEXY on the inside of the ring to provide grip,” he explains. “The inside surface was too smooth, and when it grabbed the handlebar it would still move a little bit even when you screwed the bolt really tight.” When faced with a problem, finding creative solutions is key. “I put the FLEXY inside basically to act like a tire tread to grip onto the handle bar,” he says.

And road-testing confirmed his mixed-filament experiment. “The addition of FLEXY provided excellent grip, and meant there was no rotation even when riding on rough bumpy surfaces,” Kelley says.

With DIY projects like this, Samson says it’s all about adapting designs to fit what you can do, while getting the results you want. “It might not be the best looking product, or be good for selling to the public,” he says, “but if it works, then it’s a good DIY project.”

Home is What You Create

“Change. Change is always hard, but good,” explains Leah Wyman, Head of EDU at 3Doodler. “I think mentally preparing for the stress and struggles and accepting that they will come but be worth it is key.”

The 3Doodler team knows a thing or two about change. With nine nationalities represented across our team, most of 3Doodler knows what it’s like to create a new life and find home in a different country.

Leah has called many countries home. She’s lived and worked in Germany, Iceland, Jamaica, Canada, and the Netherlands, and has now returned to the USA to join 3Doodler in our New York office.

In each place she has found ways create a sense of home, the same as many members of our team.

Daniel Cowen, Co-President and COO of 3Doodler, is a UK native who has lived in over six countries. “You start to look forward and work out how changes in your life will fit with the place you are in,” he explains. “In short, it’s about adapting, which at first is about friends, and eventually is about the deeper meaning of ‘home’.”

That deeper meaning and personal concept of “home” can mean something different to everyone, but in the end it all comes back to the basic senses. When finding familiarity, we rely on what we can see, feel, smell, touch, and perhaps most importantly, taste.

Food creates a strong sense of cultural identity, and is a major aspect of what we consider part of home. The smells and tastes of our childhood are often what connect us the strongest to that sense of nostalgia we associate with home.

"Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories. I do my best to try and recreate my mom’s classic dishes."

“The first thing I try and do when I move to a new country is find the best Indian restaurant,” says 3Doodler Creative Director Faraz Warsi. Faraz holds Canadian citizenship, but still identifies closely with his Indian heritage. Having lived in the Middle East, India, Canada, Hong Kong, and the USA, he’s used to the shuffle and change of relocation. “They call us Third Culture Kids,” he says. “Identity crisis is sometimes more fitting.”

But through various countries and continents, Faraz has discovered a sense of home can always be found in the kitchen. “Like many people, taste and smells always trigger my best memories,” he says. “I do my best to try and recreate some of my mom’s classic dishes—the keyword being ‘try’. Sadly it’s never as good.”

Erin Song, 3Doodler Junior Designer, shares the same sentiment. A South Korean national who grew up in Hong Kong, Erin now works in the 3Doodler New York office. “In all honesty, I really miss the food,” she says. “I incorporate the food I would eat in Hong Kong by cooking a familiar dish whenever I feel homesick.”

“I am what I eat,” agrees 3Doodler E-Commerce Manager Jim Toernqvist, who emigrated from Sweden to join the 3Doodler team. “Sweden is very much a part of what I consider good in the culinary world.” Jim says he brings a bit of “home” into his new life by creating meals that remind him of Sweden. “Swedish cuisine is mostly simple and quick to make; my dinners are something to look forward to.”

But as Daniel said, change is all about adaptation. While the smells and tastes of home inspire nostalgia and make us feel more at ease in a new place, soon new foods become familiar and start to create a new sense of what it means to feel at home.

3Doodler Marketing Director Kelley Toy is a New Zealand native who now lives in Hong Kong. She says the new foods and tastes were the first things she found herself incorporating into her everyday life.

“Asian food is a pleasure to explore and experience,” she says, “and the convenience, all-hours availability and on-demand nature of food in Asia is something that is easy to adopt.”

But creating a sense of home doesn’t begin and end with what you eat, of course. Whether we’re aware of it or not, what we see every day ends up creating a pattern that we associate with home.

“For New Zealand, it’s a specific color palette combining sky, water, sand or dried grass, and green pastures,” says Kelley. “It’s a unique color palette that you don’t see anywhere else so I can always pick a New Zealand sky or landscape from these colors.”

“Yellow and blue is always my association with Sweden,” says Jim. “It’s the colors of the Swedish flag, and IKEA.”

“Grass. Green manicured grass,” says Dan. “It’s calm, trimmed, reliable, and there’s so much access to it through the incredible parks of London, which are what I miss most.”

“I really don’t want to sound cliché, but Chinatown really reminds me of home,” says Erin. “New York’s Chinatown has a very similar architecture and essence to the old areas of Hong Kong.”

For most of us who have moved our lives abroad, the concept of home is often oddly combined with reminders of change. Both become part of daily life as we continue to adapt and create something new.

Sometimes all it takes is one building to remind us of this. “When it comes to New York, it’s all about the Empire State building,” says Erin. “As much as I love the Chrysler building, the Empire State Building is the building I see every day when I walk to and from work. It is a constant reminder of how much my life has changed.”

3Doodler x DonorsChoose.org: What They Are Creating

Late last year, a group of teachers in the US each got their DonorsChoose.org projects fully funded, thanks to a matching offer from 3Doodler. As a result, students in classrooms across the country got their hands on 3Doodler Start pens, and were able to unleash creativity in the classroom like never before.

In the first of our DonorsChoose.org teacher profiles, we shine a light on two of these teachers, Blair Mishleau of Washington DC’s Kipp DC: Heights Academy, and Connie Bagley of Crockett Elementary School in San Marco, Texas.

Students at Kipp DC: Heights Academy get first-hand experience with the 3Doodler Start

This wasn’t Blair Mishleau’s first DonorsChoose.org rodeo—the Washington DC-based teacher is a veteran of the crowdfunding website for educators, having raised more than $20,000, and with more than nine projects under his belt.

“I want to provide my kids with choice and voice,” he says. His school is a public charter school in Washington DC in one of the most historically underserved neighbourhoods of the state. The school has 450 students, and 99% of them are African American. Of that number, 90% qualify for free or reduced-price lunches—a pretty useful measure, Blair adds, of the socioeconomic statuses of the families of the students.

"The students could write with them, and then actually feel the shape of the letters."

Connie Bagley, a dyslexia reading specialist, has approximately 650 students at her school from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Over 75% of the students there are economically disadvantaged. It is student success that motivates Connie as a teacher—every day she works with dyslexic learners that advance best when taught through visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic methods.

Connie Bagley's students make letters you can touch

“Seeing students learn to read, then read to learn is what makes this job rewarding.” That’s why Connie decided that the 3Doodler Start pens would be great for her students. “My first thought was that these would be perfect for multisensory instruction. My students learn best with a VAKT program: visual, auditory, tactile/kinesthetic.” The 3Doodler pens, would be very effective at fulfilling the tactile portion of the program. “The students could write with them, and then actually feel the shape of the letters.”

Both Connie and Blair came across 3Doodler in the same way—via emails from DonorsChoose.org that told them about a matching offer with 3Doodler. Any donations made by the public would be matched by 3Doodler, ensuring that the project would be fulfilled in half the time (or as quickly as possible!). That’s why, Blair says, websites like DonorsChoose.org are so important to his students, as it opens up access to tools for disadvantaged kids that they simply wouldn’t have otherwise.

Late last year, Blair’s project requesting a 3Doodler Start EDU Bundle for his technology classes was fully funded. The pens have been utilised in his 1st and 4th grade technology classes, which focus on tech literacy, computer programming, keyboarding, and “pretty much anything else that would be helpful in providing access and opportunity around technology”. And they have, for the most part, lived up to expectations.

"No kid has said ‘I can’t figure this out,’ or ‘I give up,’ with the pens. I can’t think of a tool that I’ve used where that’s been the case."

“I often find that a lot of tech projects are a lot more sexier and user friendly in videos and photos compared to when you actually get them, but once I got the pens, I realized how sturdy they were, and how easy they are to use.” Each one of his classes only gets to use the 3Doodler pens once a week, but they’ve already quickly adapted to using them. “No kid has said ‘I can’t figure this out,’ or ‘I give up,’ with the pens. I can’t think of a tool that I’ve used where that’s been the case.”

Students in Blair Mishleau’s class cooperate to create

Connie has found equal enthusiasm in her classes for her 3Doodler Start EDU bundle. “The students are begging to use them,” she says, although they’re still getting used to them for now. Connie’s students are taking full advantage of other objects around them, using small paper cups as bases to create things like rocket ships and towers, with stars and other shapes as decorations. Connie also plans to share her pens with fellow teachers who do lessons on architecture.

One thing that Blair has noticed is that his students have worked as a team much better than he would have thought they would using the pens. “I don’t have enough pens for everyone—just one per two children—but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how kind they are. Not only do they work in groups, but I’ll see students—when it’s not technically their turn to use the pens—helping others.” Not only have his students been working better together, Blair has also found that they have been taking creative steps without his input—with some children building geometric shapes before he had even introduced them as a concept.

Both Connie and Blair chose not to tell their students about their DonorsChoose.org projects, as they did not want to have to disappoint them if they weren’t funded. “My students did not even know I had submitted a project,” said Connie. Blair did the same as he felt it was better to under-promise and over-deliver.

"I don’t have enough pens for everyone, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how kind they are. I’ll see students—when it’s not technically their turn to use the pens—helping others."

They needn’t have worried: although neither did much self-promotion to push their projects forward, anonymous donors from across the country were still willing to contribute to their cause. “Someone called Jacob donated, and I literally have no idea who it is,” Blair said, adding that someone else from the District of Columbia donated with a gift card. “Most of these people are people I don’t know.” Connie has had a similar experience—one of her donors left a comment saying that she was also a special education teacher and that she understood the need for something like 3Doodler in the classroom.

All in all, for Connie and Blair the 3Doodler pens have gotten off to a great start in their classrooms, an achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without incredible platforms like DonorsChoose.org, their vision for including innovative new tools in their schools, and the unwavering support of all the project donors out there.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.