The creative process is one of the most rewarding processes in existence. Bringing to life the concepts that are in your head through design and implementation is not only creative but fun as well. Just about everyone likes to doodle from time to time, and for many years, if you weren’t a sculptor, you were limited to the two-dimensional plane. Fortunately, there’s been a recent invention that can take your doodles to the third dimension: the 3D pen.
Best 3D Printing Pens in 2017
These pens allow you to draw on paper and remove your doodles so that they can exist on an entirely new plane. If you want, you can even build a foundation and build upwards, crafting castles, houses, and even people out of the plastic substance that the pen extrudes. Many people are using this technology now, and there are currently several options of 3D pens available. In this guide, we’ll show you some of the better products on the market today, but first, let’s take a look at some of the types of 3D pens that are available.
I. Children’s 3D Pens
A 3D pen is one of the best high-tech tools that you can purchase that will get your kids interested in the world of art. There is an inherent novelty in this type of device that can be very attractive to a youngster. Unfortunately, not every 3D pen is perfect for children. This is because some have very hot tips that make it easy to manipulate the plastic, so if you’re planning on buying one for your child, seek one out that doesn’t use excess heat. Even with these types, if you’re planning on gifting one to a younger child, parental guidance is suggested.
II. Hobbyist’s 3D Pens
With this type of 3D pen, you’ll have quite a few extra options. Firstly, the safety aspect is almost entirely removed; these devices get hot, but as a result, your creations will be much more malleable and complex. These models have little extra bells and whistles incorporated into the design like an LED/LCD screen that’ll let you know about things like ink levels. In addition, you’ll also be able to extrude, eject, and reload with different buttons on a hobbyist’s 3D pen.
III. Artist’s 3D Pens
These are the most complex types of 3D pens. With an artist’s 3D pen, you’ll be able to work with different materials and temperatures so that your final composition can actually be a mixed medium affair. These types are also typically easier to adjust the thickness of the filament; allowing you to easily adjust the width and breadth of your artistic strokes.
Now that you know a little more about this technology, let’s review some of the top 3D pens that are available for purchase.
- 10. AtmosFlare 3D Pen Set
- 9. CreoPop Cordless 3D Printing Pen
- 8. XYZprinting da Vinci 3D Pen
- 7. NEXTECH USB 3D Printing Pen
- 6. 3D Driller 3D Pen
- 5. Smarson 3D Printing Pen
- 4. ELEGO TRADING 3D Arts & Crafts Drawing 3D Printing Doodle Printer Pen
- 3. Soyan 3D Printing Pen
- 2. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen
- 1. 7TECH 3D Printing Pen
10. AtmosFlare 3D Pen Set
Our first 3D pen is a product from AtmosFlare. This 3D pen is perfect for helping your youngster embrace and exercise their artistic impulses. As a product designed for children, you won’t have to worry about the pen’s tip becoming too hot during the extrusion process. As a matter of fact, this product uses naturally occurring UV light to solidify the cool ink that is projected from the device’s tip.
Powering the product only requires one AA batteries that last for a relatively long time. To accelerate the solidification process, the “cool ink” is exposed to focused UV light that is projected near the extrusion point. This light is provided by way of a series of LEDs that are in this area.
- If you end up spilling the ink, you can actually just remove it from your hands or from surfaces with baby wipes.
- This device is cordless.
- The cool ink is somewhat translucent, so if your child wants a more solid design, this might not be the pen for them.
- You have to squeeze the tube to extrude.
9. CreoPop Cordless 3D Printing Pen
Our second 3D pen is another device designed with kids in mind. Like our first product, this unit uses cool ink that dries and solidifies when it’s exposed to UV light. This device has a very large amount of proprietary colors that are available from the manufacturer. Like other cool inks, the solution that this device extrudes is a photopolymer that is a bit translucent-looking.
This device doesn’t use batteries like some of the other kid-centered devices on the market; you actually charge it through a USB cable, which makes it perfect for art on-the-go. This is also one of the sleekest-looking 3D pens on the market today. It looks very professional, despite being designed for a child’s creativity.
- You can change colors mid-art, which is perfect for larger, more detailed designs.
- The cartridges have enough ink for a full 45 feet of lines.
- This device is pretty expensive, even compared to some artist’s devices.
- Compositions can be slow to dry.
8. XYZprinting da Vinci 3D Pen
Our next device has been designed with a fresh 3D printing hobbyist in mind. Unlike our prior devices, this unit definitely generates heat at the tip, so it really isn’t recommended for younger children. XYZprinting is well-known for their 3D printing technology, and this device uses PLA filament to create 3D compositions. You’ll be able to select from 11 colors from the manufacturer, but the device is compatible with other brands as well.
This is a perfect entry-level device. It only has two buttons; one for extrusion of the PLA filament and for feeding it as well. It has a LED light to let you know that it’s plugged in as well. When you begin your artistic process, the device will need to heat up. Once heated, the light will turn green, which will indicate that you can start doodling.
- This is a great beginners/hobbyist 3D pen.
- It’s a very lightweight device.
- This is a little too simplistic of a device if you plan on doing anything complex.
- It is powered by a cable, which can be restricting at times.
7. NEXTECH USB 3D Printing Pen
The next 3D pen in this guide is the NEXTECH USB 3D Printing Pen. This is a very versatile device that can use multiple mediums; both PLA and ABS filament. Unlike the other pens of the hobbyist type, this unit doesn’t actually get very hot; meaning that it’s usable by children as well. The manufacturer has crafted this pen’s system to be “smart” so that the heating process is managed in such a way as to be heat-free on external surfaces.
Amazingly, this pen has eight different speed controls so that you can control the rate in which it extrudes filament. This pen also has a very ergonomic design; as a matter of fact, it is one of the easiest to grip in this guide. A really nice feature of this pen is its USB compatibility. This connectivity means that you can take the pen anywhere with you and plug it into a laptop in order to create some art.
- The lack of heat at the tip is very impressive.
- The USB connectivity is a really travel-friendly feature.
- This pen has the potential to clog.
- If you’re not careful with the speed settings, compositions can appear clumpy.
6. 3D Driller 3D Pen
This product is a fairly high-tech 3D pen that’s perfect for those who are just getting used to the hobby. One of its most definitive features is the fact that this device will turn off and discharge excess filament after a period of time; preventing filament clogs at the tip. There are several speed settings with this device and there is also an external cooler that cools the filament so that you can more easily draw straight into the air.
This unit has too hot a nozzle for children’s use, but the system that cools really helps you avoid any unfortunate burning mishaps. The two physical buttons on the device are for the extrusion and reversing of the loaded filament.
- This device has a plethora of different speeds for different skill levels.
- The auto-shutoff feature is great for avoiding mishaps.
- This isn’t the most ergonomic device.
- It’s a little heavier than some other 3D pens.
5. Smarson 3D Printing Pen
The Smarson 3D Printing Pen is a very professional-feeling 3D pen that’s perfect for either a hobbyist or a 3D art creating professional. It has a built-in LCD screen that accurately displays the temperature of the nozzle and the current extrusion speed. To change the temperature of the nozzle so that the filament behaves differently, there are two buttons strategically placed around the LCD.
This pen uses LEDs to alert you when the PLA, ABS, or LEA filament is ready. When it’s heating up, the LED will flash red, when it’s ready to be extruded, it will become a solid blue. For more experienced artists, there are even speed buttons that will adjust the speed in which the filament is extruded from the nozzle.
- The LCD screen is the perfect tool for deftly controlling the temperature of the nozzle. Artists can use this to add nuance to their work.
- This product can use three types of filament.
- The awkward button placement doesn’t lend itself to ease of use.
- The increments in the speed setting could use some refinement.
4. ELEGO TRADING 3D Arts & Crafts Drawing 3D Printing Doodle Printer Pen
The Elego trading 3D arts pen is one of the most ergonomic on this list of great 3D pens. It fits fairly comfortably in your hands and has more than enough functionality to satisfy the hobbyist or the dedicated artist. This pin also has a very fine nozzle; as a matter of fact, its size is only 0.4 mm. The pen is also capable of using ABS 1.75mm ABS/PLA Material for 3D doodling. Like other products of its caliber, this device can also vary the speed of the extrusion and has an LED indicator so that you can know when the filament is ready to be extruded.
This pen has a very large form factor and has a tapering shape that’s very comfortable to use. There are four buttons on the barrel that are well-placed and control speed, extrusion, and loading.
- Impressively, this 3D pen comes in four unique barrel colors.
- This pen has a very ergonomic design.
- The product also comes with three filaments, which is perfect to get started.
- When it comes to overall features, this is a fairly simple product.
- The power cord is frustratingly short. This can become problematic if you don’t have an outlet nearby.
3. Soyan 3D Printing Pen
Our eighth product is one of the quietest 3D pens in our guide. While it doesn’t use an overly hot nozzle; making it suitable for children, this device is a perfect hobbyist unit that also has plenty of ergonomic comfortability built into its barrel.
As a matter of fact, it’s really easy to use the buttons on this device while you are 3D doodling. To load the filament, simply feed it into the hole at the top of the device and wait for it to heat up. The pen will let you know when the filament is ready to be extruded by way of a LED. This 3D pen comes with a pre-packaged 30g ABS filament, which is more than enough to get you started.
- This is easy to control pen, it has speed settings and feels great in hand.
- This device comes in three kid-friendly colors.
- This pen can leak sometimes.
- When you’ve extruded the filament, there is a tendency for this 3D pen to leave wispy strings attached to the ends.
- Once again, this is a 3D pen with a frustratingly short cord.
2. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen
The MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen is clearly a device that’s designed with professional artists in mind. First, it uses an OLED display that will tell you the temperature of the nozzle as well as the type of filament that’s being used. The temperature is very adjustable; it can be adjusted in increments of a single degree between 266 degrees Fahrenheit and 464 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, positioned on the side of the device is a slider that lets the artist adjust the speed of the pen’s extrusion. These fine tuning features are perfect for those looking to craft a unique composition.
A slight issue with many of these types of pens is the fact that you sometimes have to hold down on a button to continuously extrude. This pen eschews this requirement by allowing you to double click the extrusion button in order for it to continuously extrude the loaded filament. Finally, this is a lightweight device; it only weighs about 10 ounces.
- It’s designed with the artist in mind.
- The continuous feed option is one of the best features that we’ve seen in a 3D pen.
- The device has a tendency to jam. Fortunately, you can remove the nozzle for cleaning.
- Its square barrel definitely isn’t the most ergonomic.
1. 7TECH 3D Printing Pen
If you need reliability, the 7TECH 3D Printing Pen is probably one of the most reliable on the market. Designed for professionals and artists, this device has a great ergonomic design, durable construction, and an accurate nozzle temperature and extrusion speed displaying LCD. What makes this pen reliable is its extra features.
Many pens on the market have a tendency to jam and clog when using filament. This is an issue many consider par for the course with 3D pens. This particular model of pen has a unique feature: an unclogging mechanism. This allows for the device to automatically unclog the nozzle and extrude the excess filament. In addition to this, the device also has an internal sensor that will alert you when the filament is jammed. These two features make this a very convenient pen to use when creating art.
- The speed control slider on this device is in a very ergonomic position.
- The manufacturer backs this product with an ironclad one year guarantee.
- There is a part at the top of the device that’s a little flimsy and can fall off.
- As a pen that’s designed for top-end users so that it can have a bit of a learning curve.
Expressing your creative side through 3D art is a truly rewarding process that also is a burgeoning hobby for many. The products that we’ve covered on this list are ideal for bringing your favorite concepts to three-dimensional life. Decide whether you want to purchase a device for your child, for your hobby, or for a more professional artistic pursuit, and you’ll find these devices to be deeply rewarding.