Table of Contents
- 1 Best 3d Printing Pens 2017
- 2 1. 3d Simo Mini – Most Versatile 3D Printing Pen (Mobile Apps)
- 3 2. LIX Smart Pen – Smallest Circular 3D pen in the Market
- 4 3. 7TECH 3D Printing Pen with LCD Screen – Free Spatula Included
- 5 4. MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen with OLED Display – Pen Worth The Price
- 6 5. CreoPop 3D Printing Pen – Cordless Pen With Photopolymer Inks
- 7 6. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen With 50 Plastic Strands – Best 3d Pen For Artists
- 8 7. Soyan 3D Printing Pen – Best 3d Pen Under $50
- 9 8. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen (Electric Yellow) – Latest Edition with 50 Plastic Strands
- 10 9. Scribbler 3D Pen – Best 3d Pen Under $100
- 11 10. 3Doodler Start Essentials – Amazon Exclusive 3D Printing Pen
- 12 11. 3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set – Best 3d Pen For 8 Year Old
- 13 12. 3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set – Best 3d Pen For Kids
- 14 How we picked the Best 3D Pen?
- 15 Winner: 3Doodler Create 3D Pen (Smoky Blue)
- 16 What Exactly is a 3D Pen?
- 17 How 3d Printing Pen Works?
- 18 How To Use A 3D Pen?
- 19 Best Uses of 3D Pens?
- 20 3D Pens – Proper Maintenance
- 21 3D Pen vs 3D Printer?
- 22 3D Plastic Pen vs. Cool Ink Pen
- 23 Popular Brands – Top 7 3D pen Manufacturing Companies
- 24 3D Printing Pen Buyer’s Guide – What Factors to Consider When Choosing a 3D Pen?
- 25 3D Printing Pen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 25.1 Can I leave the plastic in the pen when I shut the pen down?
- 25.2 How to change the filament color?
- 25.3 Does the 3D Pen make much noise?
- 25.4 Can children use this 3D Pen?
- 25.5 Is training needed before using the 3D Pen?
- 25.6 Is the 3D Pen good for left-handed people?
- 25.7 What power supply does the 3D pen use?
- 25.8 How long does the 3D Pen need to warm up?
- 25.9 What do the LED lights on my pen mean?
- 25.10 Can I paint on my doodles?
- 25.11 Does my device require maintenance?
- 25.12 Can I use my pen on the skin?
- 25.13 Does the Start plastic emit any harmful fumes?
- 25.14 Can I touch the plastic when it comes out of the pen?
- 26 Final Words – Wrapping it up
If you ask many people what a best 3D printing pen or best 3D pen is, they will probably tell you that it is a pen that produces three-dimensional models.
They are right.
Now, ask them if such a pen exists, and you will get to hear different answers with most denying an existence of such a pen.
Best 3d Printing Pens 2017
Most people are familiar with 3D printers, but 3D pens are gaining traction and becoming popular with artists as well as being “cool” gifts for kids.
|3dSimo Mini||40 grams||163 x 36 x 22 mm||LED||View Price|
|LIX Smart Pen||40 grams||6.4 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches||LED||View Price|
|7TECH 3d Printing Pen||1 pounds||7.3 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches||LCD||View Price|
|MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen||9.6 ounces||N.A||OLED||View Price|
|CreoPop Cordless 3D Printing Pen||1.3 pounds||8.9 x 2.3 x 6.1 inches||LED||View Price|
|3Doodler Create 3D Pen||12.8 ounces||6.3 x 0.7 x 0.7 inches||No||View Price|
|Soyan 3D Printing Pen||12.8 ounces||1.2 x 7.4 x 1.7 inches||No||View Price|
|3Doodler Create 3D Pen (Electric Yellow)||1.1 pounds||0.7 x 0.7 x 6.3 inches||No||View Price|
|Scribbler 3D Pen||1.6 pounds||4 x 2 x 6 inches||LED||View Price|
|3Doodler Start Essentials||15.2 ounces||5.5 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches||No||View Price|
|3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set||1.2 pounds||5.5 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches||No||View Price|
|3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set||1.5 pounds||5.5 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches||No||View Price|
1. 3d Simo Mini – Most Versatile 3D Printing Pen (Mobile Apps)
The story on how it debut is remarkable yet typical of most success stories.
When the innovators of this pen first showed it to the world at a conference, it appeared too ambitious for its good.
That ambition paid off in the end as it garnered a lot of attention and attracted financial backing.
It allows foam cutting as well as producing three-dimensional models, artifacts, decorations, jewelry and other objects.
Thanks to its adjustable parameters such as speed and temperature, this pen is compatible with all types of filaments and can be used to repair plastic items. The adjustable temperature in the 3d Simo Mini allows burning and soldering.
With this pen, your possibilities are limitless, whether you want to redesign or decorate wood or want to personalize your leather clothing, this pen will work for you.
What’s more is that you can use the 3dSimo together with a 3D printer to help smoothen the rough edges of a model.
If you’re an engineer or you like fixing gadgets, the 3dSimo lets you do just that.
With this pen, there is no point of buying an expensive soldering station as it can heat up to 480 degrees Celsius in just ten seconds. You can now easily fix your electronic gadgets and accessories using this pen.
- Pocket friendly
- Innovative design
- Mobile application allows further customization of the models
- Comes with attachments and filaments in the packaging
- Intuitive to use once you practice enough times
- Build quality could be better
- New users may find it difficult to operate and may need time to get used to how it works
This pen has set a new benchmark for upcoming 3D pens on the market. It entered the market with a futuristic approach and managed to grow on people and win them over.
Not only is its performance excellent but it has a brand new innovative design and features a mobile application to set it apart from its competition.
2. LIX Smart Pen – Smallest Circular 3D pen in the Market
When Lix announced that they were introducing the world’s smallest 3D pen, the world waited and watched in anticipation.
Both consumers and critics could not wait to get their hands on the Lix to test it and determine if it matches the hype it received.
Luckily enough, we got to test the Lix, and this is what we have to say about it:
Naturally, as a consumer or a critic, you’re going to wonder about its performance, and we can tell you with authority that it performed phenomenally well.
We conducted various comprehensive tests to determine the Lix’s performance, build quality, convenience, styling, and practicality.
The Lix boasts a high-quality build that makes it feel solid and comfortable in hand as well as help it operate quietly than other models.
Perhaps not surprisingly, this tiny 3D pen ranked among the quietest 3D pens that we have tested so far.
Another contributing factor to its quiet nature is its smaller and more refined power system.
Unlike most 3D pens out on the market that require the user to plug in a power brick to an outlet, the Lix features a USB port that works with its power supply port.
USB charging is an added advantage to the Lix as you don’t have to go through the trouble of connecting a power brick to an outlet.
You simply power it through a USB cable and for added convenience, a power bank can be used as a source of power.
Using this 3D pen is as easy as plugging in power and waiting 60 seconds to get it heated up so you can start designing your models.
Filament refills for this model come in two types. The ABS filament and the PLA filament.
The former melts at 356 degrees Fahrenheit and offers great strength, flexibility, and high-temperature resistance. The later melts at 320 degrees Fahrenheit and offers a variety of colors and gloss.
The two filaments could not be any more different with both making strong claims with their strengths and while trying to mask their weaknesses.
While the PLA filament produces a semi-sweet smell when melting, the ABS filament produces a foul smell.
The PLA filament is slightly weaker and less flexible than the ABS filament while also being more sensitive to moisture.
- Precise thanks to its light weight
- Easy to use
- Comfortable due to great styling
- Good built quality all round
- USB charging makes it convenient
- Other models such as the 3d Simo Mini heat up filament much faster than this Lix
To be honest, we had to do a lot of nitpicking to come up with the only con of this 3D pen.
According to our tests, this 3D pen came out shining; it doesn’t have flaws.
The only thing we can do is say how amazing it is when handling its tasks. Our verdict is that the Lix is good value for money.
3. 7TECH 3D Printing Pen with LCD Screen – Free Spatula Included
The third on our list is 7TECH 3D Printing Pen.
This specific model was designed with only two main objectives- allowing easy to use, and providing a user-friendly experience.
When handing us this tool to test, the company that manufactured it guaranteed us that this 7TECH model would be among the quietest in operating mode.
Now, let us look at some of the features of this highly rated 3D pen.
This 7TECH comes equipped with cutting edge features that make it stand out from other models.
An example of such a feature is its thermal control which ranks best in its class.
Another cutting edge feature is its notification mechanism which alerts the user if the filament is stuck. This notification feature is helpful especially to new users who don’t have experience with 3D pens.
A great feature about this 7TECH is that unlike other 3D pens only offer super-fast or super-slow extrusions, it lets you take control of the extrusion speed to suit your preference.
On to a more negative note, we discovered some flaws on the 7TECH that we think the manufacturers could have done better.
For instance, when you purchase the 7TECH, you have to buy filaments separately. Unlike other models, this specific model does not come with filaments in the package.
Another niggle about the 7TECH is that it can get extremely hot when in full operational mode. As you’re using the pen, it heats up to the point that you can severely burn yourself when it gets in contact with your skin.
- User-friendly design and controls
- Lightweight compared to other models
- Easy to use, whether you’re an eight-year-old or a 50-year old
- Unclogging mechanism eases maintenance by preventing jamming of filaments
- One year warranty
- Aluminum spatula to protect skin from hot nozzle
- Not enough filaments
- Extremely hot operating temperatures that may cause severe burns if the tool is not handled with caution.
With all things considered, this 7TECH impressed us in how it handled the tasks we put it through.
It came out on top of most tests we threw its way, and as we mentioned earlier, this pen comes with a variety of features that make it among the best 3D pens we have tested so far.
4. MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen with OLED Display – Pen Worth The Price
The fourth pen to make our list is the MYNT3D 3D pen.
This pen serves as a multi-purpose tool that allows the user to perform various tasks with it.
Let us explore some features that have landed this MYNT3D on our top 12 list.
The mynt3d 3D pen is a precision-crafted stylus that allows you to doodle, paint and sketch three-dimensional models.
Most controls are within reach thanks to its ergonomic shape which is comfortable in your hand and allows you to maneuver the 3D pen with relative ease.
When producing this 3D pen, MYNT3D drew inspiration from a vehicle’s gear which features more than one gear.
They incorporated an adjustable feed that allows the user to regulate speed for optimum control while drawing.
This adjustable feed allows you to increase the extrusion speed to fill larger areas and slow down speed to produce intricate pieces of art.
Temperature regulation plays a major role in determining the final quality of your three-dimensional model.
For this reason, the temperature can be adjusted in one-degree increments from 130 degrees to 240 degrees Celsius to allow optimal fine tuning.
For this MYNT3D pen, the recommended temperature is 210 degrees Celsius for an ABS filament and 175 degrees Celsius for PLA filaments.
Unlike other 3D pens which can only operate on proprietary filaments, MYNT3D pens are compatible with all thermoplastics on the market.
Rare filaments infused with wood or bronze can also work in the MYNT3D pen if they are 1.75mm and melt between 130 degrees to 240 degrees Celsius.
These 3D pens are super sensitive to temperature changes and mistakes in temperature variations can damage the pen.
The MYNT3D features a large OLED display that effectively allows you to tweak temperature to achieve the optimal setting.
What’s more is that if the modular nozzle gets damaged due to the wrong temperature, it can easily be replaced.
The MYNT3D pen is powered by a USB power outlet that supports battery power banks to allow you to work from anywhere.
The package comes with an AC adapter, three colors of ABS filaments and a slim, ergonomic stylus.
- Ergonomic design allows easy maneuvering while drawing
- Comfortable in the hand
- USB powered
- Large OLED display
- Replaceable modular nozzle
- Burns extremely hot which can result in accidental burns if exposed to skin
Drawing models with this pen make you feel like an artist and a creator.
Its FDM technology gives you access to different functionalities such as drafting, spatial learning, three-dimensional sculpting, and prototyping.
So whether you’re an artist or an engineer, the MYNT3D pen will heighten your project.
5. CreoPop 3D Printing Pen – Cordless Pen With Photopolymer Inks
Fifth on our list is the cordless CreoPop 3D pen.
The CreoPop is an extraordinary pen and comes with revolutionary technology just like the Lix 3D. This 3D printing pen is cordless meaning it is portable, and you can use it on the go.
Another revolutionary aspect of this pen that sets it apart from other 3D pens is that this CreoPop does not have any heating parts.
It may seem strange and unconventional, but this 3D pen uses plastic without melting or heating it.
Innovation and efficiency are the themes of this CreoPop which unlike other 3D pens that use thermoplastics to produce three-dimensional models, it uses photopolymers.
When the photopolymer ink is exposed to LED diodes, it starts to liquefy to allow printing of 3D models.
This CreoPop is completely safe for use considering how efficient this pen is without heat or thermoplastics that may cause accidental burns.
Our thorough tests with this pen revealed that this 3D pen could maintain its high standard of performance despite using a completely different type of ink.
Coming to the downside, and there aren’t many, is that its ink is only supplied by one company.
Not only is this limiting factor when looking to purchase this pen but also a great inconvenience to people already using this pen.
This 3D pen is fantastic, but this ink concern might be a problem with consumers and critics as other 3D pens come compatible with pretty much all ABS and PLA filaments available on the market.
- Fat, bulky design
- Its photopolymer ink is only provided by the manufacturer. This greatly reduces its convenience and usability for some people.
The CreoPop is not only a great pen for artists and engineers, but it is also a great pen for regular people that want a cordless 3D pen that is simple to use.
It is futuristic and fancy ay the same time, and it guarantees happiness for all art lovers.
6. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen With 50 Plastic Strands – Best 3d Pen For Artists
This 3Doodler Create has history on its side by being the world’s first 3D pen. It is also among the bestselling brands out there on the market.
It is a combination of slim, light and strong. Its enhanced design from its predecessor has refined its overall feel by making it smoother and quieter while operating and has also made it easier to manage.
Other new features include, but are not limited to an ambient light bar and intuitive control panels.
This 3Doodler allows your imagination to take off. You can use it to draw anything that comes to your mind.
All this is made possible by the heated plastic that hardens to form three-dimensional models.
This pen offers both versatility and efficiency. For efficiency, it provides a wide range of safe plastics that are non-toxic and non-messy.
Also, the plastics come in over 65 different colors and a great wealth of materials such as matte, glossy, clear, glow, and sparkle among others.
For versatility, the 3Doodler is equipped with a replaceable nozzle that allows you to change filaments and other accessories as per your liking.
Also, you can also charge your doodling device with the accessories equipped in the packaging.
- Great design and high-quality build materials
- Changeable nozzle that lets you swap filaments and other things
- Ambient light bar
- Intuitive control panel
- Efficient and versatile to make a great rounded product
This is a great rounded 3D pen for adults. It allows various types of drawing, doodling, painting and more services that you can’t get from other models of 3D pens.
Since it is the latest model to come out of the 3Doodler, it features the latest technology, it is more refined than its predecessors, and it is faster and more reliable as well.
7. Soyan 3D Printing Pen – Best 3d Pen Under $50
Seventh on our list is Soyan 3D.
This 3D pen is slim, light and handles easily making it suitable for all people, even kids.
We managed to get our hands on this device to put it through our evaluation process to see if it merits a place in our lineup.
Here is what we found out.
As for features, this Soyan is loaded with them. For instance, the extrusion speed can be varied to produce different results such as smooth and precise results or for endless creation.
The printing process of this pen is pretty standard. It is similar to other thermoplastic 3D pens on the market.
It works by extruding melted plastic which then hardens allowing you produce three-dimensional models.
The Soyan has endless capabilities that are only limited by your imagination.
With this pen, you can produce inventive prototypes such that you won’t need complicated design software and applications to produce your prototypes.
This pen can be used for tactile learning to help kids having trouble grasping abstract concepts learn through their senses of touch, sight, and smell.
It also helps kids enhance their spatial thinking to boost their creativity.
The Soyan can also be used as a tool to bring out your creativity and artistic self by helping you create unique art and design.
- Adjustable extrusion speed
- Allows quick and easy color swapping
- Slim design and light weight making it easy to use
- Efficient and durable
- Ergonomic design for easy handling
- Smells of burning plastic while printing
8. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen (Electric Yellow) – Latest Edition with 50 Plastic Strands
This 3Doodler Create is the pioneer 3D pen in the globe and ranks among the best-selling brand on the market.
It ergonomic build is a combination of light, slim and strong. Its enhanced design has refined its feel by making it quieter and smoother while printing and has also boosted its maneuvering ability.
Other new features in the 3Doodler 3D Create pen include an ambient light bar and an intuitive control panel.
This 3D pen offers versatility and efficiency in its performance. For efficiency, it provides safe plastics that are both non-messy and non-toxic.
Also, the plastics strands come in over 50 different colors and materials such as glossy, matte, clear, sparkle, and glow among others.
For versatility, this 3Doodler features a replaceable nozzle that lets you swap out filaments easily.
The packaging comes with the 3Doodler 3D pen, 50 free plastic strands, a power adapter, a user guide and other accessories.
Plus, there are hundreds of free stencils online for this 3Doodler.
After using this pen for over a week, there are only positive remarks to say about it.
However, people who’ve used it for longer complain that this 3D pen is expensive to use.
- Ergonomic build
- Quiet when working
- Comes with over 50 colored plastic strands
- Hundreds of free 3Doodler stencils available online
- Expensive to maintain. Its 3mm filaments are rare to find and more costly to replace.
Even if you’re not much of an artist, you will love this pen.
This 3Doodler is a great pen that will bring your creative side to life.
It is easy to hold and maneuver to allow drawing of intricate models.
Also, the instructions on how to use it are clear and straight to the point.
9. Scribbler 3D Pen – Best 3d Pen Under $100
This Scribbler 3D pen V3 has gathered a lot of traction since it was introduced in the market a few years ago.
This pen is the latest version of the legacy scribbler 3D pen has surprised both users and critics with its performance and top class features.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this 3D pen is the high-quality build materials that wrap its perfect ergonomic design.
Let’s take a look at features of this Scribbler V3 that impressed us to rank in ninth on our list.
This V3 comes in a variety of color choices to allow for a more personalized effect.
The eight color options available make selecting this pen an interesting exercise.
Just like how you get the choice of selecting a particular color when purchasing the V3, this pen also allows you to use different color filaments while drawing.
We managed to get a hold of this pen, and we put it through our normal testing procedures.
After the testing was complete, we were not surprised by the results we got from it because we had anticipated it to perform that greatly.
This V3 is easy to operate thanks to extremely light weight nature.
While changing the filament of any 3D pen might seem like a mammoth of a task, or a task for professionals, changing the filament for this 3D pen is simple and hassle free.
- Incredibly light-weight and easy to use
- Extremely responsive input
- Allows quick and easy installation of filaments
- Its large OLED screen helps enhance usability and practicality
- Can be used on almost all surface types
- Comes in different colors
- Although lightweight, this pen might feel bulky on hand compared to regular pencils and pens, therefore, users need time to get used to the different dimensions
One of the many great things about this pen is that they have prioritized simplicity to make it usable for all types of consumers.
Despite needing a learning curve, as is with all 3D pens, this V3 is an amazing pen that fast learners and quick studies will enjoy.
10. 3Doodler Start Essentials – Amazon Exclusive 3D Printing Pen
This 3Doodler start ranks tenth on our list, and we give it a rating of four stars.
Being a 3D pen designed for kids, the manufacturers of this pen have taken preventive measures to ensure that kids explore their creative potential without hurting themselves.
Unless you are a professional three-dimensional artist, you will have to learn and adapt to this device to get the maximum out of it but once you do you will have the time of your life designing unique models.
The body is ergonomically put together with high-quality materials to boost its usage.
This coupled with its rechargeable batteries have enhanced the portability and convenience of this device such that one doesn’t have to worry about the power cord restricting movement and getting in the way of drawing.
While the 3Doodler is highly functional and efficient, it still lacks when it comes to maintenance.
The lifespan of the filaments is very poor and buying them on a regular basis is expensive.
- USB rechargeable battery for mobility and portability
- Auto cleaning feature that moves the filament backward or forwards to unstick
- Eco-plastic filaments
- External body does not heat up while drawing
- Cheaper compared with the 3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set
- Filaments wear out quickly which can be expensive to replace on a regular basis
Anyone who wants to purchase this 3Doodler start should buy it if they can afford to replace the filaments on a regular basis.
While finding filaments online is easy, finding different colors might be hard and may take some time before you find them.
However, that said, this pen performed excellently on our vigorous evaluation tests.
11. 3Doodler Start Essentials Pen Set – Best 3d Pen For 8 Year Old
The 3Doodler start is a great way to explore and nature creativity for children.
Children are known to be a little excitable and impatient when they want to try out something for the first time, and that is why this particular 3D pen is ideal for them.
Also, other models have various humming sounds that makes it hard to determine when they are ready to be used and once they are ready, you have to hold while avoiding the hot parts.
What’s more is that this 3Doodler start is extremely easy to clean after use, unlike other models.
The cordless nature of this particular 3D pen increases its mobility without worrying about getting tangled up in the power cable.
The rechargeable battery gives you good services to last you until the next recharge.
This pen also comes with eco-friendly plastic to protect the environment from pollution.
- No external hot parts eliminates the risk of accidental burns
- Comes with eco-friendly plastic filaments
- Internal rechargeable batteries mean you can use this pen without plugging in a power cord
- Pocket-friendly price compared with the 3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set
- Filament runs out quickly
This pen and mega set are designed to be a great drawing tool for children.
When you buy your child this 3D pen, remember that it can be used as a fun, creative tool but also remember to nature their creative talent slowly.
Don’t expect the child to create a groundbreaking piece of three-dimensional model overnight.
It takes time to perfect this skill.
12. 3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set – Best 3d Pen For Kids
It is good to see 3D pens that have established themselves in the market still setting trends in 2017.
This 3Doodler features 12th on our list and rightly so with its wide range of amazing features.
The 3Doodler start pen features an internal battery that is rechargeable by USB.
This is super convenient because you can use it from anywhere without having a power cord sticking out and restricting portability.
This pen comes with proprietary non-pollutant eco-plastic that is malleable and can be molded by finger with the right amount of pressure.
The best thing about the eco-plastic filaments is that they are multi-purpose and they don’t stick on the pages of your books.
The autoflow of the filament and the big ON button allow you to work without having to keep pressing the forward button while drawing.
- No external hot parts eliminates the risk of accidental burns
- Comes with eco-friendly plastic filaments
- Internal rechargeable batteries mean you can use this pen without plugging in a power cord
- Pocket-friendly price compared with the 3Doodler Start Super Mega Pen Set
- Filament runs out quickly
This 3D pen is a true work of art. It has all the necessary features and ranks among the top performers on the market.
With this 3Doodler start, you can make your family time with the kids fun as well as creative.
I would recommend this for any parent who would want to nature the creative talents of their kids.
How we picked the Best 3D Pen?
As a buyer, it is common to get overwhelmed at the number of brands and models of 3D pens that are on sale.
Normally, you’d think that you will just walk into a store or browse for one pen online and pick it in a matter of minutes.
The reality is different as that is why we did all the research and testing analysis to make it easier for consumers like yourself.
So that you can just walk in the store or quickly and easily purchase the best 3D pen in a matter of seconds from an online store.
Winner: 3Doodler Create 3D Pen (Smoky Blue)
The best on our list is this 3Doodler Create which is a combination of slim, light and strong.
Its design is enhanced from its predecessor for refinement. It was fitted with new features like ambient lighting and adjustable controls to enhance its level of sophistication.
It comes with a replaceable nozzle and over 50 plastic strands in the packaging thereby saving you money in the short term.
What’s more, swapping colors on this device is the easiest amongst all 3D pens on the market.
What Exactly is a 3D Pen?
A 3D pen shares a lot of characteristics with a normal pen or pencil.
From the outline and the shape to the way you hold it to draw or write.
The difference in appearance between a 3D pen and a traditional pen or pencil is that the 3D pen looks bulkier.
The huge difference between a normal pen or pencil and a 3D pen is how the 3D pen functions.
Instead of using ink or graphite lead, a 3D pen uses plastic to produce three-dimensional models.
Nowadays some 3D pens like the CreoPop use photopolymer technology to produce three-dimensional models.
How 3d Printing Pen Works?
There are two types of 3D pens.
The first and the most common is a thermoplastic type of pen that uses melted plastic to produce 3D models.
The plastic filament is heated until it melts to form a semi-liquid compound that allows you to write or draw any shape that comes to mind.
This technology works on almost all surface types.
While the drawings and writings of traditional pens come out in 2D fashion, the 3D pens add another dimension to the drawings to make them more realistic.
The other type of 3D pen on the market is called a cool ink pen.
This type of pen is newer to the market and rarer compared to traditional thermoplastic pens.
Cool ink pens feature the latest 3D technology called photopolymer mechanism.
This mechanism works by exposing the photopolymer ink to LED diodes to melt it. Once the ink melts, it is ejected from the pen’s tip to produce 3D models.
How To Use A 3D Pen?
When people look at 3D pens for the first time, they wonder how anyone could use such a bulky pen, and their common reaction is begin to question its comfort and usability.
However, after buying this product and using it for a while, you will be surprised by how easy it is to use and this will quash your initial first impression about this 3D pen.
To use this 3D pen, load the filaments in the chamber located at the back or top of the pen and plug in the power cord and switch it on.
Switching it on triggers the pen’s heating mechanism so give it a few seconds to reach the ideal temperature.
Once the pen has reached the ideal temperature, it will automatically grab the filament and start melting it.
You can use the controls to regulate the temperature and speed at which the filament gets extruded.
Adjust the speed to minimal when drawing for precision and intricacy and speed up the extrusion of the melted plastic to cover a large area quickly.
The melted plastic will keep flowing from the pen until you stop it manually.
Best Uses of 3D Pens?
3D pens give the user an endless possibility to create unique models as well as do some repair work.
These devices can be used to compliment 3D printers to produce masterpiece models.
Here is a list of how they can be used:
- Creating uniquely designed artistic pieces and models
- They can be used together with 3D printers to add detail to the printed models
- You can do some repair work with the 3D pen on various things such as electric devices, ornaments, jewelry and other items.
3D Pens – Proper Maintenance
As you might suspect with 3D pens, you need to take good care of them to get the best service out of them.
The more you neglect your pen, the more its condition deteriorates, and this will result in you spending more money than necessary to restore them.
Maintenance of this complicated devices mostly involves cleaning after use.
When using this device, it is likely that they will clog up at some point so don’t panic when this happens.
Fixing this problem is easy. Simply remove the remnants carefully and unclog it fully before you continue using it.
Unclogging is a whole process on its own as you need to switch off the power and unplug the power cable to allow it to cool.
You should avoid forcing the residue into the pen’s tip as this could easily damage or worse, break the pen’s tip.
Once it has cooled down, use a soft cloth and alcohol to clean the tip.
When changing the nozzle, ensure you change it as recommended, when the pen is hot.
3D Pen vs 3D Printer?
Why would you use a 3D pen over a 3D printer?
While a 3D printer produces rigid and precise results, a 3D pen is more fluid to use and encourages additional creativity, unlike the printer.
Also unlike a 3D pen where a user just requires little imagination to start modeling shapes, printers need fully crafted 3D files to model them.
3D Plastic Pen vs. Cool Ink Pen
Most 3D pens on the market use thermoplastic technology to model.
The thermoplastic technology works by heating and melting plastic filaments then extruding them to produce three-dimensional objects.
This method of 3D drawing has been used over the years with a high level of success thanks to the technological improvements and innovations to make it this method more effective.
However, at the beginning of the last quarter of 2015, a new technology called photopolymer was introduced to model three dimensional objects.
This cool ink pens worked by using photopolymer ink. This innovative technology entailed exposing the photopolymer ink to LED diodes to melt the ink which would then be used to produce 3D objects.
The big advantage cool ink pens have over thermoplastic is that the photopolymer technology eliminated the need to heat plastic thereby eliminating the risk of accidental burns and eliminating environmental pollution caused by melting plastics.
These two cutting edge technologies perfectly describe the evolution of 3D pens. Going with this trend, the future of 3D printing looks promising and exciting.
Popular Brands – Top 7 3D pen Manufacturing Companies
3Doodler is an American company that pioneered production of 3d pens.
3Doodler has a wide range of products that come equipped with different features to target different markets.
3Doodler have benefited greatly from their broad experience of producing top quality 3D pens, and this has translated directly into their sales.
Scribbler have some 3D pens on the market.
Some pens are older than others and come equipped with different features to broaden their target market.
Scribbler has built a solid reputation for producing high-quality 3D pens that are ergonomically well balanced and easy to use.
Perhaps not as popular as 3Doodler, this company produces high-quality 3D pens that encourage the users to produce masterpiece designs.
When manufacturing their 3D pens, MYNT3D drew inspiration from a vehicle’s gear system to incorporate a similar system to allow their 3D pens to control the rate of extrusions.
CreoPop entered the 3D market with the aim of revolutionizing it.
All their products feature the latest technologies and innovations.
Unlike other companies that produce traditional thermoplastic pens, CreoPop has focused their efforts on producing cool ink pens that work on photopolymer technology.
3dSimo are popular for producing phenomenal 3D pens.
For example, their 3D Simo mini was dubbed too ambitious for the market when they launched it, and the reasons critics gave of why it would fail are the same reasons that propelled the pen to success.
The pen drew a lot of attention and received venture capital for its practicality as well as its innovative features.
While other manufacturers are going for cutting edge technology, 7TECH has taken a more laid back approach to their production of 3D pens.
The company has focused its efforts on producing simple yet refined and sophisticated pens that can carry out any job with easy.
3D pens from 7TECH are user oriented with their quiet nature and incredible ease of use.
Lix shocked the 3D pen world when it announced the world’s smallest 3D pen.
With many consumers eagerly anticipating this product and many critics rooting for it to fail, Lix delivered on their promise and produced the globe’s smallest 3D pen.
3D Printing Pen Buyer’s Guide – What Factors to Consider When Choosing a 3D Pen?
Below are some of the factors you need to consider when choosing a 3D pen that will serve you best.
Consider The Price
Consumers often associate the price of a product with its quality.
The higher the price means a better quality good.
This can sometimes be misleading as some brands take advantage of their popular brand names to quote a price that is over the odds for a product.
Corded Or Cordless?
How do you intend to use this pen once you purchase it?
Is the corded pen going to restrict your freedom with the pen?
If you draw creative inspiration from the outdoors, you are better off with the cordless pen.
With all the advantages a cordless pen gives, it is worth noting that replacing the rechargeable batteries can be expensive.
Arguably the most important consideration to make.
Before buying any 3D pen, ensure that you’ve held it in your hand to determine which provides the most comfort to allow you to produce masterpiece designs.
You will want the most comfortable pen when working for long periods.
Audible Noise Level
Some pens are loud when heating the plastic filament.
A quiet environment is conducive to developing masterpieces, and loud heating mechanism may cause disruptions while working.
The distraction noise causes may lead to poor quality work and therefore ensure you figure out which models are quiet before making a purchase
What Is Included?
Be sure to inspect the package to see what is included and what is not.
Unfortunately, these pens use a lot of filaments, so you need to buy a pen that comes with as many filaments as possible.
Also, ensure the filaments that are included come in different colors.
Purchasing filaments are not cheap, so you need to stock up on as many filaments as possible when buying the pen to ensure your short-term future of 3D modeling is sorted.
Some pens also come with maintenance tools in the packaging to help the user care for the pen to increase its life span.
The pen you’re buying should have at least two buttons to allow you to regulate the speed in which the melted filament is ejected.
Also, make sure the buttons are solid for durability and easily accessible when working.
Find out whether the pen’s manufacturer provides a warranty and the duration of its length.
A long warranty protects your investment for the long term while a short warranty may prove costly over a longer duration.
Type of control
Some pens use traditional physical buttons while the newer models feature an OLED display that not only gives you control of the pen but also shows you the pen’s status.
I would strongly recommend the OLED control for your 3D pen.
The pens come with two types of filaments, ABS and PLA, with both having their pros and cons.
While the ABS is more sturdy and flexible than the PLA filament, it models with a foul odor compared to PLA which produces a semi-sweet smell.
Also, PLA filament offers a variety of colors.
With this information in mind, I recommend PLA filaments for children’s use while ABS filaments for professional 3D modeling.
Some brands leverage the popularity of their brand name to increase the price on their pens, while others are relatively unknown and offer cheaper products.
Also, some brands have the advantage of longevity and experience in the business and have built a reputation of putting out reliable pens in the market.
All these are factors you should consider so ensure you test all brands products with the same price points to determine the best pen.
Check Customer Reviews
It is always wise to check how these pens have served their owners on the customer reviews.
3D Printing Pen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I leave the plastic in the pen when I shut the pen down?
No, this is not recommended since the warm plastic degrades slowly and this might cause irreversible problems with the pen over time.
How to change the filament color?
Simply hold down the backspace button, grab the filament and carefully pull it out while ensuring you remove all the filament in pen.
Does the 3D Pen make much noise?
Yes. 3D pens make a little noise when heating and ejecting filament. Some models make more noise than others.
Can children use this 3D Pen?
Yes. This 3D pen can be used by anyone, but simple guidance should be provided for children aged between five and twelve years.
Is training needed before using the 3D Pen?
No training is required. Just practice with the pen to perfect your 3D modeling skills
Is the 3D Pen good for left-handed people?
The beauty of this 3D pen is that it is designed to be used by both left handed and right handed people.
What power supply does the 3D pen use?
It uses 110 – 240V AC power. Special power plugs and pins can be delivered to your country. The packaging also includes a universal travel adapter to use on the go.
How long does the 3D Pen need to warm up?
Just a few seconds to warm up. Once the red LED indicator turns blue, the pen is ready to be used.
What do the LED lights on my pen mean?
The red LED light indicates that the pen is not ready and that it is still heating the filament.
A green light or blue light indicates that the pen is ready to be used.
A flashing yellow light indicates that the pen is charging. A solid yellow light indicates the pen is fully recharged.
Can I paint on my doodles?
Yes, because the pen’s extractions cool and solidify immediately. It helps beautify your doodles.
Does my device require maintenance?
Just minimum maintenance in the form of cleaning the pen after use to help prolong its lifespan and keep it ready for your next use.
Can I use my pen on the skin?
It is cautioned against because you will burn yourself.
Does the Start plastic emit any harmful fumes?
Burning plastic produces an odor which may cause harm if exposed to the smell for a long period.
But since the plastic cools almost immediately after being extracted from the pen, the fumes produced are not likely to cause any harm to you.
If yon wish for a more pleasant smell, go with a PLA filament rather than ABS.
Can I touch the plastic when it comes out of the pen?
Final Words – Wrapping it up
However short of a period 3D pens have been on the market, their evolution is nothing short of extraordinary.
New technologies are being developed to enhance the capabilities of this pen.
For now, you can use this pen to draw artistic designs, as a repair tool, or as a 3D printer compliment.
The sky is the limit with this 3D pen and so we reviewed the best 3D pens to shed light on this market segment as well as provide a buying guide for the pens.