A 3D pen is similar to your ordinary pen except for the fact that it uses plastic in place of the conventional ink. These pens allow you to draw in 3D, which means you don’t require a paper like surface, or a special screen to use them on.
As for their method of operation, 3D pens are filled with a plastic filament that goes into them through one end of the device. There is a heating element present at that end which heats up the plastic to form a hot liquid, which can then be used for a variety of purposes. These include drawing and building pretty much any variety of shape and structure with ease.
Best 3D Pen Reviews in 2018
There are numerous 3D pen brands in the market that produce devices in different shapes and styles serving a plethora of purposes. You may get confused when choosing the best out of many especially if you are inexperienced in this field.
Therefore, we have hand-picked the five best 3D pens on the market. Each product mentioned has a brief review along with a buyer’s guide at the end to help you understand what you are buying.
Scribbler 3D Pen V3
Best Ergonomics and Features
This 3D pen features a lightweight and sleek design with intuitive controls. You can use a variety of filaments with it while benefiting from its premium unclogging feature.
The Scribbler V3 is one of the finest 3D pens you can use. It includes all latest features that help you build 3D objects from the ground up with ease and precision.
DigiHero 3D Printing Pen
Best 3D Pen for Kids
This 3D pen is simple and easy to use for kids. It comes with 12 PLA filaments of random colors, as well as includes a tool to remove filament that is not in use.
The DigiHero 3D Pen offers great value for money. The pen lacks advanced features, but has other basic specifications to make it perfect for kids and beginners.
The 7TECH 3D Printing Pen is designed to be user-friendly with easy to use and incredibly silent operation mode. It comes with several advanced features that make this pen one of its own kind.
This 3D printing pen integrates first-rate thermal controls, plus it lets you control the extrusion according to your own preferred speed. Which means you don’t have to worry about super-fast or super-slow extrusion as is the case with many 3D pens.
It also features advanced unclogging mechanisms that prevent jamming for easy maintenance. You will be notified, though, if the filament gets stuck for some reason. Further, the pen is lightweight and rather slim for easy hand use.
The only downside is that the temperature can get incredibly high when it’s fully operational and should be kept away from children. An aluminum spatula is, however, included to protect your fingers from the hot nozzle.
The 7TECH 3D Printing Pen package contains a USB charging cable, power adapter, and PCL filament with random colors. The device is backed by a 1-year warranty.
- Easy to use for beginners
- Lightweight, slender body
- Super silent
- Advanced thermal control
- Supplied filaments not enough
- Operating temperatures can get unbearably high
The 3Doodler Create is developed by WobbleWorks, Inc., the maker of the world’s first 3D printing pen. This new model features a compact and enhanced design with latest features for simplified and intuitive controls.
With a length of almost 7.5 inches, the 3Doodler fits perfectly like a pen in a hand. It offers numerous options to its users, such as ability to change colors quickly and easily. You can draw horizontally as well as vertically, on paper or freehand.
The width of the pen varies with distance with no tapered area to hold it, which can be a little annoying. But, the rest of the features are impressive and sort of make up for the lack of an ergonomic design.
The 3Doodler Create runs at two speeds – fast and slow – along with two temperature settings to use with ABS and PLA refills. There is also a multi color LED that indicates various settings. The device only takes a minute to warm up.
The package includes 50 strands of plastic with a variety of 10 different colors to choose from. The general opinion about the device is that it is extremely energy efficient but the tip heats up to high temperatures, so be cautioned. The body is also a little bulkier making it difficult to move easily.
- Compact and sturdy
- Great drive system
- Multiple settings
- No tapered area
- Bulky in design
Since the launch of the original model, the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 has gone under numerous design changes. The newest model of 3D pen is lightweight, easy to manage, and comes equipped with all the latest features.
It lets you release the desired amount of filament for 3D print with high precision. The premium unclogging feature prevents the material from jamming after cooling down. You also get to use a variety of plastic filaments including ABS, PLA, FLEXIBLE, WOODEN, BRONZE, and COPPER.
Moreover, the Scribbler 3D is great for people of all ages. There isn’t a steep learning curve, and even a 7 year old can understand the basics using the user manual. There are safety functions in place as well, such as the pen can automatically shut-off after a couple of minutes of non-use.
The pen has rechargable batteries that can last long enough. Some people have complained about the loss of motor function in pen after a while, but that is the case with many 3D pens. All in all, it is a great all-around pen for building creative stuff or repairing 3D models.
- Suitable for people of all age groups
- Automatic shutoff
- Lightweight and sleek design
- Premium unclogging feature
- Loss of motor functions at times
- No tapered area
If you want a 3D pen for a kid, then look no further than DigiHero. It’s safe to use and does not have a steep learning curve as most 3D pens do.
First, it’s lightweight with design and construction that is catered towards children. The packaged box contains 12 PLA filaments of random colors, each 10 feet long. There is also a penholder, a wall charger that charges using a microUSB, and a removal tool to remove the excessive filament.
It comes with adjustable printing temperature and speed modes that can be monitored via an advanced LCD screen. You get to choose from three speed modes including, low speed (5-1), medium speed (5-2), and high speed (5-3).
In terms of performance, the pen lacks more of the advanced features. You don’t get the option of removing the nozzle nor there is any mechanism to prevent the plastic from jamming when cold.
So based on the specifications, advanced users are not going benefit much from DigiHero, but that is understandable, especially when you consider how the pen is marketed, or priced.
- Convenient to use
- Enhanced safety
- Budget-friendly price
- Cheaper construction
- Not intended for advanced users
This is a feature loaded, slim and stylish printing pen. It comes with an ergonomic touch for easy to use system allowing operation with high precision and accuracy.
The pen features an extra-bright OLED display for easy monitoring of the speed and temperature of the plastic filament. You can adjust the flow speed of the material according to your preference while crafting. The temperature can also be controlled in single increments.
The remarkable aspect of this pen is that it can reach the target temperature in a couple of minutes and doesn’t overheat. Further, with pen’s feed buttons placed close to the bottom, starting or stoping the flow of filament is just one click away.
The pen charges quickly with a USB charging port. Apart from a charger, the packaging also includes two colors of PLA filament, a user manual, and a cable. The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty on this 3D printing pen.
- Ultra-slim stylus design
- Easy to access speed control buttons
- USB charging
- PLA only printing material
- Not designed for long-term use
Design: Design plays a significant role in determing how easy it would be for you to achieve the desired results. You should aim for a device that is lightweight and slim, and features an ergonomic design for easy controls.
Filament Type: The type of filament you use determines how you hold the pen and style of design. You can find a dozen different filament types in the market, but you should better opt for the ones that are easily replaceable. Such filaments are far more convenient for use and make your 3D pen usable for a long time.
Automatic Shutoff: This feature turns the pen off if it remains idle for too long. This helps preventing damage due to overheating, so better choose a pen that has auto shut off / Standby feature.
The cool ink pens use photo-polymers which are substances that react to light. They are cooled using an LED light, thus getting rid of hot parts. These devices are designed to increase the safety while drawing in 3D.
- Make sure you read the user manual before operating a 3D pen.
- Be careful while using the hot nozzle pen as the tip could burn surfaces and skin.
- Do not use any other plastic filaments than the suggested ones, or you may end up damaging the device.
A 3D printer is more suited for larger projects, but it’s also difficult to operate and costs a lot more than a pen. So it depends. If you have budget and expertise, go for a 3D printer, otherwise you can handle simple design tasks using a pen.
What are the uses of a 3D Pen?
As mentioned above, a 3D pen is just a bulkier version of the regular pen which has plastic instead of ink for using it. There is a plastic filament inside it that heats up to melt before using.
These 3D pens can be used to make various designs on top of any other shape. In other words, they give another dimension to your paper artwork. They basically help the artists to explain concepts with 3D which seem complicated in 2D on paper.
What are the top 3D Pen brands?
3D pen is a budding technology, so brand name definitely matters here. The two most reputable brands in the industry are 3Doodler and Scribbler.
The 3Doodler is a known as being the world’s first 3D printing pen designed by WobbleWorks, Inc. The company has since released a new model with compact and ergononic design. The China-based Scribbler offers the luxury of 6-month warranty.
When shopping for a 3D pen, compare brands and products on the basis of quality and features available. Beware of false marketing, though.