3D pens let you unleash your creativity in three dimensions. Let your wildest designs jump right off the paper and into 3D as you bring them to life with a 3D printing pen!
People use 3D drawing pens for a variety of reasons. 3D pens for kids are fantastic outlets for their boundless creativity, and teach valuable lessons in spatial awareness, design, color theory and engineering.
Other 3D printing pens for beginners hobbyists let you have fun being creative at home, designing any D&D character, creature, animal or other 3D pen project you may have. Some even use more professional 3D pens for important projects. We recommend pens for all uses below in this 3D pen review.
The Best 3D Pen Buyer's Guide
|Name||Recommendation||Price||Where to buy for the best price:|
|3Dsimo MultiPro 4in1||Best 3D pen||$129 (reduced from $179 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Doodler Create+||Professional 3D pen||$79||Amazon here|
|MYNT3D Junior 2||3D pen for kids||$39||Amazon here|
|3Dsimo Basic Slim 2||Best cheap 3D pen||$35 (reduced from $69 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|3Doodler Start||3D pen for kids||$49||Amazon here|
|Scrib3D P1||3D pen for kids||$29||Amazon here|
|MYNT3D Professional||Professional 3D pen||$59||Amazon here|
|3Dsimo Kit 2 4in1||Best DIY 3D pen||$54 (reduced from $99 for a limited time)||3Dsimo Store here|
|Scrib3D Advanced||3D pen for adults||$49||Amazon here|
What is a 3D pen?
3D pens extrude melted plastic in the same way as 3D printers do. Some use the same filaments as FDM 3D printers such as ABS and PLA filament, and can be used either to complement your 3D printing projects or as a lower cost alternative. You can switch up the color you use with different color filaments for multicolor 3D pen printing, with infinite possibilites!
3D pens, also known as 3D painting pens, 3D drawing pens or just 3D printing pens, fuse traditional art via painting with 3D printing and give you a whole extra dimension to work with. Whereas previously great painters mimicked the third dimension using contrast and clever techniques, now you can really create art that jumps off the canvas!
How much is a 3D pen?
Reliable and usable 3D pens start at around $30-50. For those interested in 3D printing, 3D drawing pens can be a great test-run before pulling the trigger on a 3D printer.
For more professional 3D pens expect to pay $100-150, but these offer you better control and precision, and more material options. Some premium 3D pens even offer interchangeable tool heads, so you can switch out the 3D printing pen for another tool, such as wood and leather carving and burning.
We have also been given an exclusive discount for our readers for 3Dsimo 3D pens, giving anyone who uses any of the links in this article a 10% discount on any orders over $100.
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.
Your model’s accuracy depends on your steady hand and artistic talent — though better 3D printing pens are easier to control — whereas with a 3D printer the model — unless the print fails — will come out exactly how the STL file predicts.
The best thing about 3D printers is they’re so reliable — you get the STL file, slice it, and it does it. But some feel that detracts from the artistry, and there’s real sentimental value in creating your own piece of art. That’s why so many people turn instead to 3D pens to bring their most inspired ideas to life.
Our 3D pen review is split into 3 categories: our two top recommendations overall, the best 3D pens for kids, and the best professional 3D pens.
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Best 3D Pen: Our Top Recommendations Overall
3Dsimo MultiPro — Best 3D Pen
- 4-in-1 Price: $139, reduced from $179 for a limited time — Available on 3Dsimo’s Webstore here
- 7-in-1 Price: $199, reduced from $349 — Available on 3Dsimo’s Webstore here
This lightweight 3D pen is undoubtedly the most versatile printing pen on this list. Whereas for the same money with other products you just get the 3D printing pen, with the 3Dsimo MultiPro, you get a full manufacturing suite!
There are two types: the 4-in-1, which can be a 3D pen, as well as a solderer, wood and leather burner, and a wire cutter. Then there’s the 7-in-1, which can do all these, and also be changed into a drill, saw, and screwdriver!
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.
- For choosing a filament, check out our complete 3D printer filament guide.
The soldering option can easily be switched in instead of the print head, as can the burning attachment for burning wood or leather. The burner is also great for finishing any 3D prints which need slight transforming. 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, and is a full 3D pen set in one small package. 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.
3Doodler Create+ — Best 3D drawing pen
- 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 start 3D drawing – it’s that simple! It’s been upgraded to make printing smoother, more precise and now gives you better control over your creations.
- Filament refills can be bought here.
Like the 3Doodler Start, you can download the 3Doodler app which contains instructions for how to build a variety of designs, 3D pen 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 super 3D pen that comes with all the resources you need to unleash your creativity.
Best 3D Pen for Kids
A major factor in choosing a 3D pen for your kids is safety. We therefore only considered 3D pens that are safe for kids, with features such as:
- Using low heat melting plastics and heat resistant nozzles so that they cannot burn their hands
- Easy to hold, move and print plastic
- Beginner-friendly, preferably with an LCD screen to easily monitor temperature and other options
MYNT3D Junior 2 — one of the best 3D pens for kids
- Price: $39.99 – Available on Amazon here
Designed specifically for kids, the MYNT3D Junior 2 is the simpler, safer and more child-friendly version of their best-selling 3D pen. It’s easy to control and grip, and has a long battery life so your child will never be left unable to finish their latest creative project.
Most importantly for a 3D pen for kids, it 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.
3Dsimo Basic 2 — Best cheap 3D pen
- Price: $35, reduced from $69 for limited time
- Best price: Available on 3Dsimo store here
3DSimo is a former Kickstarter campaign 3D pencil 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. Most usefully the battery lasts for 2 hours, so your kid should have more than enough time to draw before it needs charging.
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.
3Doodler Start 3D Printing Pen
- 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 3D pen for beginners, and it’s specifically designed for use by kids and newcomers.
This hobbyist 3D printing pen for kids by 3Doodler is a great way to get your kids creative and combine family time with a fun activity that ends up with amazing colorful designs. 3Doodler say the Start is safe for kids 6 years old and up, and is a great way to teach them spatial awareness building 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’ 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.
- Price: $29.99 — Available on Amazon here
Scrib3D make two popular 3D pens: the Scrib3D P1, their beginner-friendly model; and their more professional 3D pen, the Scrib3D Advanced.
The P1 is the ideal low cost 3D pen for beginners and kids to explore all three dimensions and improve their spatial awareness and thinking, indirectly learning key engineering and math principles that’ll pay dividends in school.
Despite the price, the Scrib3D is a super 3D pen which comes with a number of useful tools. You can adjust the print speed, so if you’re working on a very intricate feature of your design you can slow it right down, and then speed it up again when you want to quickly fill in a larger section.
It prints both PLA and ABS, so it reaches fairly high heats, but has built-in safety features to prevent any burns or accidents, so we feel it’s still safe for kids to use. It’s also super easy to print with — just plug it in, wait 2 to 3 minutes for the pen to heat up (when it’s ready, the red light will go out), and then you’re all ready to print!
Overall, it’s a great 3D pen for beginners.
Professional 3D Pens
MYNT3D Professional 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 have complete speed control. Another key feature is the completely adjustable temperature controls, 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.
3Dsimo Kit 2 4in1 — Best 3D Pen DIY Kit
- Price: $54, reduced from $99
- Best price? Available on 3Dsimo store here
An open source 3D pen set, 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.
Scrib3D Advanced 3D printing pen
- Price: $49.99 — Available on Amazon here
For those looking for a more professional 3D pen with better speed controls as well as better control over heat, the Scrib3D Advanced 3D printing pen may be perfect for you.
The large LCD screen tells you everything you need to know while drawing, and you can adjust the speed with 8 different 3D pen speed options to comfortably control your line thickness — such as when you want to fill in very intricate details.
It features the same beginner-friendly features of the Scrib3D P1 — you just plug it in, wait a few minutes, and you’re ready to go — but with improvements across the board to make for a seamless and effective 3D pen printing experience, and it’s designed with ergonomics in mind for maximum hand comfort while printing.
Overall, it’s a great professional 3D pen.
If you liked this article, you may also like:
- Our ranking of the best cheap 3D printers
- Our ranking of the best cheap 3D scanners
- Top 10 best 3D printer kits
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