Buying Guide for 3D Pens
Why buy a 3D pen?
3D pens represent an affordable way to experiment with art projects that until recently weren’t even possible. Their technology allows you to fully unleash your imagination with unique 3D artwork and is excellent fun for serious artists and casual doodlers. 3D pens are also great for touching up designs that you made with your 3D printers and can save a lot of money compared to reprinting your design.
What should you look for in a 3D pen?
- Heat Control: Look for a pen with simplified temperature control since this will be important for completing your art. Some pens have an electronic display feature for easy temperature control, making it convenient to find the perfect setting for your needs.
- Extras: If you are starting 3D pens, consider investing in a kit. 3D pen kits are great for beginners as they usually include all the tools necessary to use the 3D pen, including the PLA/other plastics used for printing. They might also come with stencils to help get the creative juices flowing.
- Wired or Wireless: Consider if the pen needs to be plugged in during use or if it is wireless. Wireless pens might be a better choice for on-the-go use, but a quality wired pen offers more dependable power for those using their 3D pen at home.
Is a 3D pen’s extrusion speed important?
When it comes to 3D pens, extrusion speed matters. Even if your 3D pen has adjustable extrusion speed, it’s essential to see how it performs quickly and slowly. Pens adept with slow extrusion are suitable for drawing vertically and undertaking more elaborate projects. A fast-extruding 3D pen can still be lots of fun, especially for children who lack the patience for more complex designs.
Our Picks for the Best 3D Pens
MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen
A 3D pen that allows the user to easily monitor the temperature and extrusion speed while in use.
Pros: The MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen has a large OLED display which allows you to monitor the temperature of your filament to optimize output. It reaches temperature quite quickly compared to similar products. The adjustable feed lets you regulate extrusion speed for excellent control while drawing, whether filling in larger spaces or adding in minute details. This 3D pen also comes with three colors of ABS plastic filament and a charging adapter and even works with many power banks via its USB-compatible design, making it great for on-the-go use.
Cons: This is not exactly a jamproof pick. Its access door makes fixing jams fairly easy, but children will likely need help in this regard. Also, this pen comes with a short power cord which should be replaced by something longer and lighter for optimal results.
Bottom Line: While this pen doesn’t exactly fix the issues that have plagued 3D pens since they’ve hit the market, it’s user-friendly enough to be an excellent choice for most people. It’s also pretty simple to fix in the event of a jam, so unlike other models, you likely won’t have to replace it with something else after a particularly nasty jam.
SCRIB3D Advanced 3D Printing Pen
An advanced 3D pen with fluid-extrusion control for simplified use.
Pros: Build like a pro with this 3D advanced pen that features variable speed control, a large LCD screen to monitor heat settings, and other engineering enhancements for a smooth and accurate doodling experience. This pen stands out for its fluidity and simple controls, making it an excellent option for beginners. The stylus has a sleek, ergonomic design and a “soft touch” surface that remains comfortable during extended use. There are also eight extrusion speed options, giving you much control over your art.
Cons: This 3D pen feels flimsier than similarly-priced models, so it’s safe to say it probably won’t give you the best longevity. Also, while it’s easy to doodle with, you may have issues stopping the pen from extruding without unplugging it from the power supply.
Bottom Line: While this isn’t the sturdiest 3D pen you will find, it provides a relatively fluid drawing experience that impresses compared to other pens at its price point. If you’re looking for a 3D with simple controls that is fun to use as long as it lasts, this one is a great choice.
MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
A budget-friendly 3D pen with surprisingly solid-build quality and performance.
Pros: Featuring a surprisingly sturdy build given its budget-friendly price point, the MYNT3D Super 3D Pen is an excellent choice for those who want a serviceable 3D pen without breaking the bank. This pen features a stepless speed slider that can be used to alter extrusion speed to the desired level intuitively. It also does great to resist clogging compared to even pricier models, especially when using it at a higher temperature. This pen also comes with a nice variety of colored filament, making it one of the best bangs for your buck.
Cons: This pen’s tip gets very hot, so it might not be the best option for children to use while unattended. Also, the ABS filaments that come with this pen are fairly subpar, so replacing those with PLA filaments can serve as a nice upgrade.
Bottom Line: Given this 3D pen’s low price point and impressive build quality, it’s easily one of the best for those dipping their toes into the world of 3D pens. While it doesn’t offer the easiest temperature adjustments, its ability to resist clogging is on par with much pricier products.
3Doodler Start Essentials
A 3D pen designed for safe use with no hot parts or burn risks.
Pros: Featuring surprising quality for a children’s 3D pen, the 3Doodler Start Essentials comes with a nice array of nontoxic PCL filaments and a nifty booklet with a nice assortment of project templates. What sets this 3D pen apart from others is its easy-to-use design which does away with customizable settings for a simplified experience that children will love. It also has no hot parts that can burn your child, so they can safely play with this pen when you’re out of the room.
Cons: This pen uses proprietary filaments that come in an odd size, so refilling it for your children can be expensive. If your child is old enough to avoid the heated tip of other 3D pens, investing in one of those can save you money on filament replacements.
Bottom Line: This product is well worth purchasing if you’re looking for a wireless 3D pen safe for kids. While it doesn’t have customizable speed and heat settings like other 3D pens, its child-friendly design works well enough to keep the little ones entertained for hours.
SCRIB3D P1 3D Printing Pen Bonus Set
This 3D-pen kit comes with a wide array of filament colors for intricate projects.
Pros: Featuring a high-quality ceramic nozzle and a vast array of PLA filament colors to get you started, the SCRIB3D P1 3D Printing Pen Bonus Set has a lot to offer for its affordable price. While its easy-to-use step-less speed slider and LCD screen make this pen suitable for beginners, it is also capable of slow, precise projects in experienced hands. The pen also scores points for its quick-heating design, making it an enticing option for those who want to start with a ton of filament colors.
Cons: It may be complex to understand this product’s directions. It might be worthwhile to look at online tutorials if you find this product’s instruction manual hard to understand.
Bottom Line: If you’re seeking a 3D pen kit with a high-quality pen and plenty of filament colors to work with, the SCRIB3D P1 3D Printing Pen Bonus Set is probably your best choice. That being said, although its ceramic nozzle does well to prevent clogs, you’ll want to treat this product with care to extend its life.
3D pens are still relatively new on the market, but there are plenty of great options. That being said, the technology has matured to the point where 3D pens are an affordable way to have fun making art or touch up your prized 3D printer designs.