The 3D pen is quickly gaining popularity among artists and others who are looking to unleash their creativity using 3D prints.
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 2017
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.
|Pen Name||Weight||Dimensions||LCD Display|
|3dSimo Mini||40 grams||163 x 36 x 22 mm||Yes|
|LIX Smart Pen|
|40 grams||6.4 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches||LED Heat Indicator|
|Scribbler 3D Pen V3||67 grams||6 x 2 x 4 inches||Yes|
|7TECH 3D Printing Pen||65 grams||7.3 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches||Yes|
|ccbetter Intelligent 3D Pen||55 grams||7 x 0.9 x 0.9 inches||Yes|
|Lay3r 3D Pen||0.8 lbs||5 x 1 x 1.2 inches||No|
|GENESIS 3D Printing Pen||48 grams||7.9 x 5 x 3 inches||Yes|
|3Doodler Pen||130 grams||7.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches||No|
|Glyby Intelligent 3D Printing Pen||68 grams||8.5 x 6.5 x 2.5 inches||No|
|CreoPop Cordless Pen||0.7 pounds||7 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches||No|
1. 3dSimo Mini – Only 3d Pen with Modules and a Mobile App
The 3dSimo Mini may be the most revolutionary 3D pen there is. This pen first appeared in a Kickstarter campaign in order to get the project going. While it seemed too ambitious and innovative, the pen managed to get a lot of attention and financial backing.
Today, the 3DSimo Mini has finally become a reality, and people willing to try it out can do so by pre-ordering it. With that said, the company was kind enough to send us a review sample. Honestly, we were blown away by the amount of top of the line features that have been included in the 3DSimo Mini.
For starters, you should know that it’s not just a 3D pen. The pen comes with a number of attachments that you can use in order to make it multi-purpose. For those curious, the 3D pen can easily be turned into a soldering machine, a cutter, and something of a lighter. Also, you get these attachments with the pen so you don’t have to go out and spend extra money on them.
You can look at this pen in action by watching this Christmas Commercial Video.
There are a lot of other things about this pen that many people may not know. Like we said before, the attachments you get can be used for the purposes of foam cutting, burning, and soldering.
You can use these attachments on a number of different materials such as wood, metal, and others that work with the pen. The best thing about the 3DSimo Mini is it comes with a feature that isn’t available in any other 3D pen in the market. We can say this pen managed to revolutionize the 3D pen industry. The pen comes with an iOS, Android, and Windows Phone app that you can use to control some of the basic functionalities of the 3D pen. In case you are wondering what can and can’t be controlled, you can choose profiles, along with some other options such as watching tutorial videos.
All the filaments were provided to us so we could do a proper evaluation of this amazing 3D pen. The filaments were PLA, ABS, and metal filaments. As for the attachments, they can be attached by using the magnet.
2. Lix 3D Smart Pen – The Smallest and Smartest 3D Pen out there
Lix took the world by surprise when they announced the world’s smallest 3D printing pen. As opposed to the first 3D printing pen and others in the market, the Lix 3D printing pen proved to be a wonder for consumers and critics. The pen tore through its Kickstarter campaign and was available for the consumers to buy. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a review unit of this amazing 3D printing pen.
The pen proved to be amazing in all the tests we did. We conducted different tests including one where we used it in a complete pin drop silent environment to test out if it has any of the issues that plague other 3D pens. To our surprise, this may be one of the quietest 3D pens we have used The build quality of the pen is top notch, and it works great on almost all surfaces we tested it on without any problems.
Another great thing about the pen is that its power is from a USB cable. That is a big advantage considering how most of the 3D pens we have used require power through a power brick. However, you can use the Lix 3D printing pen without that hassle and it can power up as long as it has a power source. You can even use a power bank to use it, very simple.
During our testing, we didn’t find anything bad about this pen. The only thing we have to say about the Lix 3D printing pen is how amazing it was for the tasks it’s meant to handle. So, if you are in the market for a 3D printing pen that looks good and performs, then this is perfect.
3. Scribbler 3D Printing Pen V3 – A Top Selling 3d Pen
As the name may suggest, the pen is an update of the legacy Scribbler Pen. Also, this pen has been in the market for quite some time and is taking people by surprise. Perhaps, one of the best features about 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 colors and you can use filaments of the different colors with the pen. The 3D pen is available in 8 colors.
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 colors. 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.
The fourth on our list is the ccbetter Intelligent 3D Pen. Before we go into details, this pen is also sold under a different name, Joyluxy Intelligent 3D. With that said, the Intelligent 3D pen is one of the best 3D pens we reviewed. As far as functions and features, the 3D pen is quite basic and has all the necessities anyone would want in a 3D pen.
The pen comes in a sleek-looking box that is no bigger than your usual smartphone box. Inside, there is a power brick and 2 filaments. Keep in mind, you can always purchase separate filaments of your own choice. The manufacturer was also kind enough to include a stand that you can put your pen on when it’s not in use. The 3D printing pen was easy to use for newcomers and veteran artists. In the testing, this device worked on almost all the major materials with ease. Even more, it consistently gave us brilliant results. The pen also comes with an OLED that has a small status indicator which tells you when the filament is heated and ready to use.
As far as the cons go, the thorough and concise testing didn’t reveal any issues. We would have liked to have had a more detailed instruction guide. This would be good, especially for people who are reluctant when it comes to using such stuff without a guide to help them out. Apart from that, the pen managed to perform well in all the tests.
6. Lay3r 3D Printing Pen – Best 3D Pen for Kids
In comparison to other 3D printing pens we have used and reviewed, the Lay3r 3D pen is large. However, the 3D pen proved to be easy to handle and wasn’t heavy at all.
With proper guidance, a 12-year-old can use this pen without making any mistakes. In addition, the pen is easy to handle for all ages and skill levels.
We are surprised the company put a fan inside the pen. The fan makes sure that it stays cool during the hot operating temperature. Also, the pen comes with an automatic shutdown feature that turns off the pen when it’s not operating.
As for the downsides, the only thing we can think of is the size of the pen. Although, it does have s a fan built inside of it and so the size can be justified.
Next on our list is the GENESIS 3D Pen. Lasso Labs is the company behind this printing pen and they are the creators of a popular 3D printer.
The Genesis 3D pen is nicely designed and looks quite sophisticated. However, it’s nowhere near as slim and small as the Lix 3D printing pen. Be that as it may, it works well. Our review unit came in all black but there are several other color combinations available. The pen managed to perform eloquently in all the tests. Plastic filament didn’t get stuck, and the pen’s chassis didn’t get abnormally hot. Hot temp is common with a lot of 3D pens. Lasso Labs was also kind enough to add in 5 filaments in the box, and you can purchase filaments separately. With that said, the Genesis 3D pen pleased us with consistent performance and a minimal learning curve.
We don’t really have any complaints with this 3D printing pen. This is the only 3D pen that managed to performed fine in almost all situations and it didn’t disappoint us at all.
8. 3Doodler 3d Printing Pen – Comes with 50 Stands of Plastic
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, right next to the Lix 3D printing pen. 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 with the exception of Lix 3D printing pen.
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 the Lix 3D printing pen 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.
10. CreoPop 3D Printing Pen – Cordless 3D Pen
Much like the Lix 3D printing pen, the CreoPop 3D cordless printing pen is a revolution. What’s good about it? It doesn’t require a wire to work. Basically, there is an insane amount of portability that comes with this 3D printing pen. Here’s another surprise, unlike the other 3D printing pens, this one doesn’t have any heating parts. This pen uses plastic without heating and melting it.
As compared to the other pens that use thermoplastics, the CreoPop uses photopolymers. This is the type of ink that starts liquefying upon exposure to LED diodes. Considering how there is no heated melting plastic involved, the pen is easy to use. Also, it’s safe for children as there won’t be any accidental burns. Even more, the testing revealed that despite different ink, the pen manages to perform great.
To be honest, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this pen. If you want something that is futuristic, easy to use, and fancy, then you should definitely get this pen. The only concern we have is that the ink is provided by one company. Basically, this could be a problem for some people, as other pens can use any plastic filament available in the market. Altogether, the CreoPop 3D Cordless Printing Pen is amazing and one of a kind.
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. Many promises haven’t become real, including the tiny 3D pen from Lix. 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. Brands like Lix 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.