The 3Doodler Start ROBOSUMO kit adds more fun to one of the best 3D printing pens for young kids.
Kids are still free to create anything they can imagine, but now they can see it move and battle other creations in the ROBOSUMO ring.
3Doodler Start Pen
The best way to describe the 3Doodler Start Pen is as a cross between a 3D printer and a hot glue gun. Instead of glue, plastic strands are inserted in the back. The pen heats the plastic, allowing you to “draw” with it. The plastic then hardens.
The 3Doodler Start is a great 3D pen for younger kids (6+) for several reasons:
- Uses lower-temperature plastic, so no chance of burns.
- Plastic doesn’t harden immediately, giving time to shape, fix, and attach pieces to each other.
- No wires.
- Pen is designed for smaller fingers.
- App, stencils, and molds available to inspire designs.
3D Doodler Start ROBOSUMO Kit
We received a 3Doodler Start ROBOSUMO Pen Set to review. This set retails for about $50. Included in the set:
- 3Doodler Start Pen
- 24 Plastic Strands
- Activity Guide
- 2 Motors
- Battle Arena
- 2 DoodleMolds Sheets
If you already have a Start Pen, you can opt for ROBOSUMO Accessory kit without the pen for half the price ($25).
How it Works
Building Your ROBOSUMO
When it comes to building your ROBOSUMO battle bots, you can draw completely free-hand, use the included molds to make pieces to add, or follow the activity guide to make a bot. In short, you have a ton of options.
The only thing you have to use, is the motor.
The kit comes with 2 vibrating motors. These are the bodies of your bots, and you can build from there. So, you can make a total of 2 bots with one kit.
That seems kind of limiting at first, but with a little planning you can come up with ways to swap arms and legs or accessories. I’d like to see if I can 3Doodle a case that the motor can slide in and out of and use that to make a bot from.
Each motor has an on/off switch, and when on, the motors (and bots built around them) will move around randomly and bump into each other. Nothing fancy about that, but it’s fun and requires some problem-solving to get the best action from your bots.
The two sheets of DoodleMolds have a variety of heads, arms, legs, gears, and shapes to help craft a cool-looking bot. The low-temperature plastic doesn’t harden for a good 10-15 seconds, which lets you press it into the molds before it sets.
Then you can use a dab of plastic to connect the molded piece to the body or other part of your bot. It’s super simple.
A Balancing Act
As you build, it’s important to make sure your bot can stay on its feet, or wheels, or whatever. We had a few instances where a leg was too short and our bot couldn’t stand up or would fall over immediately when the motor was turned on.
Weight distribution also seems to be a factor. Jackson’s first completed bot did nothing but spin in a circle. But adding some more pieces seemed to help.
Battling Your ROBOSUMO Bots
Your 3Doodler ROBOSUMO battle bots can duke it out on just about any hard surface. But the kit includes a small cardboard ring for that purpose.
In our first battle, neither bot made contact with the other and one moved right out of the ring on its own! Needless to say, that was a bit anti-climactic.
We noticed in the activity guide that it recommended 3Doodling an edge around the circular ring. Doing so kept our bots in the ring, almost too well. You don’t want to lay that barrier on too thick.
Our Thoughts on ROBOSUMO
We’ve been fans of 3Doodler since first seeing them. Some of the creations we’ve seen online and in person are absolutely amazing. But so far, we’ve come nowhere near that close to making anything that cool at home. There is definitely a learning curve to it.
ROBOSUMO is a great stepping stone for those starting out with 3Doodler. It’s a simple way to take your doodles to the next level, and adds a bit of fun to see your creation brought to life.
The one downside right now is that now that we’ve created our bots, we’re at a bit of a stand-still. We want to make more, but only have the 2 motors. We’ll have to take one apart to make a new one. That’s why I’m trying to come up with the case to slide around the motor.
Then, we’ll only be limited by our imaginations, and how much plastic we have!