Best 3D Pens

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 19, 2020
3D pens allow you to draw 3D objects even when the surface is non-existent. In a nutshell, 3D printing pens are pretty much handheld 3D printers except they're more affordable, more comfortable to create with, and suitable for kids too. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Recommended Age
Kit Contents
Compatible Materials
Power Source
Controls
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The DualDrive™ tech enables smooth doodling motion. The tech will also be minimizing nozzle clogging and optimizing temperature control. The fast mode will reduce the timeframe required to cover large areas, while the slow mode will let you outline intricate details with excellent attention to detail.

CONS

The pen gets pretty hot during prolonged use. 

OUR VERDICT

Using the 3Doodler Create+, you'll be able to not only tackle arts and crafts but also create various useful items like plastic cases for smartphones, cup coasters, and more. The device will let you regulate the extrusion speed and temperature. You'll also be able to choose between different plastics.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

14+ years 

Kit Contents

3D pen, 15 refills (different colors), stencil book 

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA 

Power Source

AC (power adapter included) 

Controls

Fast and slow speed buttons, mode selector (ABS / FLX, PLA) temperature adjuster, status indicator light 

Extras

Compatible with the 3Doodler app (available on iOS and Android), DualDrive™ technology, tool kit included

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The orange button that allows you to squeeze out the plastic is responsive but not too sensitive, so you won't have to press too hard but also will unlikely accidentally extrude plastic. The rechargeable battery will allow kids to draw without tying them to the mains. 

CONS

The nozzle clogs up easily. 

OUR VERDICT

The 3Doodler Start will allow creative kids to bring the most imaginative ideas to the 3D plane. In the meantime, adults will not have to worry about safety since the plastic filaments are made from non-toxic materials and the package includes 48 refills, so you won't have to restock anytime soon.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

6+ years 

Kit Contents

3D pen, 48 refills (different colors), activity guide 

Compatible Materials

3Doodle Star Eco Plastics 

Power Source

Built-in rechargeable battery (charging USB cable included)

Controls

On/off button, status indicator light 

Extras

Compatible with the 3Doodler app (available on iOS and Android)

Warranty

1 year 

PROS
The OLED screen makes the settings easy to figure out. You can adjust the output temperature from 266 to 264 degrees Fahrenheit with 1-degree increments. Double click the feed button and you'll activate continuous feed so that you don't have to hold the button to have the pen extruding plastic.
CONS

There are only three refills included. 

OUR VERDICT

The MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen will not fold even under the heaviest loads. With its many regulation settings, you'll be able to fine-tune the output, from the flow rate to the plastic's thickness. The device does not present any maintenance challenges too.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

10+ years 

Kit Contents

3D pen, 3 refills, user guide 

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA 

Power Source

USB (USB cable included)

AC (adapter included)

Controls

OLED screen, temperature adjusting buttons (130°C - 240°C), speed control dial, withdraw and feed buttons

Extras

Modular nozzle design (replaceable hot ends) 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS
The pen is not filament-based, so there are no hot parts that could scald small hands. Even baby wipes can be used to remove the ink from hands, so you can let the kids get as messy as they want. The drawing sheet will be keeping the surface behind the work surface clean.
CONS

The batteries do not last especially long. 

OUR VERDICT

With the IDO3D 3D Pens, kids will be able to unleash the most hidden creative talents. The LED flashlight will be illuminating the work surface, so even low-lit settings will not be able to interfere with the creative process.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

8+ years 

Kit Contents

5 x 3D pens (different colors), LED flashlight, drawing sheet, 2 hemispherical forms, guide book

Compatible Materials

Eco plastic (pens are filled with it) 

Power Source

3 x "LR44" batteries for the LED flashlight

Controls

On/off switch on the LED flashlight

Extras

The material is easy to clean from hands 

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The ink cartridges take no time and skill to replace. The LED light is cool blue, bright enough to make sure the work surface is illuminated but without creating any distractions. The pen needs but one AA battery and that battery will last more than you'd expect. 

CONS

The plastic is hard to squeeze out sometimes. 

OUR VERDICT

The AtmosFlare 3D Pen will be able to attract and entertain kids above 12 years old and adults alike. The pen's affordable but, with the five changeable tips letting you vary the line thickness and ink cartridges that include 12 different colors, you'll be able to draw complex 3D objects.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

12+ years 

Kit Contents

3D pen, 2 ink cartridges, 5 tips, guide book

Compatible Materials

Atmosflare ink cartridges (filled with plastic) 

Power Source

1 x "AA" battery 

Controls

On/off switch 

Extras

Changeable tips 

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy 

3Doodler (8CPSBKUS3E)

DualDrive™ Tech

People usually like to associate 3D pens with kids (provided they associate these pens with anything/anyone to begin with). 3Doodler Create+ is not about that life though. The model's packing way too much to recommend this pen to kids. You can do more with this pen, more than you'd expect, more than three-dimensional pens are normally able to do.

Before that though, what defines the product is the DualDrive™ tech, giving you the smoothest doodling experience and allowing you to tackle the grandest projects with confidence. Aside from enhancing durability, the tech reduces nozzle clogging and promotes increased speed control, allowing you to doodle over large spaces and intricate details. What's more, the technology optimizes temperature control to enhance compatibility with different plastics and glossy monochromatic pen colors.

In other words, the pen lets you do more with less, though we would avoid emphasizing the "less" part because, again, the model's packing more features than most 3D pens are usually fitted with. In addition to what we've already addressed, the pen comes equipped with fast and slow speed buttons. The fast mode will let you cover large areas in less time, while the slow mode will be perfect for adding and outlining intricate details.

Review of 3Doodler (8CPSBKUS3E) 3D Printing Pen (2020 Model)

The Materials Vary Too

Speed's great but the temperature usually matters at least as much, so the people behind this product did not forget to add temperature adjustment settings too. Regulating the temperature, you'll be able to work with more materials and more surfaces.

The pen's serious but doodling ought to be fun, so you'll be able to use this device to create adorable characters, different whimsical figurines, the weirdest masks and glasses, that goes without saying. The difference here is that the DIY crowd will be able to exploit the pen too, fixing worn-out cables, improving kitchen hooks, and more. What's behind that difference is the fact that the model's able to work with different plastic types, from ABS to FLX and PLA. The device gets pretty hot during prolonged use though, that's the trade-off that the product makes to accommodate varying surfaces and multiple compatible materials.

With this device, you'll be able to choose between 70 colors, so variety is not something that even the most demanding customers can complain about. The overall package is not something these people can complain about too, with 15 refills (different colors) and a stencil book coming with the pen.

Long story short, there's not much you won't be able to do with this ingenious 3D pen. From arts and crafts to fixes, hacks, and various decorations, it will be up to the task.

3Doodler (8CPSBKUS3E) 3D Printing Pen (2020 Model) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

3Doodler (3DS-ESST-SIOC)

Keeping Things Safe

Kids are usually more creative than adults, less encumbered with different duties and responsibilities. You can make an argument that we'd be more creative too given the chance but we're not here to argue why adults usually feel less inclined to create. We're here to talk about the tools that allow all people but primarily children to do so. That's where the 3Doodler Start comes into play.

This model is less feature-rich but also less complicated than the company's preceding pen, hence the recommended age dropping from 14+ to 6+ years old. There are fewer settings to fiddle with here but the ones that are present are enough to inspire creativity and promote design, planning, building, and spatial skills. What also makes this pen more suitable for kids is that the device prints with no hot parts, meaning that injury risks are practically non-existent.

What the pen uses is what the company refers to as 3Doodle Star Eco Plastics, which are non-toxic, BPA-free, and biodegradable plastics that have all been subjected to the strictest safety testings, including RoHS testing, Toxicological Risk Assessments, LHAMA compliance testing, and heavy metal testing. The low-heat plastic that the pen extrudes hardens within ~2 seconds, letting kids literally draw in the air.

Review of 3Doodler (3DS-ESST-SIOC) 3D Pen for Kids (6+)

Follow the App

Again, there's not much here functionality-wise. You have the on/off switch on the side that lets you comfortably turn the device on and off and the massive orange button that you squeeze to extrude the plastic. The built-in rechargeable battery lasts pretty long and does not keep you tied to the next AC outlet. Also, the charging cable comes with the package and you can use any USB-enabled device to recharge the pen. The indicator light will tell you when the battery is fully charged.

Maintenance-wise, we've no complaints except that the nozzle clogs up pretty easily, so you'll have to break the plastic clogging the nozzle from time to time. Normally, any toothpick will do the trick.

Now, while we're on the tricks' subject, the device is compatible with the 3Doodler app that's packed with awesome tricks. The app's interface is straightforward and accessible enough and the layout is clean and concise, so even kids will be able to find and follow step-by-step interactive instructions that include detailed photos and videos.

In closing, 3Doodler Start is something that we would recommend to most parents with 6+-year-old kids looking to improve and develop their kids' creative skills and spatial understanding.

3Doodler (3DS-ESST-SIOC) 3D Pen for Kids (6+) in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MYNT3D (MP012-WH)

Ergonomics to the Rescue

The MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen will be able to accommodate kids above 10 years old but also inventive adults too. This device does more than most 3D pens, which's pretty surprising considering that the price is not elevated at all. It is also surprising since most printing pens are usually pretty bulky but this one is slim and thin, with an ergonomic shape that makes sure the controls are always comfortably within reach, allowing you to manipulate the pen in ways that'd be basically impossible with larger designs.

The model even looks pretty stylish, which is always a nice surprise even when you're not necessarily looking for that. We're not talking about anything groundbreaking here aesthetics-wise but the black and white combination makes the device look more professional and less cheap than most 3D pens within this price bracket.

Besides that, most printing pens within this price range usually present varying maintenance challenges. More often than not, temperature mistakes send them straight to the garbage. The model's modular nozzle design makes things different, allowing you to replace the hot end within minutes, avoiding any extensive damage to the components.

Review of MYNT3D (MP012-WH) 3D Printing Pen

Fine-Tune Everything

As much as everything we've mentioned above contributes to the product's value, these aren't the droids you're looking for. The droids you're looking for are the pen's numerous regulation settings.

To start with, the adjustable feed will allow you to regulate the speed and flow so that you're able to manage the material while drawing with finesse and precision. To add more, you'll be able to adjust the temperature between 130 and 240 degrees Celcius (266 and 464 Fahrenheit respectively) with 1-degree increments, meaning that you'll be able to fine-tune everything, from the materials' thickness to the flow rate. The materials we're discussing include ABS and PLA, standard choices as far as 3D pens go. Even then, the fine-tuning does not end there since you'll also have two buttons to withdraw and engage the feed and the ability to double click that second button to enable continuous feed without holding any buttons. All these settings will be accessible via the OLED screen with small but more than readable values.

Bottom line, setting aside the fact that the package only includes three refills, the MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen will be able to trade blows with most high-end 3D pens and even outshine some, able to satisfy not only beginners but even experienced hobbyists and pros.

MYNT3D (MP012-WH) 3D Printing Pen in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

IDO3D (155239)

Switching Things Up

Let's be honest - we like to complicate things and that's not something that always works to our advantage. Sometimes, you don't need that much to have fun and the IDO3D pens pretty much prove that.

These pens will not be holding candles to professional printing pens. Considering that the set costs 30 bucks and includes five pens, that goes without saying. Even then, these things are awesome. Because you're not forced to fiddle with different settings, you can take the pens from the box and start creating from the get-go. Most kids above 8 years old will be able to figure out these 3D pens within seconds and start drawing varying 3D objects.

What we have here are basic printing pens that come equipped with this blue LED flashlight. You can remove this setup from one pen and attach the flashlight onto any pen from the set with very little effort involved. The idea here is that the flashlight is the removable driving force behind these pens that lets you draw vertically.

Without the LED 'light, the pens do not do much. That's fine though. These five pens feature different colors, so you'll be able to switch between them and mix the colors when necessary. The pens draw pretty thin, letting you add intricate details but you can always draw onto the finished work to make the lines thick and more secure.

Review of IDO3D (155239) 3D Pen

Unleash Creative Talents

The pens are filled with eco-friendly, non-toxic plastic. The type's not specified but what is specified is that the pen's not filament-based, meaning that there are no hot, electric parts that might burn small hands. You'll be able to draw on non-sticky textured materials or objects like coins and buttons, removing the residue and see the awesome effects that you've added. The ink can be easily removed using most alcohol-based cleaners, even baby wipes, so you can get as messy as you want and wipe the hands clean within seconds.

From the packaging perspective, what you're receiving includes one drawing sheet, one guide book, and two hemispherical forms. The drawing sheet will let you keep the table/desk clean, while the forms will allow you to create perfect semicircular elements.

We haven't addressed the product's downsides since, settings aside its differences and keeping in mind the price tag, the downsides are basically limited to the fact that the LED flashlight burns through three LR44 batteries relatively fast. Other than that, the IDO3D 3D Pens are brilliant tools to unleash any hidden creative talents.

IDO3D (155239) 3D Pen in the use

 

AtmosFlare (158101)

The Right Trade-Off

The AtmosFlare 3D Pen has its moments, though we've seen more impressive printing pens. First things first, measuring 6.2 x 1 x 1.6 inches, the pen is not small, to say the least. The shape's not especially ergonomic too, making drawing for extended periods of time somewhat uncomfortable. That being said, some find the pen's odd shape much more comfortable than most models, so that's pretty subjective.

There's nothing subjective about its operation though. The difference is that the pen's tip does not heat up at all. Instead, this device has LED lights curing the ink. Since no heat is used, the product turns out more eco-friendly than filament pens.

Sure, there are downsides stemming from this operation principle. Because the tip is not heating up the plastic before extruding, the plastic that's coming from the Atmosflare ink cartridges can be hard to squeeze out sometimes. Then again, less harm to the environment and injury chances not just minimized but practically eliminated? We'll take the trade-off, thank you very much.

Review of AtmosFlare (158101) 3D Pen Set

Practice Makes Perfect

The device looks alright, nothing we haven't seen before but the plastic parts look and feel sturdy, so you won't have to worry about dropping the pen and damaging the components inside. The LED light coming from the pen is cool and not dim yellow, enough to illuminate the work surface but without dealing with any long-term damage to the eyes. You can switch the light on and off when necessary to conserve the battery. Having said that, the pen only requires one AA battery to operate and that battery will usually last you somewhere around 2-4 months, depending on the frequency with which you use the device.

What sells this product is the package. The pen's nice, sure, but the changeable tips and the five supplied tips make this device that much more appealing, allowing you to change the lines' thickness. The two ink cartridges that also come with the package are welcome too since the ink does not always last initially when you're fascinated with the pen and drawing 24/7.

When learning any and all art mediums, patience is what matters. Patience and the right guidance that is. With the included guide book and art courses available on the company's website, you'll be able to find that guidance.

To sum this up, the AtmosFlare 3D Pen is affordable but not necessarily less impressive than its more expensive competition. Yes, you won't find different settings here but you'll still be able to draw 3D objects with ease.

AtmosFlare (158101) 3D Pen Set in the use

 

What Is a 3D Pen?

3D pens sound like something straight from science fiction, don't they? Seriously, the ability to draw vertically on nothing, no surface at all, nothing but air sounds ridiculous. That's precisely what these pens are able to do though. Using these printing pens, you're able to create the most intricate 3D objects, which is pretty absurd considering how affordable these gadgets are. We've addressed what these pens are all about in the aptly named How Do They Work and What Can You Do With These Pens? section, so that's not what we'll highlight here.

What we'll highlight is that, aside from all the benefits we've laid out there, these pens are easy to figure out and easy to maintain. Unlike most 3D printers, these gadgets do not require you to understand complicated CAD software to conceive 3D objects. You won't see the energy bills skyrocketing too. You won't even have to sacrifice any space at all since these are about the same size as ordinary pens. You grab the 3D printing pen, squeeze the button that's responsible for extrusion, and proceed to draw 3D objects, there's nothing complicated here at all.

What Features to Compare

Recommended Age

3D pens can be toys and tools and sometimes both. The difference comes from various factors, including controls, settings, output, and more. We'll address these factors soon enough but what you should know now is that there are reasons these restrictions exist and you should definitely avoid giving printing pens designed for people above 12 years old to children. Sometimes, these reasons also include the melting plastic that can cause injuries and the gadget's rising temperature that can make kids uncomfortable.

Compatible Materials

Normally, printing pens work with non-toxic, BPA-free, biodegradable plastic, like ABS and PLA. Occasionally, specific models are compatible with more plastic types. When you go from high-end and mid-range pens to budget models, the people behind these models usually pack them with ink cartridges filled with some eco-friendly plastic that you cannot replace.

Controls

This is where premium models designed to accommodate big-time hobbyists and artists differentiate from children's toys. These controls can include temperature and flow rate adjustment settings. Sometimes, you'll even be able to switch between different output speeds, fine-tune the output thickness, and enable continuous feed so that you do not have to hold the button to have the plastic coming out. We've even seen and reviewed models with LCD/OLED screens that allow you to access and manage these settings.

Extras

Not unlike most gadgets, 3D pens are sometimes fitted with different extra features. The best 3D pens are usually compatible with proprietary apps that are usually packed with interactive instructions, suggestions, and more. Some models come equipped with changeable tips so even though you're unable to change the thickness, the pen lets you switch the tips that extrude varying degrees of thickness.

Power Source

This is where things are pretty straightforward. You'll see pens that work from the mains, so you're tied to the next AC outlet but do not have to change/recharge the batteries. Personally, we like the models that come equipped with rechargeable batteries that are compatible with most USB-enabled devices, including power banks.

Package

In addition to the gadget, you'll usually receive refills and different guide books that will let you figure out the pen's usability. Besides that, 3D can come supplied with drawing sheets and different forms to aid sculpting.

How Do They Work and What Can You Do With These Pens?

Most adults know what hot glue guns are and how they work. We cannot say the same about 3D pens even though the principle is not that different. When you put things into perspective, these pens are basically handheld 3D printers. Sounds pretty neat, right? More often than not, printing pens come equipped with heating elements and an extruder, not unlike the components that desktop 3D printers are usually fitted with. The biggest difference here is that 3D printers are controlled via software, whereas 3D pens do not do anything themselves and rely upon you to guide them.

The melted plastic coming from the pen is usually soft enough to be fused onto most surfaces and worked into basically any shape you want. When the plastic leaves the tip, it usually takes no more than 1-2 seconds to cool down and solidify, allowing you to draw vertically on air.

Arts and Crafts

These pens can bring fun and usability to kids and adults, especially different artists, hobbyists, and professional designers. But how do you use them? Well, you can use them however you want but, according to experts, the easiest way to create 3D art is through 2D sketches. Sounds sketchy, right? Stick with us though. You draw these sketches, then use the pen to extrude plastic over them. This way, you have the baseline, so you know where the lines should lead and where the borders are, giving you the necessary limits to ground the object yet enough leeway to create.

Alternatively, you can create decor for objects at home. Any bland bowl or vase from the local department store will do. You can use these containers as a mold for the print so that you have some idea what you're drawing there. That's where you'll start. Gaining experience, you'll be able to create much more complex, complicated, and intricate 3D objects, without using any props at all. Raised decorative design is these pens' biggest strength but crafts, sculpture, and fine arts in general are where these gadgets will come in handy.

3D Design, Prototyping, Repair Work, and Education

Working with 3D printers, these pens will be able to aid small-time post-processing as well as repairing different 3D objects. Hard-to-reach corners are where 3D pens especially shine.

With 3D pens, automotive, jewelry, and fashion fields can streamline product development. Realizing basic 3D shapes within minutes is not something that you can underestimate when it comes to these areas, especially when brainstorming and conceptualizing.

Needless to say, education is where printing pens can do unlimited good. From mathematics (drawing geometric shapes) to architecture (modeling) and hard sciences (visualizing physical models like atoms and organs), 3D pens will be able to aid them all.

Poor Man's 3D Printers? Not Really.

What we're describing sounds like printing pens are basically poor man's 3D printers but that's not the case. Sure, they're able to do less and the price mirrors that too but there are areas where 3D pens are much more preferable to 3D printers. With these pens, you're able to develop freestyle hand drawings and free sketch concepts, you can play around with 3D tech without paying king's ransom, and you can teach children 3D printing basics without subjecting them to CAD software.

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Publish Date: 2020-03-19 14:42:31