3D pens have become a global phenomenon, allowing anyone to create 3D models instantly in a variety of colors and unleash their creativity in three dimensions. Some use the same filaments as FDM 3D printers, and can be used either to complement your 3D printing projects or as a lower cost alternative. Beginners to 3D printing may find a 3D pen to be a great introduction before they pull the trigger on a desktop 3D printer.
Rather than price tags for 3D printers which can be several thousand dollars (except for the odd cheap $100 3D printer), 3D pens are usually under $200. Since 3D pens are becoming increasingly popular, we ranked the best 3D pens on the market with our reasons why, so you can choose the 3D printing pen best suited for you.
We have also been given an exclusive discount for our readers for 3Dsimo 3D pens, giving anyone who checks out using any of the links in this article a 10% discount on any orders over $100.
The Best 3D Pen Buyer's Guide
|Name||Recommendation||Price||Where to buy for the best price:|
|3Dsimo MultiPro 4in1||Best 3D pen||$139 (reduced from $179 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Dsimo Kit 2 4in1||Best DIY 3D pen||$69 (reduced from $99 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|MYNT3D Junior||3D pen for kids||$39||Amazon here|
|3Dsimo Basic Slim||Best cheap 3D pen||$39 (reduced from $69 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Doodler Start||3D pen for kids||$49||Amazon here|
|MYNT3D Professional||Professional 3D pen||$59||Amazon here|
|3Doodler Create+||Professional 3D pen||$79||Amazon here|
What is the difference between a 3D pen and a 3D printer?
The main differences between a 3D pen and a 3D printer are that you have to manually control a 3D pen in the same way you write with an ink pen. The accuracy of your model will therefore depend on your steady hand and artistic talent, whereas with a 3D printer the model — unless the print fails — will come out exactly how the STL file predicts.
Our recommendations for the best 3D pen for you are split into 3 categories: our two top recommendations overall, the best 3D pens for kids, and the best professional 3D pens.
Part 1: Best 3D Pen Recommendations Overall
1. 3Dsimo MultiPro 4in1 — Best 3D Pen
- Price: $139, reduced from $179 for a limited time
- Best price? Available on 3Dsimo store here
This lightweight 3D pen is undoubtedly the most versatile printing pen on this list. Whereas other 3D printing pens can only print, the 3Dsimo MultiPro is a 4 in 1 kit can also solder, burn and change it into a wire cutter.
For 3D printing, it uses any 1.75mm 3D printer filament to print and can take any standard filament, and comes with a small amount to start with. It weighs just 70g, so you can remain precise and accurate for long periods of time without feeling any strain, with the other three interchangeable options also with their own uses.
The soldering option can easily be switched in instead of the print head, as can the burning attachment which can reach temperatures of up to 480C, for burning wood or leather, and also finishing any 3D prints which need transforming slightly. Lastly, the resistance wire cutters are perfect for cutting foam and plastic – and 3Dsimo have plans to release even more options for it, including a drill, electronic screwdriver and heat gun.
The 3Dsimo MultiPro truly is the Swiss army knife of 3D printing pens. For the price, not only do you get durability and reliability that will save you headaches and keep you stress free, but you also get incredible versatility with the interchangeable tools.
2. 3Dsimo Kit 2 4in1 — Best 3D Pen DIY Kit
- Price: $69, reduced from $99
- Best price? Available on 3Dsimo store here
For open source fans, the 3Dsimo Kit is the editable and modifiable version of the 3Dsimo’s 4in1 pen, but in a DIY 3D kit that you’ll need to assemble yourself. It still features the 3D printing pen, soldering, burning and cutting tools, and at a far lower price than the 3Dsimo MultiPro, so if you have the DIY skills you may prefer this option.
All the data can be found on the 3Dsimo Github, and the 3D printing pen kit comes with all the electronics and 3D printed parts you need to build the pen – which 3Dsimo say you can completely assemble in just 15 minutes! The 3D pen runs off a trusty Arduino Nano-based microcomputer.
It’s definitely an interesting option for makers who are not intimidated by the added complexity of building your own 3D pen, and definitely for those who are interested in modding a 3D pen thanks to its open source permissions.
- We also have a guide for the best open source 3D printers.
Part 2: Best 3D Pens for Kids
3. MYNT3D Junior 3D pen (for kids)
- Price: $39.99 – Available on Amazon here
Designed specifically for kids, the MYNT3D Junior is the simpler, safer and more child-friendly version of their best-selling 3D pen. It features an ergonomic design that makes the 3D pen easy to control and grip, and a long battery life so your child is never left unable to finish a project they are building.
Most importantly for a 3D pen for kids, the MYNT3D Junior features a low temperature nozzle that won’t ever burn your child’s hands, using a special PCL plastic filament that melts at low temperatures. PCL is a biodegradeable plastic with an exceptionally low melting point, with the MYNT3D Junior able to melt and print this plastic with ease, but not allowing temperatures to rise above this point to ensure your child’s safety. As a result, it doesn’t print ABS or PLA.
The 3D pen charges easily via microUSB, and comes with 3 rolls of MYNT3D PCL plastic filament to start off with, as well as starter stencils and a USB cable for charging. It’s another great 3D pen for kids that is both fun and educational.
4. 3Dsimo Basic Slim — Best cheap 3D pen
- Price: $39, reduced from $69 for limited time
- Best price: Available on 3Dsimo store here
3DSimo is a former Kickstarter campaign 3D pen which has expanded into a full product range of pens. 3Dsimo’s entry-level 3D pen, the 3Dsimo Basic Slim, is designed to replace a 3D printer for kids. It comes in either blue or red, depending on your child’s favorite color, and is suitable for children aged 8 and up.
Unlike 3Dsimo’s more professional 3D pens, the Basic Slim uses a special non-toxic filament (PCL) that melts and extrudes at lower temperatures and without any harmful fumes, making it a great safe 3D pen for kids that won’t cause any accidental burns.
It’s great for STEM education and for fun family projects, challenging each other to create fun objects and letting loose creatively. The 3Dsimo Basic Slim is a great way for young children to learn basic principles of engineering, architecture and structural stability, as well as enhancing spatial awareness.
5. 3Doodler Start
- Company based: USA.
- Price: $49.99 — Available on Amazon here
Successful American 3D pen manufacturer 3Doodler sell two 3D pens featured on our best 3D pen buyer’s guide, the Start and the Create+. The Start is an all-round perfect pen for beginners, as it’s specifically designed for use by younger people and newcomers.
This hobbyist 3D printing pen for kids by 3Doodler, the Start, is a great way to get your kids creative and combine family time with a fun activity that ends up with amazing colorful designs at the end. 3Doodler say the Start is safe for kids 6 years old and up, and is a great way to teach them spatial awareness and how to account for depth in three-dimensional objects.
Though FDM 3D printers usually print plastics such as ABS or PLA, 3Doodler 3D pens go a different route. Their pens are created using a ‘warm nozzle’ technology which prints their special ‘eco-plastic’ 3D printer filament which is neither ABS or PLA. This material melts and extrudes at a lower temperature than PLA and ABS, making it safer for children to handle.
3Doodler have a free, downloadable mobile app to complement your 3D pen printing. Once downloaded, the app has a bunch of stencils, guides and other engaging content to add to your printing. It comes with 48 plastic strands to use, and a one-year warranty.
Part 3: Professional 3D Pens
6. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen
- Company based: USA
- Price: $59 — Available on Amazon here
One of the best-selling 3D pens currently, the MYNY3D Professional 3D pen allows you to regulate filament flow and speed so you have more control over your printing. Another key feature is the completely adjustable temperature slider, allowing you to choose the exact degree you want to print at, between 140C and 230C, to change based on what material you choose to print.
The wide OLED screen shows you the temperature you are currently printing at, and the MYNT3D Professional can print with any 1.75mm filament that melts in between 140C and 230C. It comes with 3 different color ABS filaments, and can be taken outside or anywhere around the house as it is powered by USB and can be plugged into a portable power bank.
With the ability to print a variety of filaments, have complete control over temperature and printing speed, it’s a great versatile 3D printing pen.
7. 3Doodler Create+ — Great 3D pen for adults
- Company based: USA
- Price: $79 — Available on Amazon here
3Doodler’s top-of-the-range 3D pen, the 3Doodler Create+, is an advanced, simple-to-use and effective 3D pen for adults, teens and creatives to have fun with.
3Doodler recommend it for use by people 14 years old and up, and to use it you just need to plug it in, wait for it to heat up so it can melt the plastic, and you’re ready to go – it’s that simple. It’s been upgraded with a dual drive extruder system, making printing smoother, more precise and giving the user better control over their creations.
Like the 3Doodler Start, you can download the 3Doodler app which contains instructions for how to build a variety of designs, stencils, and the 3D pen itself comes with 15 different colors of filament to experiment with, as well as an activity guidebook.
The 3Doodler 3D printing pen uses 3mm filament that is non-toxic, but they say that it is only compatible with their filaments, so it may not be best to use any other third party filaments with the 3Doodler Create+. Overall, it’s a very good 3D pen with all the resources you need to unleash your creativity.
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