As an artist, nothing beats the joy of seeing your creations take shape right in front of your eyes. If you are looking to unleash your creativity, get yourself a 3D printing pen and make prints in three dimensions. But the process of getting yourself one of these magic pens can get pretty confusing. There are too many brands to choose from, and some can be pretty expensive.
Also, the fact that 3D printing pens are a relatively new innovation doesn’t help — not a lot of info out there. Having sampled a good number of them, here are ten best options to build an infinite variety of shapes and structures with ease
Before starting this list of the best 3d pens of 2019, let’s examine this new technology.
Whats 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 Pens 2019
We have made a handy list which contains the 5 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.
1. Leo Evo 3D Doodler Pen – Best Value of Money
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.
- Gives you all the basics in an attractive, and competitive price tag.
- Has enough features to keep experts, and children using the pen.
- The LCD screen is always a welcomed addition.
- It is hard to differentiate it from another 3D pen or vice-versa.
2 . AIO Robotics Full-Metal Premium 3D Pen – Best for high precision
The AIO Robotics Full-Metal Premium 3D Printing Pen has a lot to offer for people in professions that require drawing complex models. It’s elegant, super slim, and comes with an ergonomic touch. The grip is extremely comfortable therefore easy to design and 3D print with high precision.
You get to fully control the way your pen draws. You determine the flow and speed of the ink. You can also raise or lower the temperature in single increments. The constant flow and speed of the ink, as well as the adjustable temperature, ensure that you have an easier time while crafting your art. The pen comes with a bright OLED display for easy monitoring of the speed and temperature of the printing material.
When it comes to printing materials, you have a variety of plastics to try out, including ABS and PLA.
What I liked:
I have worked with a lot of 3D printing pens before but haven’t come across one that’s stylish and easy to use in that price range. It’s my first time with the Full-Metal Premium 3D Printing Pen from AIO Robotics. I had it unboxed and tested in under ten minutes.
This pen did not overheat. It only took a couple of minutes to reach the target temperature of 350 Fahrenheit (180° Celsius) after plugging in. From my experience, 3D printing pens can get pretty hot at this level of temperature. To my surprise, the pen only got a little warm and it was very comfortable to use.
I love how the pen’s feed buttons are placed close to the bottom, which means that I can start/stop the flow of the filament as I print. There’s no need to move to a different area or waste the filament as I readjust. It’s also very easy to change the filament, I admit that I’ve made a little mess but that’s only because I overthought the process.
What I did not like:
This pen can create a mess, but that mostly arises from incorrect use or unfamiliarity. It took me some time to learn how to use it properly and actually have fun at it. Also, this pen isn’t designed for long-term use.
- USB charging, you can use a power bank.
- Feature loaded.
- Best for printing on flat surfaces.
- Flimsy build.
- Not suitable for children.
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.
- Easy to use for newcomers and veteran artists.
- The pen is lightweight and rather slim. A welcome addition.
- The 7TECH 3D printing pen comes with an advanced unclogging system which prevents the filament from clogging after cooling down.
- There is an aluminum spatula included that protects your fingers from the hot nozzle.
- The 1 year warranty is an additional bonus.
- The operating temperature can get unbearable.
- This pen is not easy to use. (Not for a Newbie or Kid)
- The supplied filaments are not enough.
4. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen – Best Ergonomics
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.
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.
- Provides great user experience.
- OLED screen is a great addition.
- The ergonomics are amazing.
- Supports both PLA and ABS filaments.
- The nozzle can be removed for cleaning.
- The instruction manual could have used a bit more depth.
5. DigiHero 3D Pen – Best 3D Pen for Kids
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.
- Great value for money.
- Comes with 12 PLA filaments that are a nice addition.
- It is easy and simple to use for kids.
3d Pen Buyer’s Guide
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.