Guide to the 5 Best 3D Printing Pens

From their introduction to the public consciousness in science magazines to their infamous use as a joke on The Big Bang Theory, 3D printers have become synonymous with trending technologies. They are a luxury and fantasy rolled into one. Who doesn’t want to make their own toys? Outside of medical and engineering applications, however, they have yet to become practical or affordable.

This is where 3D printing pens come in. For children or people who are arts and crafts minded, 3D printing pens are an affordable alternative to the same basic promise made by 3D printers, which is: the ability to create 3D objects from your imagination.

Here are our out top 3 3D Printing pens, for our top 5, keep on reading:

Product Name Features Our Rating
3Doodler Create+
– Dual Drive Technology + App
– 15 Free Colours Included + Stencil Book
– 1 Year Warranty Included
4.2/5 (207 reviews)
MYNT3D Pen
– Adjustable feed = More Control
– Adjustable Temperature by 1 Degree frm 130 to 240 (Celsius), OLED Temperature Display
– 1 Year Warranty
4.1/5 (929 reviews)
MYNT3D Super Pen
– Includes 3 Colors of ABS Plastic Filament
– Stepless Speed Slider = More Control
– 1 Year Warranty
4/5 (332 reviews)

This article includes the 5 best 3D printing pens available to buy in 2020 as well as a buying guide to help you sort out the main factors that differentiate the pens. Whether you want something for an artsy kid or you want to start a modest Etsy store for 3D sculpture drawings of Pokémon, one of these models should have the features you’re looking for.

Top 5 3D Printing Pens

3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen

The Create+ 3D Printing Pen by 3Doodler is a pricier option in 3D printing pens, but it’s our overall pick because that price gives you the most advanced 3D printing pen technology around. It may be the closest to fulfilling that 3D printing promise, for those that shell out for it.

Its dual drive drawing technology gives the pen more durability than previous models, making your drawings more stable and closer to what you’re trying to achieve.

It comes with 15 colors and a guidebook to get you started. Its flexible plastic construction makes it easy to use without being so bendy that it interferes with your drawings.

In keeping itself optimized for 2020 use, the 3Doodler Create+ pen is functional with an interactive app optimized for both iOS and Android that gives you stencil sets and interactive instructions so that you can get the most out of your printing pen.

If you have any doubts, 3Doodler also offers a no-risk 365-day return policy so that if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, you don’t have to regret it.

Pros

  • Dual drive technology – increased stability and durability
  • App integration for an interactive, guided experience
  • Free stencil book and 15 color refills
  • Generous 1-year warranty

Cons

  • A little on the pricey side

MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen

Don’t let the brain-teaser name fool you: the MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen is a great option for those looking to create mini-sculptures without the use of a printer.

An intuitive OLED display lets you know the temperature of the pen’s contents so that you can watch it heat up and know when it’s ready to draw. Unlike some poorly made alternatives, the MYNT3D pen has adjustable drawing speeds that can be controlled with a slider on the pen’s shaft. It even has an auto-feed option.

It’s compatible with most battery power banks as well, meaning that you won’t always need to plug it in to use it. This portability makes it more useful for artists who think of projects on the fly.

MYNT3D’s fast and reliable customer support service rounds out a budget-priced 3D printing pen that feels like a premium offer. On any price range, you can’t go wrong with the MYNT3D Super 3D pen.

Pros

  • Adjustable speed
  • Easy to read OLED display
  • Compatible with power banks
  • Reliable customer service

Cons

  • Slower to heat up than some more expensive options

3Doodler Start Pen

Choosing the right 3D printing pen starts with knowing how you intend to use it. The Start Pen, another option from the renowned 3Doodler, is the best choice for those that want to buy a 3D printing pen for a young child. It was built to be safe.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Start Pen is that it has no hot parts: it’s encased in bulky, hard plastic that more safely contains the heating elements and the hot material. For children 8 and up, this is the 3D printing pen of choice.

BPA-free plastic is just the first step to making sure this pen is safe for kids. Charging has been simplified, as has the use of the device itself. The Start Pen has a USB-compatible cord that’s easy to plugin and a single button control mechanism that kids can use to start creating without getting confused.

Unlike some pens, whose melted plastic is hot enough to burn exposed skin, the 3Doodler Start Pen is so safe that you can even draw directly onto an iPad screen. This paves the way for multiple applications on 3Doodler’s interactive page for kids to play with and enjoy, including games and art challenges they can use to create new 3D doodles.

As a parent, you may be familiar with the STEAM art initiative in many schools across the nation (it’s the STEM science and math acronym with “Art” added in). Well, the 3Doodler Start Pen is so versatile as a creation tool that it requires a good amount of visualization and engineering to use one successfully. In other words, it’s a great STEAM device for encouraging parents or ambitious teachers to take advantage of in an educational setting.

With 48 strands of color packed into the box, an activity guide, and a 1-year free replacement policy, it’s hard to go wrong with the 3Doodler Start Pen if you intend to find a 3D printing pen that’s suitable for children.

Pros

  • Hard heat-resistant plastic design protects clumsy hands
  • Extensive activity guides and smartphone/tablet applications
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as meticulous as some more expensive models – remember that it’s designed for kids

MYNT3D Super 3D Pen

Whether you’re an engineering student or a budding artist, this printing pen from MYNT3D has many of the same features as their professional 3D pen product but without the higher price. This one can get you started with a lot of the same functions without breaking the bank, which is why it’s our budget pick for 3D printing pens available in 2020.

Despite its low price, an ultrasonically sealed nozzle allows you to sculpt without the neck clogging up, which is a huge detractor affecting many of the cheaper 3D pen options out there. To compensate, the Super 3D pen has an even ink flow, regulated to reduce clogging, and a speed slider on the side that allows you to accurately draw your projects while control the output.

It doesn’t have an OLED display, but it uses the same replaceable nozzle as the MYNT3D Professional and comes with three filament colors.

The MYNT3D Super 3D Pen is a great middle of the road option for people who want a pen that can be used by older kids and adults alike at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Sealed nozzle for reduced clogging
  • Intuitive speed glider
  • Budget price

Cons

  • No OLED display

MYNT3D Junior 3D Pen

This is another 3D pen from MYNT3D and another model explicitly made for kids. If you want to buy this device for a creative 6-year-old, you want to get something made with them in mind.

This pen doesn’t heat up; it has a bulky hard plastic construction and an ergonomic shaft so they don’t lose their grip.

Since these 3D printing pens are ideal for boosting creativity in young minds, you want something with a wide range of applications that’s safe for kids to use, as well as easy to operate. The MYNT3D Junior Pen’s long battery life, easy activation, ergonomic design, and 1-year limited warranty make it a decent pick to encourage art and design in young kids.

Pros

  • Bulky kid-friendly design
  • No-heat operation prevents accidents
  • 1-year warranty
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • The filament occasionally gets stuck

Buying Guide

In order to match the 3D printing pen to your intentions, you have to know the main features that we compared to select the ones we reviewed. They’re the same features that you should keep in mind when you try to choose between these and other units available.

Age level

The biggest determining factor when comparing 3D printing pens is the age they were designed for. There are pens explicitly designed for children priced accordingly, designed with heat-resistant shells and fun activities, and there are professional models with more accurate controls, more options, and a premium price to match.

Knowing the age of the recipient of this pen will help you narrow down the options considerably.

Application

While 3D printing pens all operate on similar technology, they have a slightly different intended range of applications depending on their design. Some of them, for instance, come packaged with tablet apps that include interactive instructions and games, clearly aimed for a younger audience.

Others have refined designs and come with replaceable heads and color strands.

Control

Control is a huge factor when determining which pen is right for you. For the professional models, you should expect versatile sliders that allow you to adjust the speed of the output material.

For those aimed at younger users, the interface might be reduced to a single button to promote comprehension and ease of use at the expense of speed options.

Special Features

Special features can make 3D printing pens more viable for certain needs, particularly for engineering or art students that have a specific project in mind. The number of colors available that come included with your pen varies wildly with the price and so does the cost of replacement strands. Some pens have OLED displays and others have anti-clogging nozzles that help you use the pen consistently.

Some 3D printing pens also come with apps for tabloid and mobile devices that promote interactivity and creativity. They range from instruction manuals to games and are a feature to watch for in a 3D printing pen in 2020, especially if it’s a gift for a child.

Heat-resistance

Advanced 3D printing pens are made from heat-resistant hard plastic. However, they still heat up, as does the plastic color strands, and can burn your skin if not used responsibly.

This is why if you plan on buying this device for a child’s use you want to look for even heavier duty plastic that is completely heat resistant and a nozzle that is guarded to prevent them from being burned by the material.

Power source

The power source of your 3D printing pen is also something to consider since it’s a clue to how advanced and well-thought-out the brand’s technology is. Most should be powered by a conventional or micro USB. Some are even compatible with battery packs for maximum convenience and portability.

Price

This will be a sticking point for a few people, but the market for consumer-grade 3D printing pens is somewhat limited and as such, the price range is not huge. Our budget and premium pick on this list do differ in price, but you should be prepared to spend about the same amount no matter which 3D printing pen you end up choosing.

The Takeaway

If you’re interested in 3D printing technology but can’t afford a 3D printer, a 3D printing pen is an affordable, versatile option for creatively inspired engineering students, designers, or young kids. However, it’s important to list and compare the features to match the printing pen to your needs.

The 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen is our top overall choice because of its versatility, control, and overall technical superiority to other options on the market. 3Doodler was responsible for the very first 3D printing pen and it shows with the Create+. However, you may want something more affordable or more suited for children. In that case, other models on this list may be better options for you.

If you know your ultimate intentions for this 3D printing pen you can use this review summary and buying guide to choose the right model for your needs. Remember – just because you can’t afford a 3D printer doesn’t mean you can’t put your creativity to good use.

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