TECH-SAVVY Cradley Heath schoolchildren are getting to grips with a revolutionary 3D pen from America.

Ormiston Forge Academy had to pre-order the 3Doodler printing pen 12 months ago to be one of the first schools in Britain to get the gadget.

The printing pen uses a plastic thread of polylactic acid which is melted then cooled whilst moving through the pen which can then be used to make 3D objects by hands.

Principal Andrew Burns is delighted with the school's new piece of kit.

He said: "We strive to bring cutting-edge technology to our students, not just read about it or watch it, but use the tools that will aid their studies and make them more employable."

The 3Doodler was developed by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue of WobbleWorks and has been described as a glue gun for 3D printing and has 11 feet of material. WobbleWorks raised investment for the 3Doodler on crowd-funding site Kickstarter and within two days had got $1.1 million in pledges from backers, and finally ended up with $2.3 million.

The technology department at Ormiston Forge Academy have been busy creating different models to test it, such as the Eiffel Tower and a wire mascot for the department.

Members of the sixth form have been experimenting with the pen, which retails for £80, for their projects.

Teacher Jenny Onafowokan said: "One of our students has previously found it difficult to model his watch design for his AS level in Product Design, but the 3Doodler has made it easy.

"The flexibility of the plastic enabled him to model around the wrist and visualise his 2D sketches in 3D."

Formally Heathfields High School, Ormiston Forge opened in January 2012 as an Academy and has 1,450 students between 11 and 18-years-old.