Whether you are a newbie or a veteran in the field of 3D art, finding the best 3D pen is of utmost priority. If you are someone looking for the finest and best-rated 3D printing pen, then you have reached the right place.
3D art is an emerging sector in the broader art spectrum. It is an art form that lets you transform your imagination and ideas into real-life, tangible creations. Artists, crafters, DIYers and hobbyists of all ages and any skill levels partake in this art to express themselves creatively and innovatively. And what helps them in mastering this art form is a 3D printing pen.
This buyer’s guide is designed to help you find what you are looking for. As you scroll down these pages, you will be introduced to the immersive and entertaining world of 3-dimensional art. We guarantee that by the time you reach the end of this guide, you will have made up your mind about which 3D printing pen is best suited for you.
What Is A 3D Printing Pen?
A 3D pen is a portable, hand-held printer that produces small-scale 3-dimensional images. It works just like a regular pen, except that you will be creating an object that can be seen, touched, and felt.
A 3D pen works without the installation of a software or a driver. It works independently without connecting to a power source via an adapter or a USB cable. Unlike a traditional printer, a 3D printing pen must be guided and controlled by the user to draw manually. It uses plastic filaments instead of ink to create 3D structures and drawings. These filaments transform into molten liquid upon reaching a particular temperature. Once extruded from the 3D pen, this liquid instantaneously solidifies, forming a structure.
Superior quality 3D printing pens can range anywhere from $75 to $200. Many manufacturers also offer additional tools and accessories as part of a starter kit. The kit may include a power adapter, assorted filaments, maintenance tools, guides, manuals, and doodle stencils.
Why Should You Own A 3D Printing Pen?
If you have contemplated quite often whether or not you should buy a 3D printing pen, we will give you ten good reasons as to why they are a worthy investment.
1. Affordable and Available
3D printing pens are readily available in physical stores and e-commerce websites. Brands such as MYNT3D, 3Doodler, and TR-Life produce some of the best innovative devices for artists and hobbyists.
As compared to the hefty 3D printers, printing pens are reasonably priced. You can convert your ideas into 3D works of art without burning a hole in your pocket. A 3D starter kit along with all the accessories and tools will cost you anywhere between $75 and $200.
2. Low Maintenance
3D pens are relatively easy to maintain and do not require constant care. Despite the occasional clogged nozzle, the printing pen is as good as a regular pen. With the necessary repair tools included in the bundle, one can easily fix the jammed nozzle and get back to work.
3. No Necessary Skills Required
One can own and use a 3D printing pen without requiring special skills or training. Using a printing pen is as easy as 1-2-3. Just plug it into a power source, wait for the pen to heat up, insert the compatible filament, and start creating 3D artworks.
4. Safe To Use
3D pens are designed while keeping safety in mind. Even though the printing pen reaches extreme temperatures while extruding molten plastic, the pen’s exterior is relatively cooler and does not pose a burn risk. Manufacturers such as 3Doodler and MYNT3D have also introduced child-friendly 3D printing pens with additional safety features.
The best 3D printing pens extrude and create structures at a fraction of the time taken by traditional 3D printers. The fast and convenient operation ensures an enhanced user experience. It takes a shorter time to heat up and cool down as well. It is ideal for creators wanting to spend less money and get quicker results.
6. Easy To Learn
One can easily get the hang of a 3D printing pen after overcoming the initial learning curve. Adults can use it to hone their creative skills and indulge in designing, repairing, fixing, etc. It makes drawing fun and incorporates a learning experience. Printing pens intended for children, promote hand-eye coordination, improve spatial understanding, creative skills, and STEM learning.
7. Limitless Creativity
The sky is the limit when it comes to creating art using a 3D printing pen. There is no limit to what you can create using the printing pen. It enables you to create intricate drawings and large structures, horizontal and vertical designs, and specks or filled spaces in a 3D work of art.
8. Environmentally Sustainable
The printing pen uses lesser energy than a conventional 3D printer and leaves no residue. It uses environmentally-friendly materials such as ABS and PLA, to create compatible filaments.
These materials are recyclable, biodegradable, safe for children, and non-toxic. ABS is an oil-based material, whereas PLA is made using plant-based ingredients such as corn starch and sugar cane.
Unlike its traditional counterpart, 3D printing pens can work on any surface. It uses plastic as the ‘ink’ to create 3D figures that can stick to any leveled or rugged surface. Be it wood, glass, or cardboard, 3D pens yield the same satisfactory result. Moreover, the plastic extruded onto the surface leaves no mark.
However, certain manufacturers provide a transparent doodle mat or flexible silicone sheet to use while operating a 3D printing pen. It can be spread over the existing surface for improved functionality.
10. Seamless Creativity
There is no fixed method of operating a printing pen. It can be used to trace on a template, draw freehand, or in the air. Specific variants also enable the user to work horizontally, vertically, or even at 90°.
Top 15 Best 3D Pens 2021
1. 3Doodler’s Create+ 3D Printing Pen
This printing pen from 3Doodler is crafted to offer the best 3D printing experience for creators of all ages. Known as the “world’s first 3D printing device”, the Create+ Printing Pen is designed for durability, power, and reliability.
With a sleek and ergonomic design, the pen provides the best designing experience and high performance. Equipped with the latest Dual Drive Technology, it offers uninterrupted usage and improved speed control. Speed and temperature control are optimized to ensure superior performance and compatibility with various filaments.
Using it is as easy and straightforward. Plugin the device, insert the colored filament, wait for it to heat up, and get started. The extruded plastic hardens fastly, making it possible to create structures, trace on templates, or draw freehand. The Create+ 3D Pen is ideal for DIY projects, decorating, or fixing things around the house.
The Create+ 3D Printing Pen comes with three packs of assorted 3mm refills, an adapter, maintenance tools, and an instruction manual. 3Doodlers use only the best and safest materials for the Create+ filaments. The printing pen works with Create+ 3mm PLA, ABS, and Flexy Plastic filaments only. The kit also consists of templates that can be used to create a variety of projects.
Priced under $80, this printing pen from 3Doodlers is a favorite among users and has garnered rave reviews for its functionality and form.
2. MYNT3D’s Professional Printing 3D Pen
One of the best 3D printing pens, the MYNT3D Pen, helps turn your imagination into three-dimensional works of art. The minimalistic design and adjustable controls make it a popular choice among creators.
The printing pen features an ergonomically designed square body for easier grip and comfortable handling. It comes with an OLED temperature display, adjustable temperature, and speed controls for seamless extrusion and printing. The temperature is adjustable in increments of 1° from 130° C to 240°C allowing the fine-tuning of the extrusion for a variety of filaments. Furthermore, the speed of extrusion can be optimized for better control. The replaceable nozzle allows for interrupted drawing in case of clogging.
This 3D Pen is known for its versatility. It works with any type of filament as long as it is 1.75 mm and has a melting point ranging between 140 and 230° C. In addition to ABS and PLA filaments, it is compatible with bronze and wood-infused filaments. It is ideal for sculpting, DIY-projects, and spatial drawings. The pen is USB-powered, which means that it can be used on-the-go if connected to a battery power-bank.
The MYNT3D Professional Printing Pen comes with three rolls of ABS filaments in varied colors, an A/C adapter, a USB cable, nozzle replacements, and an instruction manual. It also comes with a 1-year limited warranty in case of replacement or repair.
Priced a little under $60, the pen offers excellent performance and convenient usage. It is highly recommended by users and is guaranteed to give you your money’s worth.
3. 3Doodler’s Start Essentials 3D Pen
Specifically designed for children above six years, 3Doodler’s Start 3D Pen comes with non-heating components and non-toxic filaments. It promotes creativity, spatial and STEM learning.
The self-proclaimed ‘only child-safe 3D pen’ has an ergonomic construction designed to fit comfortably in a child’s hand. It is lightweight and durable. It comes with a sealed nozzle that is cool to touch and prevents the risk of burning. The 3D pen uses low heat for the extrusion of non-toxic and child-friendly Eco-Plastic filaments. These filaments are made from a unique blend of materials that melt quickly at a lower temperature than regular ABS and PLA filaments.
Start Essential 3D Pen is the best 3D printer pen for children between the ages of 6 and 13. It encourages fun learning at home by captivating the children’s imagination and enabling them to explore their creativity by using various colors, designs, and structures. It promotes STEM learning by introducing a method of drawing via 3D objects that demonstrates complex concepts visually. 3D drawing also helps children utilize time creatively and express themselves through structures and drawings.
Each kit consists of a DoodlePad, two packs of colored Start filaments, a Micro USB charger, and a user guide. It also comes with a 1-year warranty that covers repairing and replacement of the device.
Under $50, this 3D pen is bang on the buck. Nowhere else will you find a child-friendly printing pen that offers such safety features and superior quality at this price.
4. MYNT3D’s Super 3D Pen
The Super 3D Pen from MYNT3D transforms your ideas and creativity into stunning 3D works of art. The seamless design, optimized speed, and temperature controls allow for a wonderful drawing experience.
The square body of the printing pen provides a firm grip for effortless control. It is fitted with the latest ultrasonic sealed nozzle that is clog-resistant and offers superior durability. The two push-buttons on the side let you click through for continuous flow. It also features two slider buttons for speed control and temperature adjustment. The slider enables you to work at a slower speed for intricate details and faster for filling. You can regulate the extrusion for better control. The red light on the pen indicates power, and the green light flashes when it is heating and is steady when it is ready-to-use.
Like the Pro 3D Pen, this 3D pen is equipped with a high-performance gearbox and replaceable nozzle for uninterrupted usage. It does not contain an OLED screen for temperature display. However, it comes with a temperature adjuster for shifting from ABS to PLA and vice versa.
With a 1-year limited warranty, the Super 3D Pen comes with an instruction manual, three sets of ABS filaments, a USB cord, an AC adapter, and a bunch of maintenance tools.
Valued a little under $40, MYNT3D’s Super 3D Pen suits the needs of artists, 3D creators, engineers, as well as children. One can use it to draw, build, design, repair, etc. Furthermore, since it is powered using a USB cable, it can be used outdoors. Simply connect it to a battery power bank, and you are good to go.
5. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen Set, Rose Gold
This 3D printing pen is one of the most sought-after and best 3D pens in the market. It’s versatility, durability, and efficiency remains unmatched.
The Create 3D Printing Pen has an ergonomic construction that allows for a comfortable grip and better control. Its lustrous exterior gives it a sleek and attractive appearance. The pen can work horizontally and vertically, allowing you to create structures and draw in 3D in any way you want. It is compatible with 3Doodler’s superior quality ABS, PLA, and FLEXY plastics filaments. They are non-toxic and extremely safe to operate..
Setting up the 3D Pen is as easy as 1-2-3. Switch it on, adjust the temperature, wait for it to heat up, insert the filament, and start doodling. It comes with changeable nozzles that are helpful in case of clogging ensuring an uninterrupted drawing experience.
The set includes a 3D printing pen with a rose gold finish, 50 ABS filaments in assorted colors, a power adapter, an instruction manual, and repair tools. It also comes with a 365 days replacement warranty.
Priced between $170 and $180, the Create 3D Printing Pen Set is best suited for artists, hobbyists, crafters, professionals, and learners. Use it to create, repair, build, or indulge in some of your DIY projects.
6. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen Set, Powder Blue
From the creators of the self-proclaimed “world’s first 3D pen”, the Create 3D Printing Pen is a sleek and durable device ideal for building and designing personal projects.
Weighing only a pound, it is the lightest and strongest 3D pen in the market. The attractive design and construction allow for ergonomic workflow and control. The latest addition to the structure is an ambient light bar that glows when the 3D pen is used. Additionally, a new and improved version of the drive system ensures smoother and silent operation. The pen is capable of working in horizontal and vertical positions that provide ease of operation. The satin finish gives it a classy look.
This 3D pen from 3Doodler comes with enhanced and improved features that make it ideal for artists and hobbyists of all ages. It enables you to create and build unique 3D art and upcycle broken furniture or other decoratives.
The printing set includes a powder blue-colored 3D pen, a quick start guide, two sets of matte colored ABS filaments, an AC adapter, and a set of tools. It also comes with a 360-day free replacement policy that covers repairs and device replacement.
With exceptional ratings, the Create 3D Printing Pen from 3Doodler is a promising investment. It provides excellent results and premium quality performance at a relatively affordable price.
7. MYNT3D’s Junior 3D Pen
MYNT3D creates some of the finest innovative products for artists and creators of all ages, including the Junior 3D Pen. This child-friendly printing pen is one of the best-selling devices in this category.
The ergonomic design of the 3D pen provides a comfortable grasp and fits easily in a child’s hand. It does not feature any external heating components that might pose a burn risk. The nozzle is sealed and works well at lower temperatures. The pen’s internal temperature is around 88° C, which is comparatively lower than regular 3D printing pens. It is compatible with any 1.75 mm PCL filaments, but it is recommended to use MYNT3D filaments. PCL is a bio-polyester that is eco-friendly and non-toxic. However, the 3D pen will not work with ABS or PLA filaments.
The 3D printing pen can be conveniently charged using a Micro USB cable. With long-lasting battery life, it guarantees hours of fun and entertainment.
The Junior 3D Pen comes with a USB power cord, three spools of PCL filament, an instruction manual, and a doodle stencil. With a 1-year unlimited warranty, the device can be repaired or replaced in case of any defect.
Priced a little under $40, this 3D pen is one of the best 3D printing pens specifically designed for children above six years of age. It promotes creativity among children and provides an outlet to explore their imagination.
8. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen Set, Shocking Pink
This 3D printing pen from 3Doodler is a durable and versatile device ideal for designing, fixing, and building designs into real-life 3D works of art. 3Doodler claims to be the first company in the world to invent the best-selling 3D pen. It is no doubt that the Create 3D Printing Pen belongs to the same league.
The adaptability and enhanced features are what sets this 3D printing pen apart from its contemporaries. Weighing only 1 pound, it is one of the slimmest and lightest pens that promise high-performance and optimized workflow. The triangular construction provides a stronger grip for better control. The improved driver system ensures a silent and smooth operation. New features include a light bar at the end of the 3D pen that lights up when the pen is used.
The Create 3D Printing Pen is compatible with filaments made from non-toxic materials such as ABS, PLA, and FLEXY plastics. They melt and harden almost immediately once extruded. This enables the creator to make wearable designs, decoratives, or even indulge in DIY projects of their own.
The printing pen set includes 50 plastic filaments in assorted colors, an AC adapter, a guide, and maintenance tools. It comes with a 360-days free replacement warranty in case of defects.
Valued under $100, the Create 3D Printing Pen from 3Doodler is a tried and tested device recommended by many users. Its performance and durability remain unmatched at this price.
9. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen, Butterscotch
This 3D printing pen is a part of 3Doodler’s finest product line. The Create 3D Printing Pen is a high-quality product that enables you to create your imaginations and ideas into tangible 3D structures.
The sleek and lightweight design of the pen allows for convenient operation and steady control. Despite its weight, the 3D pen is extremely durable and sturdy. As compared to its predecessors, the Create 3D Pen is quieter and smoother, thanks to an improved drive system. It features an ambient light bar at the end that glows when the device is in use. The 3D pen also has a distinct feature that is not available in any other pens. It can work both horizontally and vertically, allowing you to create flat and tall structures with ease.
3Doodler’s Create 3D Pen is only compatible with superior quality 3Doodler filaments made from ABS, PLA, and FLEXY plastics. They are odorless, non-toxic, and safe to use. It is extremely adaptable to your needs and enables you to create, fix, repair, and design anything under the sun.
The 3D pen comes with a quick start guide, two sets of matte colored filaments, a power cord, and some maintenance tools. 3Doodler offers a 360-days free replacement warranty on the product.
This 3D printing pen is valued a little under $100. If the reviews are anything to go by, then the Create 3D Printing Pen by 3Doodler is the best 3D printing pen for this price. It comes with unique features that other high-end pens do not offer. Though it has a learning curve, it allows for hours of drawing and fun.
10. Betim’s 3D Pen Set
Deemed as the 3D Pen Best Choice 2018, Betim’s 3D Pen Set provides you with the tools and opportunity to explore the world of 3D art and turn your imagination into real-life art.
The ultra-light 3D printing pen has an ergonomic construction that allows for a comfortable and sturdy grip. The pen does not heat up even when it reaches high temperatures. Although the pen nib heats up as it extrudes the melted filament, so be wary. It has a single button operation, which makes it suitable for both right and left-handed users.
It is compatible with 1.75 mm PLA or PCL filaments that melt quickly and harden almost immediately. Suitable for both children and adults, the 3D printing pen is portable and can be used any time, anywhere.
The set includes a 3D printing pen, 150-feet of PLA, and 150-feet of PCL non-toxic filaments in mixed colors, an adapter, a USB cable, a ceramic nozzle, a stencil guide, a plastic doodle mat, a pair of finger guards, and a wooden tool.
Betim’s 3D Pen Set has garnered several good reviews from users. It comes with a small learning curve, but the joy of designing and exploring your creativity is unparalleled.
11. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen Set, Sapphire Blue
This 3D pen from 3Doodler is the most versatile printing pen with enhanced features and improved performance.
The Create 3D Printing Pen has a slim and lightweight design that assists in optimized control and smooth operation. Durable and robust construction allows for long-lasting usage and hours of entertainment. The latest drive system ensures a silent and efficient workflow. The best part about using this 3D pen is that it lets you work both horizontally and vertically. You can build tall structures or leveled drawings without worrying about the working of the 3D pen.
Designed for artists and crafters of all ages, the Create 3D Pen is compatible with premium quality plastic filaments made from ABS, PLA, and FLEXY materials. 3Doodler ensures only the safest and non-toxic products to reach its customers.
The printing pen bundle contains a 3D pen, 50 plastic filaments in assorted colors, a power adapter, an instruction manual, and a repair tool set. 3Doodler offers a free 360-day warranty in case of repair or replacement of the product due to defects.
Priced between $80 and $90, 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen has received excellent reviews from customers for its versatility, durability, and overall performance. It is fun to operate and keep yourself entertained despite a learning curve.
12. TR-Life’s 3D Printing Pen Version 4.0
An underdog in the world of 3D printing pens, TR-Life innovates products suited for artists, crafters, hobbyists, etc. Its 3D Printing Pen is one of the finest devices so far.
The unique, transparent body of the printing pen garners a lot of attention. The glass-case design is rather unconventional and makes it stand out from the crowd. The ergonomic build of the pen allows for a single-key operation. It weighs only 0.81ounces making the 3D pen ultra-lightweight and easy to handle. The patented Aerial Ceramic nozzle comes with a durable anti-scalding coating that protects it against extreme temperatures. It has an unjamming design that prevents clogging.
Suited for beginners and professionals, the TR-Life 3D Printing Pen is easy to use. Just plug it in, wait for it to heat up, insert the filament, and start drawing. It is equipped with the MultiProtect Safety System that protects against overheating and auto-adjusts temperature. The smart control function of the 3D pen prevents the blockage of the nozzle as well.
The 3D printing pen comes with a USB adapter, a manual, a small shovel, drawing stencils, silicone finger guards, a transparent template sheet, and three sets of 1.75 mm PLA filaments in assorted colors.
Having received excellent reviews for its functionality and form, TR-Life’s 3D Printing Pen is one of the best 3D pens in the market. With a little practice, one can ace the art of making 3D sculptures and structures.
13. AtmosFlare’s 3D Drawing Pen Set
This 3D printing pen from AtmosFlare enables you to create stunning 3D works of art and bring your imagination to life. Despite being more massive than the other products on this list, it is convenient to use.
The 3D Drawing Pen is a one-of-a-kind product that defies the laws of physics. It lets you draw vertically in the air or at an angle of 90°. It gives you the liberty to draw and sculpt in any way you want. It is completely wireless and uses no heat for 3D printing. It uses a UV light and a unique type of gel resin ink that solidifies as soon as it is extruded and exposed to the light. However, this special ink is not included with the pen and needs to be purchased separately.
Start by creating solid sheets on a flat surface and cure it using the UV light. You can use a similar technique to create multiple elements that constitute an enormous structure. Join the pieces together using the extruded ink and cure after it has settled.
The wireless 3D pen is battery-powered and lets you work on-the-go as long as you carry spare batteries. The residue is easy to clean using an alcohol-based cleaner or sanitizer. Since it works with no heat, it is safe for children above 12 to use comfortably. Additionally, it can work on any surface as the gel resin ink sticks to paper, wood, metal, etc.
AtmosFlare’s 3D Drawing Pen has received good reviews from users and is popular among beginners. Recommended for creators aged 12 and above, this 3D pen is very promising and guarantees hours of fun and creativity.
14. 3Doodler’s Create 3D Printing Pen, Black
From the brand that self-proclaims to have created the “world’s first 3D pen”, comes the latest Create 3D Printing Pen. With a durable and ergonomic design, this printing pen as a lot to offer.
It is by far the slimmest yet strongest 3D pen with unique and enhanced features. It comes with an improved drive system that enables a quieter and smoother functioning. The evolved design and convenient usage allow for hours of drawing and fun.
The intuitive operation and a new ambient light feature better its overall performance. The Create 3D Printing Pen allows you to work horizontally as well as vertically. The instant hardening of the extruded filament lets you draw flat and erect lines.
3Doodler’s Create 3D Pen is suitable for artists and hobbyists of all ages and skill levels. It works only with ABS, PLA, and FLEXY filaments that are odorless, non-toxic, and mess-free. The changeable nozzle allows for uninterrupted and clog-free use.
The printing pen bundle includes a 3D printing pen, 50 filaments in assorted colors, an adapter, a quick start guide, and maintenance tools. It comes with a 360-days free replacement warranty in case of any product defects.
Valued between $200 and $300, the Create 3D Printing Pen has received a great number of positive reviews. If they are anything to go by, then this 3D pen is an excellent investment and results in a fun learning experience.
15. 3Doodler’s Start 3D Pen For Kids
Specifically designed for children above the age of 6, the Start 3D Pen from 3Doodler is ideal for immersive learning and fun.
The compact design of the printing pen allows for a comfortable grip for the small hands of children. With no external heating parts, this 3D printing pen is exceptionally child-friendly. The Start 3D Pen is compatible with eco-plastic filaments that are safe and non-toxic. The melted plastic rapidly solidifies as it is extruded, allowing children to work in mid-air conveniently with one speed and one temperature.
It enables children to experiment and interact with 3D art while partaking in spatial understanding and tactile learning. This design method, building, and planning contributes to STEM learning and improves hand-eye coordination, creative skills, and perceptions.
Each kit includes a 3D printing pen, two sets of eco-plastic filaments in assorted colors, a Micro-USB charger, and an activity guide. 3Doodler offers a 360-day free replacement warranty in case of defects.
This 3D pen has received quite a few satisfactory reviews from parents. It is an excellent device for children to explore and create fantastic 3D artwork while learning.
Key Features To Look For In The Best 3D Printing Pen
As we come to the end of this comprehensive list, let us look at some of the key features that constitute the best 3D pen.
1. Material Compatibility
Almost all top-quality 3D printing pens are compatible with ABS, PLA, and PCL filaments. Each material has a specific melting point at which they can be extruded in a semi-liquid form to make 3D art.
While certain brands provide their own set of filaments along with the pen, some might require additional purchases. Make sure you purchase the right kind of filament to get the desired result.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
ABS filaments are the most common type of plastics suited for 3D printing pens. ABS is an oil-based material that gives out a chemical-like odor when burned. It is highly recommended that ABS filaments must be used in a well-ventilated area, and the user must wear a mask. From an environmental standpoint, ABS is a recyclable material.
ABS has a comparatively higher melting point than other materials. The melting point of ABS filaments ranges from 210° to 250° C. However, it releases harmful fumes if it reaches temperatures as high as 400° C.
It is a durable material that is impact-resistant and flexible. The filament extruded through the 3D pen is thicker and allows for broader coverage. However, ABS is prone to warping and shrinking.
Polylactic acid (PLA)
PLA is a plant-based material made from ingredients such as corn starch and sugar cane. When burned, PLA filaments emit a sweet smell that does not make one nauseous. As it is made from plant-based ingredients, PLA is biodegradable.
PLA filaments have a relatively low melting point and burn at temperatures ranging between 175° and 200° C. It is a brittle material and extrudes thin strands. Structures made using PLA are likely to degrade over time naturally. It is mostly considered by crafters designing wearable decoratives.
Belonging to the larger polyester family, PCL is a biodegradable material with a shallow melting point. It is also bioresorbable, which means that it can be broken down into consumable non-toxic substances by the human body. It is a safe material widely used to make filaments for child-friendly 3D printing pens.
It melts at temperatures as low as 60° C. This is a major reason why it is used for 3D pens explicitly designed for children. Operating the pen at lower temperatures reduces the risk of burn injuries.
However, structures made from PCL may deform on days with extremely high temperatures. It will become malleable and will not hold its former shape. The soft filament may also warp under pressure and will most likely clog the nozzle. It is suggested to print at a slower speed to avoid blockage.
2. Temperature Range
The temperature range essentially refers to two components- the temperature that the 3D pen can be adjusted to and the pen’s compatibility with the temperature of your workplace.
First off, choose a 3D pen that supports the melting temperatures of the compatible materials. For example, ABS, PCL, and PLA filaments have different melting points. While ABS melts somewhere between 190° and 270°C, PCL melts at a much lower temperature of 60° C. The 3D printing pen you select must accommodate all temperature ranges for it to be adaptable to your needs.
Secondly, the temperature of your working environment will determine whether how the chosen 3D pen will heat up or cool down. Certain variants might perform differently in different temperatures. 3D printing pens that heat up quickly might take longer to cool down for you to use it again. Improper heating or cooling will affect the output of the printing pen.
While deciding on the best 3D printer pen, take into consideration of the settings it offers for speed control. The speed at which the pen extrudes the molten filament will determine how intricately you can work.
Most top-quality 3D printing pens offer variable speed settings. This enables you to control the pace at which the filament flows. Based on the material you will be using, the design you will be working on, and your skill level, choose a model that offers a varying degree of speed control. Faster speeds are ideal for filling large spaces, and a slow pace lets you work patiently on details and smaller parts.
4. Cooling Time
A 3D printing pen generates a lot of heat while it is being used, just like any other machine. And as it reaches extreme temperatures to melt the plastic filaments, it needs the necessary cooling time before you can use it again.
The high use of energy and the generation of friction between the components can heat the 3D pen. The latest 3D pens come with in-built controllers that automatically cut-off the system when it reaches a particular temperature. This protects it from over-heating and allows it to cool down sufficiently.
If not allowed to cool, the system can break down and render the pen useless. The shorter the cooling time, the more you can doodle to your heart’s content.
5. Frequency Of Clogging
As the process of 3D printing involves melting plastic filaments, it likely that pieces of plastic will adhere and solidify, clogging the pen nozzle. This is not only inconvenient but also ruins the experience of uninterrupted doodling.
While it is smart to read customer reviews before purchasing a 3D pen, it is equally time-consuming. An alternative is to look for a 3D printing pen that comes equipped with a clog-free technology that prevents the molten plastic from solidifying inside the tube or one that comes with replaceable nozzles.
If such 3D printing pens are out of your budget or unavailable, look at how you can prevent nozzle clogging. Simple precautions such as frequent cleaning, using high-quality filament, and printing at the right temperature can save you a lot of time and effort.
6. Working Surface
Since a 3D printing pen is used to extract molten plastic onto a leveled surface, it is pertinent to decide on a pen that works on all surfaces. Specific models might not work on rugged or uneven surfaces.
Versatile 3D pens will work on any given surface without compromising the result. Plastic surfaces might warp under extreme heat from the pen, damaging it. In contrast, wooden and cardboard surfaces provide an even and non-stick space to work on. Choose a 3D pen that works on common surfaces or at least on the surface you wish to use.
Most printing pen sets come with transparent doodle mats that can be used to work on. It does not matter what kind of surface you work on, simply spread the plastic mat and get to drawing. This results in hassle-free working and cleaning.
7. Wireless Operation
Most of the gadgets that we use nowadays are equipped with wireless technology. It is almost practical for 3D printing pens to be wireless, at least while using them to draw. Rechargeable wireless 3D pens let you work on-the-go. To charge, connect them to a battery power bank via a USB cable, and you are good to go. However, 3D pens consume a lot of power as it heats up to melt plastic filaments.
Although many 3D printing pens can only be used when connected to a power source via an adapter. While most wired 3D pens come with an extra length of wire for easy operation, shorter wires make it difficult to work comfortably. It restricts your movement and ties you down to one place.
Assess the requirements of the user before purchasing a 3D printing pen. Pens suitable for adults will have different construction and technological features than a pen designed specifically for children.
Child-friendly 3D pens will have a more compact design to fit in the small hands of children. It will feature child-safe elements such as low-temperature heating, sealed nozzles, and non-toxic filaments for a safe drawing experience. It will also come with extra safety features such as fingertip protectors and wooden tools to provide optimum protection against potential injuries. The best 3D printer pen for children shall help promote learning and STEM understanding in a fun and immersive manner.
On the other hand, 3D pens for adults will feature improved and enhanced ergonomic operations and high performance features. Speed and temperature controls allow you to optimize workflow and ensure superior-quality results.
Last but not least, make sure that the manufacturer provides a warranty for the device. 3D printing pens are human-made objects, and it is most likely to malfunction if not taken care of properly.
Even though it is not a significant determinant, having a warranted device ensures that the defective pen will either be replaced or repaired by the manufacturer within the mentioned period. Having a device with a legitimate warranty period proves the credibility of the brand and gives the buyer the confidence to demand after-sales services.
Most 3D pen manufacturers provide a 1-year warranty covering repairing or replacement of the device in case of any production defects.
The art of 3D is gaining new followers and practitioners every day. It comes with a learning curve that might be a little difficult to accomplish on your first try. But armed with the right 3D pen, nothing is too challenging.
There is a niche market for 3D printing pens, with only a handful of manufacturers providing top-quality products. Take note of your requirements and carefully access the available products. Choose the one that ticks all the right boxes and promises high performance and quality. The best 3D printing pen must offer you the right tools and opportunities to explore and experience the fun and entertaining world of 3D art. It should provide you with an outlet that lets you immerse yourself in creativity and imagination.
Remember to prioritize your needs and what you are looking for from the product. Use our recommendations as a yardstick to gauge what suits you best. We hope we have assisted you well. Happy 3D printing!
FAQs On 3D Pens
1. How Hot Do 3D Pens Get?
3D printing pens heat up according to material compatibility. Most 3D pens are compatible with ABS, PLA, and PCL filaments.
Materials with higher melting points required to heat up at temperatures as high as 270° C. For example, ABS’s and PLA’s filaments require temperatures between 175° and 250° C for melting. At the same time, PCL filaments melt at temperatures as low as 60° C. However, certain 3D pens do not heat up even when internal melting temperatures are extremely high. The user will feel a little warmth emitting from the device, but it will not be hot enough to cause burn injuries.
Also, child-friendly 3D pens are designed to maintain low temperatures to prevent burning and allow for uninterrupted drawing. They are constructed from heat-resistant and non-toxic materials for safe usage.
2. Are 3D Pens Safe?
Every brand meticulously tests its products to ensure that it meets the highest standard for quality and performance. As with all human-made products, there can be a margin for error.
As a user, one must always be alert. There can be instances when a 3D pen might overheated or the plastic filaments emit obnoxious fumes. It is always recommended to work in well-ventilated areas with adequate light. Ensure that you use the right kind of adapter or USB cable and plastic filaments with the 3D pen for safe and long-lasting operation. In case of any malfunction, contact the manufacturer immediately. If the 3D printing pen is still under warranty, get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
3. Which Is The Stronger Material – ABS Or PLA?
ABS and PLA are both plastics used widely to create 3D pen-compatible filaments. ABS is an oil-based material, whereas PLA is a plant-based plastic.
ABS is a durable and rugged material as compared to PLA. As a recyclable material, it is impact-resistant and produces a thicker line when extruded from a 3D printing pen. However, it shrinks upon cooling and is prone to warping. When it is burned, it emits a foul-smelling stink that can make people nauseous. It is advised to use ABS filaments in well-ventilated spaces and for the user to wear a mask.
On the other hand, PLA is a biodegradable material made from natural ingredients such as corn starch and sugar cane. It emits a sweet smell when burned. Even though PLA is preferred while creating intricate structures, it is too brittle and can deform under pressure.
Although ABS is the more robust material, it comes with quite a few disadvantages that pale it when compared to PLA. However, the compatibility of the 3D pen determines the functionality of the materials.
4. What Is The Best 3D Pen For Kids?
Child-friendly 3D printing pens are designed to promote learning, spatial understanding, and STEM education. Colorful filaments, doodle stencils, and a comfortable construction provide an environment for fun and entertainment.
The compact structure of the pen makes sure that it fits comfortably in the hand of a child. The low heat settings ensure that the printing pen does not get extremely hot and prevents the risk of burn. It is equipped with extra safety features such as a sealed nozzle, minimal controls, and non-toxic filaments for children’s better learning experience.
Brands such as MYNT3D and 3Doodler have created printing pens specifically designed, keeping in mind the requirements of children. They include starter kits with stencils and templates that further help in creating an immersive atmosphere.