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[T]he Maker Pen is a major update to the "3D Pen". It can now do a whole lot more! The Maker Pen has its own watch-style menu [...] that lets you pick from a much wider variety of colors [...] and shapes [...] and do useful stuff like clone those shapes! [...] The Maker Pen can do a lot, so it may take a while to learn the tips and tricks.
 
— Against Gravity, Update Page


Maker Pen Tutorial

Maker Pen Tutorial

YouTube video by Meriesa

How to Rec Room - Maker Pen

How to Rec Room - Maker Pen

YouTube tutorial by Against Gravity about an older version of the maker pen

Rec Room Community Q&A- Creative Edition!

Rec Room Community Q&A- Creative Edition!

YouTube recording of a community Q&A about creating with the maker pen

About

The maker pen is a tool that is available in the Dorm Room, the Lounge, and from the Sandbox Machine (in category "Creative") in Custom Rooms in Sandbox mode. A simplified version of the maker pen is used in 3D Charades. The maker pen replaced the former 3D Pen and can be used to create objects that consist of primitive 3D shapes (spheres, boxes, etc.) of various colors. It can also be used to program interactive environments and to configure built-in objects. For examples of what you can do with the maker pen, have a look at the Maker Pen Community.

Maker Pen in 3D Charades

Maker Pen Basic mode

Maker pen menu in 3D Charades.

The default maker pen in 3D Charades is a simplified version of the maker pen that allows you to create tubes, boxes, and spheres (more precisely: ellipsoids) in various colors that you can select in the maker pen menu. No other functions of the maker pen are available for this version. (However, in a Custom Room in Sandbox mode, a regular maker pen is available from the Sandbox Machine.)

Apart from the limited functions, the main difference between the Charades version and the full version of the maker pen is that you don't need to press "DONE" in the Charades version; instead you turn the most recently created shapes into a physical maker pen object by picking up any of these shapes.

The rest of this page is only concerned with the full version of the maker pen.

Basic Functions

Rec Room maker pen in dorm room

Maker pen (blue item in the center) in the dorm room.

Starting Using the Maker Pen

To use the maker pen, you need to pick up a maker pen (usually from the Sandbox Machine) with one of your hands in the same way as you pick up other objects; i.e., by moving one of your controllers close enough to the maker pen and then pulling the trigger. Players on Junior accounts cannot use the maker pen.

Stopping Using the Maker Pen

To stop using the maker pen, just drop it like any other object; i.e., with the "drop" button.

If you want to save your maker pen creations, you have to make them in a Custom Room and save the room.

Maker pen in dorm room2

Top of maker pen with maker pen menu.

Opening and Using the Maker Pen Menu

To open the maker pen menu, you have to rotate the maker pen such that you look directly at its top.

You can select buttons and tabs of the maker pen menu in the same way as in the Watch Menu; i.e., by using your other controller to tap on the menu.

Expert Tip: Lock the Position of the Menu

You can lock the position of the maker pen menu in the same way as with the Watch Menu, i.e., with the "drop" button.

Creating and Editing Shapes

Maker pen shapes tab

Shapes tab of the maker pen menu.

Maker pen tools tab

Tools tab of the maker pen menu in "EDIT mode".

In the Shapes tab, you can select one of several types of shapes. To create a shape of the selected type, pull and hold the trigger and physically move the maker pen in space. Release the trigger to fix the shape. Pull the trigger again to create additional shapes. To create shapes of different types or colors, open the maker pen menu, select a different shape type or color, and pull the trigger again.

With your free hand, you can pick up shapes to rotate and move them.

Creating a shape activates the "EDIT mode" of the maker pen. The Tools tab in "EDIT mode" offers several tools that may be used to edit individual shapes (Select, Clone, Delete, Scale, Move, and Recolor).

Expert Tip: Large Shapes

You cannot teleport while creating a shape, but you can fly and walk (and swipe-rotate your view each time you reach the edge of your tracking space) which allows you to create very large shapes. This is preferable to scaling with the Scale button if you want to create objects of specific sizes.

Creating and Editing Maker Pen Objects

Maker pen tools tab2

Tools tab of the maker pen menu in "OBJECT mode".

Maker pen objects are sets of shapes that form a rigid body; i.e., their shapes move together (unless the maker pen object is in "EDIT mode"). Note that the shapes of a maker pen object do not have to touch each other: they may be arbitrarily far apart from each other.

You create a maker pen object simply by creating one or more shapes. Initially, the new maker pen object is in "EDIT mode"; i.e., you can add more shapes to the maker pen object and edit its individual shapes as described above. Also, no one else can manipulate the shapes that you are editing.

To stop "EDIT mode" (and activate "OBJECT mode"), press "DONE" at the bottom of the maker pen menu or drop the maker pen. Once "EDIT mode" is stopped for a maker pen object, all its shapes move together and you may teleport onto the shapes. If you now create a new shape, that shape will be part of a new maker pen object without affecting the other maker pen object that is no longer in "EDIT mode". To activate "EDIT mode" for a maker pen object again, use the Edit Shapes tool. This button will not be available if the maker pen is in "EDIT mode" for another object. In this case, you have to stop "EDIT mode" for the other object by pressing "DONE" first and then use the Edit Shapes tool to activate "EDIT mode" for the object that you want to edit.

The Tools tab in "OBJECT mode" offers several tools that may be used to edit maker pen objects (Clone, Edit Shapes, Delete, Scale, Move, and Settings).

Expert Tip: Reasons You Cannot Teleport onto a Maker Pen Object

The four most common reasons why you cannot teleport onto a maker pen object are: 1) there is not enough space above the object for your avatar (try to duck or sit down), 2) the object is in "EDIT mode", 3) someone holds the object in their hand, and 4) there are bugs that prevent you from teleporting onto the object (this appears to happen often for unconstrained, physical maker pen objects).

Modes of Maker Pen Objects

First some words about the two modes of the maker pen: "EDIT mode" and "OBJECT mode". By default the maker pen is in "OBJECT mode". Creating a new shape (and therefore a new maker pen object) or using the Edit Shapes tool activates "EDIT mode" for the maker pen and one maker pen object. Pressing the "DONE" button or dropping the maker pen, stops "EDIT mode" and activates "OBJECT mode". Thus, the maker pen is only in "EDIT mode" if there is a maker pen object that is also in "EDIT mode". At any time, there can only be one maker pen object that is in "EDIT mode".

Apart from "EDIT mode", there are several other modes of maker pen objects. Most of them are selected with the Settings tool. One of the crucial differences between the modes is that they require different amounts of the limited "ink" of the maker pen.

  • Environment: This is the default mode for maker pen objects that are not in "EDIT" mode. These objects can be grabbed and moved by all players, but they cannot move on their own; e.g., it is not possible to throw them.
  • Physical: In this mode, a maker pen object can be grabbed and moved by all players and it has physical properties, in particular a mass of 1 kg and a velocity of initially 0 m/s. The center of gravity of a physical maker pen object is determined by the positions and(!) sizes of its shapes.
  • Frozen: In this mode, the maker pen object cannot be grabbed nor edited by anyone. You have to unfreeze the object with the Settings tool to edit it again.
  • Stuck to another object: An environment or physical maker pen object can be stuck to other objects (including other maker pen objects, the ground, players, and objects from the Sandbox Machine) by releasing it when in contact with another object. In order to stick a maker pen object to another object, it is usually best to hold both objects with your hands. If a maker pen object is stuck to another object, it will temporarily lose its physical properties and follow the movements of the other object. This also means that it no longer reacts to collisions with other objects. Sticking maker pen objects to other maker pen objects is discussed in more detail below.
  • Held by a player: Technically, this is yet another mode in which maker pen objects temporarily behave in a special way, for example, they cannot be grabbed by other players.

Expert Tip: How to Stick a Maker Pen Object to Another Maker Pen Object

In order to stick one maker pen object to another maker pen object, either hold both objects in your two hands, or first stick one of them to the ground, yourself, or another static object before sticking the other maker pen object to it.
Maker pen flying

Teleport-flying using a flat box that is stuck to one of the hands.

Expert Tip: Teleport-Flying

By appropriately sticking a large maker pen object to your hand such that the teleport arc hits the object, one can teleport in any direction, including upwards into thin air.

Limited Maker Pen "Ink"

There is a limited amount of shapes and objects that you can create with a maker pen. The amount of remaining shapes is represented by the length of the ink/glue stick at the top of the maker pen and the bar at the top of the Sandbox Machine. The available amount of shapes depends on several factors: other Sandbox objects in the map, the types of shapes, the length of ribbons and tubes, the number of maker pen objects, the modes of maker pen objects, etc. Note that the available amount of shapes does not depend on the size of shapes (except for tubes and ribbons).

Expert Tip: How to Increase the Amount of "Ink"

  • Freeze as many maker pen objects as possible.
  • Use "environment" mode instead of "physical" mode for as many maker pen objects as possible.
  • Avoid long tubes and ribbons. (Long boxes or ellipsoids are much cheaper.)

For Advanced Users: Compositions of Maker Pen Objects

By sticking maker pen objects to other maker pen objects, you can build complex compositions of objects with a hierarchical structure (similar to a family tree). This hierarchical structure is important when picking and deleting parts of these compositions (as well as for understanding which part of a composition can react to collisions with other objects).

The hierarchical structure of each composition consists of exactly one "root object" and zero or more "children objects" to this root object. When you stick one single maker pen object to another single maker pen object (or a built-in object), the former maker pen object becomes the child of the latter maker pen object (or built-in object), which becomes the root of the composition. Each of the "children objects" may be parent to zero or more additional children objects. If you stick a maker pen object to a maker pen object that is part of a composition, the former maker pen object becomes the child of the latter maker pen object, which itself may be the child of another object in the composition.

When you try to pick up a maker pen object that is part of a composition, you will pick up not only the object that is marked by the green silhouette, but also all its children and children of children etc., i.e., all of its descendants in the hierarchical structure of the composition.

All maker pen objects that are stuck to something lose their physical properties. Thus, only the root object of a composition determines the movement and reacts to collisions with other objects.

Expert Tip: Compositions That Can Collide Correctly

If you want a maker pen object in a composition to react to collisions, the maker pen object has to be the root object of the composition.

Expert Tip: Compositions for Weakly Connected Structures

The real world is full of weakly connected objects, e.g., leaves of a plant; pages in a binder or a book; objects in cups, bowls, or boxes; furniture in houses; etc. Creating such weakly connected objects as compositions of maker pen objects allows players to pick up objects with weakly connected objects (e.g., picking up a plant with all its leaves or a cup with all its contents) as well as breaking the weak connections by picking up the attached objects - even without a maker pen.

Functions in All Tabs of the Maker Pen Menu

Maker pen shapes tab

Shapes tab of the maker pen menu with the general functions in the bottom-most two rows.

The maker pen menu consists of four tabs (three if Circuits are invisible) that can be selected with the top-most row of buttons. The following functions are available in all tabs:

Constrain

The "Constrain" checkbox activates constrained mode. This mode affects the Tube, Ribbon, Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Wedge, and Pyramid shapes as described there.

Snap and Grid Scale

The "Snap" checkbox activates snapping of positions of shapes (in "EDIT mode") to a 3D grid with a distance between grid points that is determined by the "Grid Scale" slider. It can also activate snapping of rotations of shapes to angles of 45 degrees.

When "Snap" is checked and you grab a shape, you have a choice: Either you start moving your controller by about 8 cm or 3 inches without rotating it, then the system will lock the rotation and snap the position to a grid. Or you start rotating your controller, then the system will lock the position and snap the rotation to angles of 45 degrees.

Delete latest

In "EDIT mode", the "Delete latest" button allows you to delete the most recently added or modified shape. I.e., if you create or move a shape and then press "Delete latest," that shape will be deleted.

Expert Tip: Deleting Shapes

The Delete tool is more powerful than the "Delete latest" button because you can delete any individual shape in "EDIT mode" and any maker pen object in "OBJECT mode".

DONE

The "DONE" button stops the "EDIT mode" for the maker pen object and its shapes that are currently being edited. This puts the maker pen object either into "environment" or "physical" mode, which can be changed with the Settings tool. To activate "EDIT mode" for a maker pen object again, use the Edit Shapes tool. (The Edit Shapes button is not available if the maker pen is in "EDIT mode" for another object. In this case, you have to activate "OBJECT mode" by pressing "DONE" first.)

Shapes Tab of the Maker Pen Menu

Maker pen shapes tab

Shapes tab of the maker pen menu.

The Shapes tab contains a selection of shape types to choose from.

Tube

After selecting the "Tube" button, you can draw 3D tubes in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. This works very much like the former 3D Pen. If Constrain is unchecked, a continuous, curved tube is generated while you pull the trigger. If Constrain is checked, a single straight tube is generated whenever you release the trigger.

Expert Tip: Varying Tube Thickness

By pulling the trigger only slightly, you can generate thinner tubes.

Ribbon

Ribbons are generated in the same way as tubes. I.e., after selecting the "Ribbon" button, you can draw 3D ribbons in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. You can turn the maker pen to control the orientation of the ribbon. If Constrain is unchecked, a continuous, curved ribbon is generated while you pull the trigger. If Constrain is checked, a single straight ribbon is generated whenever you release the trigger.

Expert Tip: Varying Ribbon Width

By pulling the trigger only slightly, you can generate thinner ribbons.

Box

After selecting the "Box" button, you can draw boxes in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. If Constrain is unchecked, the box will have one corner at the position where you pull the trigger and the opposite corner at the position where you release the trigger. If Constrain is checked, the box is always a perfect cube shape with faces of equal sizes.

Expert Tip: Rotating Boxes and Other Shapes

When you create a box shape (or sphere/cylinder/wedge shape), it is originally aligned to the invisible coordinate axes of the world. (All built-in doors appear to be aligned to the same axes.) To rotate a box, you have to pick it up with your free hand (i.e., the hand that does not hold the maker pen), and rotate it.

Sphere

After selecting the "Sphere" button, you can draw spheres (more precisely: ellipsoids) in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. When you first pull the trigger, you specify a corner of an invisible box; when you release the trigger, you specify the opposite corner of this invisible box. If Constrain is unchecked, the generated ellipsoid fits into this box with its axes aligned to the sides of the box. If Constrain is checked, a perfect sphere is generated that fits into the box.

Expert Tip: Creating Rolling Spheres

Make sure to check Constrain if you want the created sphere to roll without problems. With unchecked Constrain, it is not possible to create a smoothly rolling sphere.

Cylinder

After selecting the "Cylinder" button, you can draw cylinders (more precisely: elliptical cylinders) in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. When you first pull the trigger, you specify a corner of an invisible box; when you release the trigger, you specify the opposite corner of this invisible box. If Constrain is unchecked, the generated elliptical cylinder fits into this box with its axes aligned to the sides of the box. If Constrain is checked, the base of the cylinder is a disc.

Expert Tip: Height of Cylinders in Constrained Mode

In the current version of the maker pen, the height of a cylinder in constrained mode equals the diameter, which might change in future versions of the maker pen.

Wedge

After selecting the "Wedge" button, you can draw wedges (more precisely: right-angled triangular prisms) in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. When you first pull the trigger, you specify one corner of the wedge; when you release the trigger, you specify the opposite corner of the wedge. If Constrain is checked, the base of the wedge is constrained to isosceles (equal-sided) right triangles.

Pyramid

After selecting the "Pyramid" button, you can draw pyramids (more precisely: right-angled four-sided pyramids) in the currently chosen color by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. When you first pull the trigger, you specify a corner of an invisible box; when you release the trigger, you specify the opposite corner of this invisible box. If Constrain is unchecked, the generated pyramid fits into this box with its axes aligned to the sides of the box. If Constrain is checked, the base of the pyramid is a perfect square.

Expert Tip: Height of Pyramids in Constrained Mode

In the current version of the maker pen, the height of a pyramid in constrained mode equals the width of the base, which might change in future versions of the maker pen.

Expert Tip: Cones out of Two Overlapping Pyramids

Two overlapping pyramids (where one is rotated by 45 degrees) can form a cone with a somewhat rippled surface. The best way to create this shape is to start with one pyramid and activate snapping (any grid scale) before cloning it. While pulling the trigger for cloning, don't move the controller but rotate it such that the clone snaps to the correct 45 degrees rotation.
Trigger zone

A trigger zone that keeps track of the players who are in it.

Trigger Zone

This button is only accessible if circuits are visible to you, which is specified in the This Room Menu of the Watch Menu. After pressing the button, you can draw transparent boxes by pulling the trigger of the maker pen. (The boxes are invisible if circuits are invisible.) The boxes will have one corner at the position where you pull the trigger and the opposite corner at the position where you release the trigger. The three output pins can be connected to Circuits; see there for more details.

Tools Tab of the Maker Pen Menu

Maker pen tools tab

Tools tab of the maker pen menu in "EDIT mode".

Maker pen tools tab2

Tools tab of the maker pen menu in "OBJECT mode".

The "Tools" tab has two slightly different versions: one for "EDIT mode" and one for "OBJECT mode" (see section "Modes of Maker Pen Objects"). In "EDIT mode" the tab includes the Select (for shapes only), Clone, Delete, Scale, Move, Connect, Recolor (for shapes only), and Settings tools. In "OBJECT mode", the shapes-only tools are hidden and the Edit Shapes tool is added.

Select

The "Select" button activates a tool that allows you to select and unselect shapes. The group of selected shapes are moved, rotated, cloned, deleted, and scaled together. You can include a shape in this group of selected shapes by choosing the tool, pointing with the green ray from the maker pen at a shape, and pulling the trigger. Pulling the trigger again while you point the green ray at the same shape will unselect it. When you have selected a group of shapes in this way, moving, rotating, cloning, deleting, or scaling any of the shapes in the group will move, rotate, clone, delete, or scale all of them. There is only one group of shapes for each maker pen object.

Expert Tip: Unselecting Many Shapes

It can be tedious to unselect a large group of selected shapes by clicking on each of them. To get rid of the selection, you can clone the selected shapes (such that you keep the shapes), and then delete the originals (such that the selection is removed). For this to work well, the group of selected shapes should not be created in the place where you want them in the end.

Clone

The "Clone" button activates a tool that duplicates shapes (when they are in "EDIT" mode) or maker pen objects. After activating it, you can point the blue ray from the maker pen at a shape or a maker pen object and pull the trigger to duplicate the shape or maker pen object. Move the maker pen while pulling the trigger to separate the clone from the original.

If the shape that you are cloning is part of the selected shapes, the whole selection of shapes is cloned, and the original shapes are still selected.

Edit Shapes

The "Edit Shapes" tool allows you to select a maker pen object by pointing a yellow ray at it and pulling the trigger. This activates "EDIT mode" for the object and the maker pen. "EDIT mode" allows you to manipulate the shapes of an object and add new shapes. You can exit "EDIT mode" by pressing the "DONE" button.

Delete

The "Delete" button activates a tool that deletes shapes (when they are in "EDIT mode") and maker pen objects. After activating it, you can point the red ray from the maker pen at a shape or maker pen object and pull the trigger to delete the shape or maker pen object.

Expert Tip: Deleting Sandbox Machine Objects

You can also delete objects from the Sandbox Machine with the "Delete" button.

Scale

The "Scale" button activates a tool that allows you to scale shapes (when they are in "Edit" mode) and maker pen objects. After activating it, you can point the white ray from the maker pen at a shape or maker pen object, pull the trigger, and move the maker pen to scale the shape or maker pen object (uniformly in all directions).

Move

The "Move" button activates a tool that allows you to move shapes (when they are in "EDIT mode") and maker pen objects. After activating it, you can point the green ray from the maker pen at a shape or maker pen object, pull the trigger, and move and rotate the maker pen to move and rotate the shape or maker pen object. This works even if the object is far away.

Connect

The "Connect" button activates a tool that allows you to connect the pins of chips and objects from the Sandbox Machine that have pins to construct complex Circuits. After activating it, you can point the ray from the maker pen at a pin, pull the trigger, move the ray to the pin that you want to connect, and then release the trigger. You can disconnect a connection by following a similar process starting with an input pin: i.e., point at the input pin (on the left side of a chip or object), pull the trigger, point away from any pins, and release the trigger.

Recolor

In "EDIT mode", the "Recolor" button activates a tool that changes the color of individual shapes. After activating it, you can point the whiteray from the maker pen at a shape and pull the trigger to change its color to the color that is currently selected in the Colors tab.

Maker pen shape settings

The "Object Settings" for maker pen shapes.

Maker pen edit menu

The "Object Settings" menu for maker pen objects.

Settings

The "Settings" tool allows you to select a maker pen object or (if in "EDIT mode") a maker pen shape by pointing a yellow ray at it and pulling the trigger. This activates the "Object Settings" menus for the object or the shape. These menus appear in the same place as the maker pen menu.

In the "Object Settings" menu for maker pen shapes, you can specify the mass density of a shape. This density is multiplied with an approximate volume of the shape to compute the mass of the shape. For example, a box of 0.2 m x 0.2 m x 0.2 m has a volume of 0.008 m3. If the density is set to 1000 kg/m3 (approximately the density of water) then the mass of the box is 0.008 m3 x 1000 kg/m3 = 8 kg.

In the "Object Settings" menu for maker pen objects, you can "freeze" the object, i.e., lock it in space. You can also activate "Tool Cleanup" and specify a delay time which will make the maker pen object respawn at its current position after it has been moved away from this position and the specified delay time has passed. The "Physics Mode" allows you to choose between "environment" mode (objects cannot move on their own) and "physical" mode (objects can move according to their mass and velocity, etc.).

You can freeze an object by checking "Freeze Tool". Frozen objects are never in "EDIT mode" and they do not move. A frozen object cannot be picked up, nor cloned, nor deleted. Freezing objects provides a way of protecting objects from accidentally being picked up or being deleted as well as a way to stop other players from modifying an object. To unfreeze an object, you have to use the "Settings" tool to access the "Object Settings" menu and uncheck "Freeze Tool".

Expert Tip: How to Access the Settings for an Object in "EDIT Mode"?

In "EDIT mode", the "Settings" tool opens the shape settings. If you want to access the object settings instead, you first have to exit "EDIT mode" (e.g., by pressing "DONE" or dropping the maker pen) and then use the "Settings" tool in "OBJECT mode".

Expert Tip: Editing Sandbox Machine Objects and Chips

With the "Settings" tool, you can also freeze objects from the Sandbox Machine or activate tool cleanup for them. Chips, Room Doors, Welcome Mats, Signs and Buttons are also configured with the "Settings" tool. (See Sandbox Machine for the full list of configurable objects.)

Chips Tab of the Maker Pen Menu

The chips tab contains all chips that can be used to construct Circuits (see the Circuits page for a detailed description of the chips). This tab is only accessible if circuits are visible to you, which is specified in the This Room Menu of the Watch Menu. In particular, this tab is not available in the Dorm Room.

You can switch between the first and second set of chips with the arrow buttons. After selecting a chip, pull the trigger to create one of these chips. Pins of chips can be connected with the Connect tool. Settings of each chip can be changed with the Settings tool.

Colors Tab of the Maker Pen Menu

Maker pen colors tab

Colors tab of the maker pen menu.

The colors tab allows you to select one of 16 colors that are used when creating new shapes or using the Recolor tool. The colors are: red, orange, yellow, light green, blue, light blue, dark cyan, dark green, violet, pink, cherry red, dark brown, light brown, white, grey, and black.

The currently selected color is shown by the colored cylinder in the top part of the maker pen (similar to a stick of glue in a hot glue pen).