3D printing pens offer an economical way to try this new hobby. The pens are easy to use and anyone can start creating right away. These pens are great for kids and adults alike since they can help unleash creativity in a novel way. Instead of drawing on a 2D surface like paper, they can now draw on air in three dimensions. Users can begin with simple shapes and progress to complex objects like animals, cars, or so on. The possibilities are endless and truly exciting. Below is a listing of the top 3D printing pens on the market right now:
1. dikale 3D Pen with included PLA Refills
This basic pen from Dikale will let you draw 3D objects in a portable package. They even include PLA filament refills with a total of 120 feet for nonstop printing. These refills come in 12 colors to make it even more fun for kids. There are also stencil ebooks for those who would like to try different patterns. Other items in the box are the power adapter, pen holder, finger stall, and PVC drawing board.
This is a solid package that can be given as a gift on any occasion. It can also be used to make personalized gifts which are much more endearing than off-the-shelf presents. There is no need to worry about the refill material as it is nontoxic and non-irritating. This new model offer better scald protection compared to its predecessor.
– Intelligent temperature control
– Ease of operation
– Affordable price
– Complete package
– Needs to be plugged in to work
– Prone to clogs
2. TECBOSS SL300 3D Intelligent Pen
If you want a more serious looking pen, then this might be it. The TECBOSS SL300 comes in dark gray with smooth curves for better ergonomics. This should be comfortable to use even for long periods of time — very important when you are lost in practice. It features 8-level speed control, adjustable temperature, and an OLED display for heat monitoring. The box comes with two finger protectors.
This is so easy to use that even beginners can create incredible works right away. It can sometimes clog up but raising the temperature can quickly fix it. It can melt the filament without just a few minutes so creators can start in a snap. This pen tries to manage heat and safety by going into sleep mode when idle in an aggressive way. There are a few quirks but this is a highly rated product on Amazon.
– Sleek design looks professional
– Can use PLA and ABS filaments
– Simple speed control
– Comfortable even with long use
– Weak suction under the stand
– Very short cord
– Fast time out for sleep mode
3. AIO Robotics Full Metal Premium 3D Pen
As its name indicates, this is truly a more premium pen than the others discussed so far. The price is already a good indicator that you are getting something more than a kid-friendly art tool. This is a serious piece of kit of designers who want to draw freehand in 3D while maintaining high precision. Temperature can be adjusted in 1-degree increments. Only PLA filaments are accepted.
The pen can heat up fast and maintain consistent speed. Jams can quickly be resolved by using the OUT button. It tends to push out thin lines so projects can take a while to complete. Some users feel that the pen goes too fast even at the slowest setting which make detailed work difficult. The end can also feel very hot so users must be careful with their grip.
– Professional looks with slim body
– Fine control options
– OLED display for speed monitoring
– Uses only PLA filaments
– High price for this segment
– Narrow range of speeds
4. Levin 3D Printing Drawing Pen – 2019 Version
Here is another economical pen that is marketed for both kids and adults under the Levin brand. The thickness is average for this category. Curves improve handling and comfort. A small LCD screen is located near the top end to show function, along with a power indicator light underneath. The load and unload filament buttons are at the side. At the top end is the filament input hole and the charging port.
The pen accepts PLA and ABS filaments of the 1.75 mm variety. It is important to use the right filament to prevent clogs. There are 3 speeds and 3 operating temperatures. It is versatile enough to create a wide range of projects although you cannot expect professional quality at this price point. The box comes with free filaments in different colors, as well as finger stall, pen holder, and power adapter.
– Kid-friendly shape
– Lots of extras in the box
– Easy to use
– Compatible with PLA and ABS
– Low price
– Included PLA is low quality with no desiccant for moisture control
– Narrow range of speed limits usage scenarios
5. Parner Professional 3D Drawing Pen
This is the cheapest product on the list yet it has fairly good reviews on Amazon. If you are in the market for a good budget-friendly 3D pen, then this could be the one for you. Just don’t mind the looks as it is extremely basic but it does what it’s supposed to do. Speed and temperature are adjustable but not by much as there are only three levels.
Like other pens, this one comes with free multi-colored filaments for a good initial supply and immediate practice. The button design, placement, and functions are similar to the products in the same price category. Control is easy to get used to. Loading and unloading is easy for those who want to change colors. However, mastering the pen is another matter as that will take much practice and patience.
– Easy to use and hold
– Intuitive button placement
– Fairly reliable product
– Very low price for 3D pen
– Some units stop working, but was quickly replaced
– Free filaments of low quality
6. Nulaxy Robot 3D Printing Pens with Voice Prompt
The Nulaxy 3D Pen is great for children of all ages. It is also quite affordable at under $30. The shape does suggest that this is more for beginners and casual hobbyists rather serious designers. It is marketed as a robot pen with a voice prompt. The top end serves as the robot’s head complete with blue eyes. It can respond to voice prompts, as well as button presses for speed adjustment and filament loading.
Inside the box are 6 colors of PLA refills and stencils for art practice. It also supports ABS filaments. This is a nice gift for small children if you want them to start tapping into their creative side early. The robot design can be very attractive to young minds. It is pretty easy to use as well. The reliability of the pen is remarkable given its low price point.
– Good quality at low price
– Fun robotic design
– Voice prompts
– Great for kids with supervision
– Very short plug
– Can run quite hot
7. Me Suger 2019 Newest 3D Drawing Printing Pen
This is another generic pen that looks very similar to the ones we featured earlier. The curved shape, side buttons, and LCD display are all familiar by now. The only difference is that it has a blue color instead of the typical white, but the other practical features are the same. There are three speed levels and USB charging. It is compatible with ABS and PLA filaments 120 feet given for free.
For those looking for a low-cost gift to their children for birthdays and holidays, this is a great option. It won’t function as well as professional pens but it should not have that burden at this price point. The unit is easy to use and performs well in comparison to other basic pens. It’s a good enough starting tool for curious hobbyists.
– Low price
– Easy to use
– Comfortable grip
– Intuitive controls
– Not the best quality
– Runs slow
8. Lightest Intelligent 3D Printing Pen, LED Display
This striking product looks and feels more like a normal pen that most of the units on the list. The slim yet curved design with two-toned dark gray finish definitely turns heads. An LCD screen at the middle shows current temperature and filament mode. Around it are control buttons for speed and an indicator light. This is compatible with 1.75mm ABS and PLA.
It is a lightweight pen at only 1.62 ounces. This reduces muscle fatigue when working for long hours on your project. The unit comes with extras like a classy pen holder, finger heat protectors, and 120 feet of multi-colored PLA filament. There is also a pen storage bag, a power adapter, a drawing stencil, and a user manual. Heating is extremely fast as users can get started in as little as one minute.
– Fine temperature adjustment
– Beautiful and function design
– Lots of extras in the package
– Reasonable price
– Fast heating
– Very short cord gets in the way
9. MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen, OLED Display
This may not look as flashy as other pens but this unit from MYNT3D is billed as a professional unit. It has a slim rectangular body with a small display for temperature monitoring, as well as load and settings buttons. Temperature can be adjusted in 1 degree increments from 130 to 240 C so that users can get exactly what they want. Most basic pens will only provide three pre-set temperature levels.
The package is not as generous as the others with only 3 colors of filaments supplied although this is higher quality ABS instead of PLA. Also included as nozzle replacement tools and an AC adapter. The speed control features a stepless design to adjust on the fly to your project. Fast extrusion is great when filling up large areas while low speed in necessary for intricate works.
– Stepless speed adjustment
– 1-degree temperature adjustment
– Slim design and light weight
– Replacement hot end
– Double the price of basic pens
10. MagicBiu 3D Pen with PLA Refills
Last on this list is the Magic Biu 3D Pen which is another entry-level product. It is big and thick and colorful, so no one will be suspecting that this is a professional tool. Still, it may be worth your while if you are eager to try 3D drawing without splurging too much on a non-essential item. It has all the controls you would expect for adjustments.
It is compatible with PLA and ABS filaments. Inside the box are 6 colors with a total of 60 feet to get you started. While this is appreciated, the amount is half of what many other manufacturers include in their package. Sixty feet may seem a lot but this can quickly get consumed by eager users. A 10-page stencil is also included to provide cool project ideas. It heats up fast so you can get going in no time.
– Cheap price
– Easy to use
– Does all the basics
– Awkward speed slider positioning
– No auto retraction after extrusion
– Small amount of free filament
3D Printing Pen Selection Tips
Selecting a 3D printing pen involves considering a number of factors including comfort, customizable settings, filament compatibility, ease of loading, swappable tips, safety, portability, and customer service among other factors.
3D drawing projects usually take significant time. Therefore, comfort is important. A pen with an ergonomic shape will be comfortable to hold. The heat from the furnace that heats the plastic should not make the grip area uncomfortably hot.
2. Customizable Settings
When selecting a 3D printing pen, you should consider customizable settings. The best pen will give you a choice of extrusion speeds. This will make it easier for you to switch between faster infill work, slower detail work, and multiple temperature settings. This will allow you to work with a wider range of filament types.
3. Filament Compatibility
Most 3D pens work with different brands of filaments. Some require filaments with special features or lock you into buying from the same company. The best 3D pen can work with a wide array of filament brands.
4. Ease of Loading and Unloading
You might want to swap the existing filament for a different color. Alternatively, you might want to load a fresh filament. It should be simple and fast to load and unload a filament.
5. Swappable Tips
A pen with multiple tip sizes will allow you to draw in different thicknesses. This feature is useful in switching between filler and details.
Safety is a vital issue to consider when selecting a 3D printing pen. The pen should not give off dangerous and smelly fumes.
A pen that is cordless or has a long cord is portable. Therefore, it will be useful in a variety of work environments. If the cord is short, you can add an extension cord.
8. Customer Service
The company behind the pen should have responsive customer service. The manufacturer’s website should have troubleshooting information. A pen that comes with a generous replacement policy or warranty will be a good choice. The product should have a user manual that covers all the common problems you can encounter with the pen.
9. Plastic Extrusion
A good pen will produce an even and steady strand of plastic at a comfortable speed. This makes it easier to control the pen.
Reliability is an issue that must be considered when selecting a 3D printing pen. A reliable pen will not break easily and is not prone to filament clogs.
Types of 3D Printing Pens
1. 3D Pens for Starters
One of the best ways of developing the creative instincts of a kid is by using a starter 3D pen. This pen has been made with the needs of young creators in mind. You don’t have to be a kid to use it. Starter 3D pens are ideal for anyone who is just starting out in 3D doodling.
Starter 3D pens are safe. They do not have any heated parts. They are also clean. They make use of eco-plastic filaments that do not leave behind messy resins and glues.
Using the pen is easy. You simply turn it on, insert a filament and start doodling away. Doodling with a 3D pen is fun. To become good at it, you will need to practice.
The pen will come with an easy-to-follow starter booklet. This will guide a kid and inspire creativity.
2. 3D Pens for Intermediate Users
An intermediate 3D pen is for anyone who wants to get serious with doodling. Whether you are a hobbyist or you want to become a pro, this is the pen for you. It is ideal for anyone over 14 years.
The thermoplastic materials of an intermediate 3D pen need more heat. Thus, it must not be used by unsupervised children. With practice and control, you will be able to create impressive decorative items, art, DIY projects, and practical parts.
An intermediate 3D pen can be used with a wide range of materials. It also has interchangeable nozzles. Different nozzles will give you extra choices for doodling.
3. 3D Pens for Pros
If you want to take your creative design to the next level, a pro pen is for you. This pen will help you to bring your ideas to life. It will move your imagination away from a flat page. Of course, there is a learning curve. However, if you learn from your mistakes you will easily achieve mastery.
Pro 3D pens have a large drive system. Therefore, they will keep going for longer. These pens are packed with pro features. Most of them have well-designed buttons, a silicone comfort-grip, and a sleek carbon fiber body. They have been designed for long hours of doodling.
A pro-3D pen has a smart design. It has the ON/OFF switch on one side. There is also an LCD screen that will show you the settings that you have selected.
Pro pens have customizable settings. You can customize the temperature, the fan speed, and the extrusion speed.
There is a lot that is packed on the body of a professional 3D pen. However, that should not scare you. With time, you will be able to master all the controls.
Pro pens can use a vast range of materials including wood, metal, nylon, and polycarbonate.
Top 3D Printer Pen Brands
2. Polaroid Draw
4. Tipeye Smart 3D Pen
5. Scribbler 3D Pen
6. Mynt3D Printing pen
7. Soyan 3D Pen
Average 3D Printer Pen Pricing
The average price of a 3D pen is around $50.
Questions & Answers
Which is the best 3D pen to buy?
The best 3D pen to buy is the 3Doodler CREATE Pen. This is a versatile pen that can be used by beginners, intermediate users, as well as professionals.
The world’s first and best ever 3D printing pen is 3Doodler. There are many creative applications for the 3Doodler CREATE. You will only be limited by your imagination.
The 3Doodler CREATE pen has intuitive and simplified controls. It also has a robust drive system. That makes it stronger, smoother, and faster. There are 2 temperature control settings and 2-speed control settings. The exchangeable nozzles of the pen allow you to use different filaments.
3Doodler also has one of the most vibrant 3D doodling online communities. Once you purchase the pen, you will automatically become part of this community. That will enable you to meet with likeminded people and exchange ideas. You will also find 100s of free downloadable projects. You can easily find help from the community.
How much does 3D printing pen cost?
The prices of decent 3D printing pens range from a cheap $15 to an expensive $150. The price depends on the ergonomics, features, brand, and other factors. Brand name pens normally cost more than the ones with no name. Unique features in a pen will further increase the price.
If you are a beginner, you will find a good pen at around $50. If you are looking for a pro-pen, you need at least $100. With around $150, you will find the ultimate 3D pen.
What is 3D pen filament?
A 3D pen filament is a strand of hard plastic that is usually fed into the pen. The pen melts it out and extrudes it out of the tip as a string of sticky plastic.
Which is better PLA or ABS filament?
A PLA filament is better than an ABS filament because it is environmentally friendly and has a slightly lower melting temperature. An ABS filament produces fumes that cause irritation and also damage the environment.
An ABS filament is made from synthetic materials. Thus, it is non-biodegradable. A PLS filament is made from natural materials such as sugarcane, potato, and corn. Therefore, it is biodegradable and will not pollute the environment.
Using a PLA filament is better for the environment. It also does not emit dangerous fumes when heated. Instead, it emits a sweet odor.
Filaments do not cost much. You can try different filaments and subsequently identify the one that is suitable for your circumstances.
How do 3d pens work?
Heat is used to melt plastic. The plastic filament is pushed through a heating chamber where it melts. The melted filament is then pushed and extruded out of the tip as a string of gummy plastic.
By holding the pen like a normal pen, you can draw in any direction and create 3D art, game pieces, figurines, and basic plastic objects like toys, phone holders, and baskets. With practice, you can even draw straight up in the air.
You can use the pen to repair broken objects made from ABS plastic. The pen can be used to weld the broken pieces back together.
Drawing a clean model using a 3D pen takes a lot of practice. As a beginner, you should be okay with your creations even if they look a bit organic.
People of all ages and ability levels including kids can use 3D pens. If you already like 3D printers, drawing, or modeling, you will find 3D pens appealing.
Charles Stephenson received a Masters Degree in Engineering from MIT University. Charles has been working in the Industrial 3D Printing industry for over 5 years. Charles regularly contributes content to several 3D Printing websites including Pirate3D.com.