The best 3D pen – WPRI.com
Which 3D pens are the best?
If your kids enjoy coloring or designing projects, it’s worth considering adding another medium to their collection – a 3D pen.
Like hot glue guns, 3D pens create structured patterns with filaments that pass through the barrel. In addition to creating textured illustrations on paper, you can also use a 3D pen to design stand-alone creations such as boxes, robots, or pyramids, to name a few.
If you are interested in 3D pens, this article tells you about the latest models on the market. We’re also including our longtime favorite, as well as a few new 3D pens that young children can safely use.
The best 3D pens
- MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen: This wildly popular 3D pen is back on our list this year as it offers a variety of controls for a truly personalized design experience.
- MYNT3D Junior2 3D printing pen: We’re adding this model to our list, given its rechargeable battery that allows budding designers a full range of motion.
- 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Pen Set for Kids: We’re impressed with this kid-friendly new arrival, especially since it can be used with the new 3Doodler app.
For full reviews of these products, scroll down.
What you should know before buying a 3D pen
3D pens work the same as hot glue guns, but instead of glue sticks they use fine filaments. As expected, when you buy a 3D pen, you are also signing up for the ongoing cost of purchasing refills. These can be expensive when purchased in smaller quantities, so many consumers are turning to wholesale buying to save money.
There are two types of filaments, ABS and PLA. Some 3D pens are compatible with both, while others are only compatible with one of them. ABS filaments are the cheapest option. Unfortunately, they burn at higher temperatures. This means that they emit fumes which can irritate sensitive skin or eyes.
PLA filaments are often made from biodegradable materials and burn at a lower temperature, so you don’t have to worry about fumes. The trade-off is that they take much longer to cool than ABS filaments.
To use a 3D pen, you need to adjust the temperature according to the type of filament. For the most part, you can adjust the temperature in small increments of 1-10 degrees at a time. 3D pens using PLA filaments should be heated between 320 and 428 degrees, while those using ABS filaments should be heated between 350 and 482 degrees.
3D pens are available in wired or wireless models. Corded 3D pens are often preferred by people who engage in long creative sessions because they provide continuous power. Unfortunately, they have fairly short power cords that can clutter up your design process. Cordless models, on the other hand, are often battery powered or equipped with rechargeable batteries. While they offer great portability and a full range of motion, you will likely need to plan your use or set a timer to avoid interruptions.
As for the price, the 3D pens range from $ 40 to $ 150. Most consumers stick to the $ 50 to $ 80 range, especially when buying them for children. Models in this mount are generally more reliable and have a diverse assortment of settings or features.
3D pen faqs
Q. Why should I buy a 3D pen instead of a 3D printer?
A. 3D printers can cost thousands of dollars, and not all models are suitable for all ages. For this reason, many consumers start their 3D printing experience with a more affordable option, a 3D pen. Since 3D pens are easier to use than most 3D printers, the learning curve is much faster as well.
Q. How do I learn to use a 3D pen?
A. Most 3D pens come with quick start user guides that teach you the basic techniques. Some are also packaged with stencils or activity books if you prefer guided projects. If you want something more interactive, companies like 3Doodler have apps to explore for more inspiration or in-depth design projects.
In-depth reviews of the best 3D pens
Best of the best
MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen
What we like: Customizable heat settings with 1 degree increments between 266 and 464 degrees. The pen has an ergonomic design, which makes it comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Comes with some starter filaments.
What we don’t like: Although quite reliable, this model heats up a bit slower than the others.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
The best bang for your buck
MYNT3D Junior2 3D printing pen
What we like: One of the shortest learning curves of any model on the market. Its low temperature nozzle does not burn little fingers. Packaged with starter stencils to help kids learn the ropes of design.
What we don’t like: Its simplicity is ideal for young children, but older children and teens would prefer a more advanced model.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Pen Set for Kids
What we like: The box includes a user guide, starter filaments and an activity booklet. The refined design allows for better control. Environmentally friendly, as the set is shipped in durable packaging.
What we don’t like: Some issues have been reported regarding the filament loading process and the consistency of the fusion.
Or buy: Sold by Amazon
Register now here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful advice on new products and great deals.
Sian babish written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.