The 3D pen is quickly gaining popularity among artists and others who are looking to unleash their creativity using 3D prints.
Before starting this list of the best 3d pens of 2018, let’s examine this new technology.
What’s a 3D pen?
Well, a 3D pen looks like a bulkier version of an ordinary pen or a pencil but instead of using lead or ink, the 3D pen operates using plastic.
There are probably a lot of questions in your head about how difficult it is to use or is it even a good thing? Well, using the 3D pen is no different than using a regular pen or a pencil. You hold it the same way and there are many different ways you can use it.
How does a 3d Printing Pen Work?
A 3D pen mainly uses plastic instead of ink. You insert the plastic filament and once it’s inside the pen, it gets hot from the heating technology inside. The heat is intense enough to melt the plastic, and turn it into a liquid. After that’s done, you can start using the pen to write on anything you want. The good thing about 3D pens is they work on almost all surfaces.
If you are in awe, we have seen similar technology before. For instance, the glue gun works on almost the same principle as the 3D pen. 3D pens come in several different colors that will truly bring out the artist inside of you.
If you are wondering what you can do with a 3D pen, the possibilities are limitless. Typically, drawings you create using a pen and pencil are two-dimensional. However, the 3D pen can add another dimension and make your drawings or artwork more realistic. Even though 3D pens are relatively new on the market, the market has a lot of them. There are hundreds of choices, and if you are inexperienced in this field, you may have a hard time finding the best 3D pen to buy.
Best 3D Printing Pens 2018
We have made a handy list which contains the 10 best 3D pens on the market. Each 3D pen mentioned has a brief review and features to help you get a better understanding of what you are buying.
The Leo Evo 3D Doodler Pen claims that it is made for both professionals, and kids. Which basically means that while it does provide you with a lot of advanced features that would be appreciated by professionals and adults like speed and temperature adjustment it also has a variety of features that cater to kids like doodle templates and a variety of colourful filaments that come with it.
I was not sure how it is possible to cater to two completely different audiences at the same time so I was really excited to test this product.
Looking at the packaging, the pen does not really look like something you would get for an adult, but let’s not judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a pen by its box. Taking the contents out of the box, you’ve got the pen, some filaments, and some templates that will make your user experience much easier, or at least the user experience of your child.
As far as the user experience of an adult, or a professional is considered, it is a bit different as compared to the experience for children. The use of variable speed and temperature is not as useful for the kids. Considering how the pen covers all the basics, there is nothing that you could ask more in the given price tag, because that could reflect on the quality being poor, or the pen being incomplete. You even get a screen that displays all the information so you should know that there is plenty of things that you are getting in the price tag.
To be honest, if I was reviewing a 3D pen that was much more expensive, the overall review would have been much more nitpicky; however, the pen and the features it offers you are aligning well with the price tag so it’s a great value overall.
The Leo Evo 3D Doodler pen is good for a budget conscious user, great for children, and a good value for money, because of the doodling kits that come with it. Other than that, everything else is as basic as it gets.
As the name may suggest, the pen is an update of the legacy Scribbler Pen. Also, this pen has been on the market for quite some time and is taking people by surprise. Perhaps, one of the best features of this pen is the fantastic build quality and perfect ergonomics that make this pen such a breeze to use.
The pen comes in various different colours and you can use filaments of the different colours with the pen. The 3D pen is available in 8 colours.
In our testing, the pen was lightweight and easy to operate. If you are having concerns about how easy it is to change the filament, it’s pretty simple. The pen works in a relaxed and friendly manner that allows you to operate it without hassle.
See, how you can be awesome with the Scribbler Pen 🙂
Honestly, the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 didn’t have any significant downsides that we saw immediately. All the tests were passed with flying colours. However, for people accustomed to drawing with a pen or pencil, they may have some beginning issues of drawing with this pen. Much like all 3D pens, this one has a learning curve. Rest assured, this is a great pen.
The next up on our list is the 7TECH 3D Printing Pen. This pen was made to be easy to use and user-friendly. With that said, the company ensured us that the product will have an incredible silent operating mode. Additionally, the pen comes with several features that make this 3D printing pen, one of the best we have seen.
The 7TECH 3D printing pen has some advanced features that are welcomed add-ons. For instance, it comes with one of the best thermal controls we’ve seen. Also, the 3D printing pen notifies you about filament getting stuck. Furthermore, if you hate super-fast or super-slow extrusion of many 3D pens, you don’t have to worry about this. The pen lets you control the extrusion according to your own preferred speed.
We only found two issues with this pen. Lack of supplied filaments and how hot the pen can get when it’s fully operational. Another thing to keep in mind is when you are operating the pen, the temperature can get incredibly high. The temperature can get to the extent where it may cause damage to your skin if you get in contact with it. With that said, we realized that the supplied filament wasn’t enough. However, companies throw these in for royalty. All in all, the 7TECH 3D Printing Pen is one of the finest 3D printing pens we have used and is one of the top 3D pens in this list.
Next, we have the MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen, as far as my experience is concerned with this 3D pen, I personally find this extremely satisfying, and easy to use. 3D pens are supposed to be lightweight in order to ensure proper ergonomics and an easy using experience. You do not want a 3D pen that is heavy, and cannot be used properly because of that. As far as the ergonomics are concerned, this pen is not easy to beat thanks to the lightweight and solid construction, as well as the shape of the pen itself.
The pen also comes with a small OLED screen that displays various modes that you might want to use on the 3D pen; while most users might consider this as a gimmick and nothing more, I think it is a nice addition and should make its way into more 3D pens in the future. The pen also allows you to adjust the speed as well as the temperature to ensure proper control over how the plastic is melted.
The nozzle can easily be removed to ensure that you can clean it after a thorough use; the difficulty behind nozzle removal is something that plagues many 3D pens, luckily, the issue is not here on the MYNT3D pen, because the nozzle can be detached for those who are looking to clean the pen itself.
I should mention that the 3D pen supports both PLA, and ABS plastic filaments; these filaments can be found in variety of colours in the market, and even some textured material ones if you want the extra flare. As far as the user experience is concerned, the learning curve is certainly there, but practice can make you adept at it in no time.
The one issue I have is that the instruction manual that comes with the pen is vague at best, and for those who are going to rely on the instruction manual, it might be a bit difficult. To tackle this, there are comprehensive tutorials available on the internet that you can use at your will. Other than that, it is hard to say that the MYNT 3D Professional Printing 3D Pen does anything wrong. It is the best 3D pen for professionals, that is because it provides you with great ergonomics, and the OLED display is very useful, not to forget that the nozzle can be removed for thorough cleaning to avoid any other incidents.
If you are looking a 3D pen for a kid it is important that the 3D pen you are buying is safe to use and does not have a steep learning curve.
Most of the 3D pens that I have reviewed so far failed on that; however, the DigiHero 3D pen caught my attention because it is a 3D pen that markets itself safe for children. Is it really safe for children? I wanted to test and find out.
Right out of the box, you will realise by the design and construction of the pen that it caters to children; the pen is lightweight. On top of that, you get 12 PLA filaments of random colours in the box, each 10 feet long. In addition to that, DigiHero also includes a removal tool to remove the filament that is not in use, a penholder, and a wall charger that charges your pen using a micro USB.
So far so good, but what about the performance? Well, as I expected, the performance is what you would want in a 3D pen for kids. The pen lacks more of the advanced features like the removal of nozzle, or a mechanism that can prevents the plastic from jamming when cold. These are the features that we have come to expect from many 3D printers in the market, but that is understandable, especially when you consider the price of the pen.
Honestly though, as far as the proper user experience goes, advanced users are not going to enjoy using DigiHero. But when you see how the pen is being marketed, or priced, it’s clear that this pen is not intended for advanced users. However, it is sad to see that despite being advertised as a pen for kids, safety features such as prevention of the ink getting jammed, or the pen stopping operation when it reaches a threshold temperature.
It is a great 3D pen for kids, but other than that, the pen feels incomplete due to the cheap construction material that is necessary in modern 3D pens, and have a demand of their own.
6. Kimitech 3D Pen – Best 3D Pen for Beginners
Kimitech 3D Pen is among the most affordable 3D pens in the market. Sure, you do not get as many advanced features, but the good thing is that this is great if you are on a budget, and want to try out a 3D pen. This is a great 3D pen for beginners, as you will not be spending a lot of money to see if this is something you like and to practice with.
The 3D pen is designed with ergonomics and ease of access in mind, and using it was as easy as it could get. All the buttons are nicely placed, and the user experience is smooth. I will be honest, I did not have a lot of expectations for this pen because the lack of features is becoming a trend in 3D pens that are for beginners and kids.
However, you do get LCD display, along with the support for variable temperature for plastics like PCL and PLA, and that is certainly a nice thing to have. You can easily control the speed and the flow of the pen, ensuring that there are no issues when using then, because sometimes, the extrusion is on the faster side, so it is best to have a precautionary measure in the first place.
After thoroughly using and testing the Kimitech 3D pen, all I can say is that if you are a beginner on a budget, this is a great pen; it covers all the basic requirements you could use from a 3D pen, without weighing you down with a higher cost that usually accompanies more than one advanced feature.
It is not the best 3D pen, but for someone who is just going to start using a 3D pen, it holds a lot of value, and acts as a step-up to something better in the future. However, that is not to say that the Kimitech 3D pen is not a good pen on its own, because it most certainly is, and should serve most users for months, or even years without giving any major issues.
Next is the 3Doodler 3D printing pen. The stylish pen comes with 50 plastic filament, which is the most number of filaments we have received from a 3D printing pen. Also, the overall look and feel of the pen is fantastic. Even more, the color (black) we received for reviewing made the pen look like something that came from a Tom Clancy novel. Before we begin this review, this pen is not related to another product that goes by the same name.
This pen might be one of the best-looking 3D printing pens available in the market. The best thing about this pen is that it comes with 50 filaments, which are easy to replace and don’t get clogged. The testing phase revealed that the pen manages to work perfectly on almost all surfaces. Also, the pen is easy to use, especially for the veteran artists who have good experience with drawing and using such tools. As for newcomers, there is a slight learning curve.
In all honesty, we didn’t find any cons with this product. There were some concerns, but pointing them out would be nitpicking as almost all the 3D pens we have reviewed had these issues.
Our next entry is the Glyby Intelligent 3D printing pen. Reviewers and users have said this is one of the best 3D printing pens ever available. Granted, it’s not as good-looking as other 3D printing pens but it still manages to perform well.
The Glyby Intelligent 3D printing pen might be the cheapest 3D printing pen available in the market. Just $50, and it manages to give a groundbreaking performance. Also, the pen works on almost all the surfaces. With that said, the 3D printing pen was put together with kids in mind. If you want something for professional work, you probably should spend your money on another pen. The pen is easy to use for kids and has enough features to keep them happy for a long time. As long as kids operate the pen under proper supervision, things won’t go wrong.
At the given price, there isn’t anything to complain about this pen. While there are better 3D printing pens available in the market, they are usually above $90. All in all, the Glyby 3D printing pen is a fantastic gift for kids who are always up for learning new and exciting things.
If you are in search of a 3D pen that you can use to practice doodling, the TRLife 3D Doodler Pen is a great option. According to the marketing material, this is the 4th pen version, and comes with a lot enhancements such as a mechanism that ensures that no filament ever gets jammed into the pen itself. You can actually see this mechanism thanks to the transparent body of the pen.
How does it fair? Good, actually; you are paying half the price you would pay for a premium 3D pen, so it is only fair that you have a better understanding of what you are paying for, and what you are actually getting in return.
It was nice to see TRLife included drawing templates for beginners, as well as a transparent sheet to help you draw and practice better. I love when companies do that because it just means that you are adding value to the product, not something many companies do in the first place. Is this the best 3D pen in the market? Not quite, but that does not mean that one should not highlight the good points such as the abundance of accessories, as well as the one button operation that helps the kids.
However, I have to mention some of the negatives that I noticed during my time with this pen; the first thing is that the 3D pen only supports PLA filament, and even though the thickness is standard, it does not support other plastic types. In addition to that, the whole concept of pen is to provide ease of access, and while I understand it, the elimination of additional buttons is not something I am a fond of; you only get one button for all the controls, and that is not enough.
In conclusion, the TRLife 3D Doodler Pen is a good 3D pen for the price you are getting it at, but do not expect more from it because there are some glaring shortcomings that might put you off in the first place such as the limited functionality, and the fact that there is only PLA plastic that is supported. It is the best 3D pen for simplicity, but the simplicity can also cause many issues for hardcore users, or enthusiasts.
Over the past couple of years, 3D pens have seen a shift in advancement; we have seen 3D pens that are big enough to require a big hand to use, and we have seen 3D pens that are so slim, it is nearly impossible to actually believe that they are 3D pens. However, all the 3D pens have one thing in common, and that is the mechanism; they all use either ABS, or PLA plastic filaments. That is going to change now.
With the Future Make Polyes Q1, we can say that the concept of 3D pen is going to revolutionize and turn into something different. This is among the first 3D pen in the market that does not use the plastic filaments. Instead, it uses something known as cool ink, which looks very much like plastic, but is free from most of the hazards like the melting process, and hot nozzles.
The good thing about this pen is that the ink that is used is room temperature, so if you want to buy this pen for your kids, go right ahead without the need to worry about them burning their skin with hot plastic. The pen allows easy learning, and there is room for mistake, as you do not need to wait for the plastic to heat up first.
In addition to that, the pen charges through USB so compatibility issues are minimum at best, and even on battery, there is no worry about the battery running out soon because there are very little parts that drain the battery as compared to a 3D pen that runs on plastic, because it requires more than just 1 or 2 mechanisms.
The Future Make Polyes Q1 also comes with heaps of safety features like cool ink that ensures that there are no accidental burns. In addition to that, the ink does not get jammed in the nozzle. This ensures that the parents do not worry about the children getting in contact with the hotter parts of the pen. Last but not the least, the ink is non-toxic, so that is another addition.
With that said, there are some things that I did not like much about the pen; for starters, the ink is much more expensive than plastic filaments that are available for cheap in the market, the price takes a hike even further if you opt for coloured ink (you only get transparent ink in the base model).
Aside from these minor inconveniences that the budget conscious users might face, it is hard to say that there is anything wrong with the Future Make Polyes Q1 3D pen. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but the 3D pen is among the best I have used, and it is the best 3D pen for safety conscious users.
Now, you should become familiar with its functions and applications before buying a 3D pen. The modus operandi is different with each brand. Between filament and design, there can be tons of variables. The newest 3D pen products may not share the same design as the world’s first 3Doodler model. For instance, 3Doodler uses plastic filament which makes it easy to draw in the air. Real-time creation of 3D objects in serious pace was a real prospect. 3D pens don’t have a long history too.
The very first project of its kind was funded as a kick starter product. Basically, you wouldn’t have had too many variables you need to master in this 3D pen technology. The success of 3Doodler inspired another gem of a product in Scribbler. With productions in China, Scribbler was still able to deliver with a 6-month warranty and a return policy. If you don’t know how to go about choosing your 3D pen, this can be trickiest of markets.
3D technology takes large steps as we speak. Nevertheless, there isn’t too much to learn about. Evolution of this technology is easy to explain by comparing plastic and cool ink pens.
3D plastic pen vs. Cool Ink pen
3Doodler and Scribbler accounted for most products of 3D printing pens in the initial stage of 3D pens market. All of them used plastic for drawing 3D objects in the air. Successive development took place in the form of cool ink pens. These pens made drawing in 3D as possible as it was in the case of plastic pens. The added advantage to it was the riddance of hot parts. Without hot components, it was a safer option for all age groups, especially kids. In September 2015, cool ink pen models came out and have since competed for market share.
A few cool ink pens such as the 3D Creation Maker didn’t provide users with an option of drawing in air. The drawing happens on a horizontal surface and the art is later hardened. However, it didn’t match the feeling of drawing in the air. During November of last year, products like CreoPop came up with a solution. They put UV to use, thereby making drawing in the air possible. The plastic pens vs. cool ink pens sum up the evolution of 3D printing pens.
The first and foremost function of 3D pens is to draw 3D art or objects. The functions and design would facilitate filament loading, filament conversion, and drawing process. Additionally, some extra features can help. Standby mode is an example of a useful additional feature. Also, large LCD screens can give a product an edge over competitors. Some products even have a filament jamming detection system. Smart 3D pens come with options like thermal management, working LED etc..
- Type of control: The quality of a 3D pen can increase with more control. For instance, the temperature is controllable in plastic 3D pens. You can also control the speed of drawing in a few products. The adjustable feed can help regulate flow and the speed of drawing. Continuous speed regulation elevates your comfort and the ease of drawing. Adjustable temperature can help fine-tune your drawings as well.Intelligent controls are what the new millennium product needs, to create massive appeal.
- Design: Ergonomic design is a need of the 3D pens out on the market now. Slimmer 3D pens are preferable in the current market scenario. Best products are super small and are rechargeable, even through laptop USB. Design plays a huge role in how easy controls feel in your hand. The design should allow easy access to display and your view should flow seamlessly from filament to dropping ink or plastic. A lightweight and ergonomic design would enhance the quality of the 3D pen.
- Filament type: Type of filament has a say in your drawing style. It determines how you hold the pen and which grip you would be getting. Filament contains the plastic element, which enables drawing. Right now, there are more than a dozen different filament types available in the market. As a rule of thumb, the easier it is to replace, the better it is for use. Easily replaceable filament type helps a great deal later on because it makes your 3D pen usable for a long time. There are 4 major categories in filaments – Standard, Flexible, Composite, and Specialty.
- Brand name: Brand name definitely matters in this young technology. 3Doodler invented the world’s first 3D printing pen. Scribbler offers the luxury of 6-month warranty. However, their production model is based in China. Some brands are proving to be innovative. Compare brands and models on the basis of quality and features available. False marketing is what you may commonly see in this category of products. It’s your responsibility to examine the brand and know what to expect.
- Check Reviews: Word of mouth doesn’t work for 3D pens on reputation or marketing. If it did work, every 3D printing pen artist would be first generation users. You have to trust internet reviews and marketing claims. Read customer reviews across different shopping sites. Therefore, beware of fabricated reviews and spot them when things look too good to be true. It’s the easiest way to determine the quality and worth of your product. Reviews are the first-hand information you need before deciding if the product will work or not. Many 3D printing pen models have made promises but didn’t follow through. Get more information through video reviews on YouTube. This way, you can see for yourself, how these pens work.
Conclusion – Wrapping it up
In conclusion, this market is new but there are many choices out there for 3D pens. Hopefully, our list will assist consumers in picking the best possible 3D printing pen.
Top Rated 3D Printing Pen
Last update on 2018-04-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
After a number of complains we no longer recommend LIX PEN – please see comments below. Some customers are very happy with the product but there are far too many complains to consider this a good product.
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