Buyers Guide: Best 3D Pens of 2017

Last Updated, November 2017.

With over 70 3D pens in the market, deciding which one to buy for art use, hobbies or your kids can be difficult. 3D pens are the in-thing. Both children and adults derive much fun from doodling and creating different three-dimensional objects.

There are 2 different technologies that current 3D pens use:

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM is the most common technology used to make 3D pen models. The technology involves the pen heating plastic writing material, and then extruding it as molten plastic. This process is similar to what most desktop 3D printers use.

UV Light Pens

This technology is less common and is only found in unique 3D pen models. Here, the 3D pen uses a special liquid ink, photopolymer, which hardens on exposure to UV light. The nozzle tips of 3D pens that use this technology have LED nodes. When the liquid is extruded through the tip, it is immediately cured by the LED nodes.

UV pens are gaining popularity quickly, especially as writing tools for children. This is because the pens are safe. Their nozzles don’t heat up and therefore, don’t pose a burning hazard.

Although there are many 3D pens in the market (check out Amazon; you’ll be amazed) most of the pens are just copycats of each other. The pens are mainly different in price and brand. There are however a few premium products that stand out from the rest. For these pens, you will have to part with more $$.

In this article we compare the best 3D pen models to make it easy for you to choose the right one for your needs.

 

The 9 Best 3D Pens for Expert Artists

The new generation artists are drawing in the air. For this to be possible, one needs a high functioning and reliable 3D pen. Features of 3D pens for professional use should enable the artists to engage in long printing projects without much exhaustion, and the pen should also give the artists freedom of being in control of the project. In selecting the best 3D pens for artists, we considered features in the design, the technical aspect, the user-friendliness of the pen, and most importantly we analyzed the prices (the ones that give the best value for money.) We have organized these pens from the most expensive to the cheapest, but if you’d rather cut through the chase and go straight to our comparison table for the best 3D pens for artists, simply click here.

#1: 3Doodler PRO ($249)

When you hear of a Doodler model it is natural to automatically have very high expectations. And the 3Doodler PRO does not disappoint. This improved version of the ‘original 3Doodler’ pen by Wobble Works has improved material versatility and improved nozzle.  This Pen uses all kinds of conventional 3D printing filaments, from metal filaments, polycarbonate, nylon and even wood. The pen also accommodates the full range of 3Doodler filament materials.  The nozzle sizes available for this 3D pen are 0.5mm, 1mm and 1.5mm and also different nozzle opening shapes like ribbon, square and triangle.

At the rear end of the pen there are integrated dials. These can be used for adjusting the extrusion and temperature speeds. There is also an LCD screen that is used for monitoring the speed and temperatures. Further, the pen has a built-in fan that is also adjustable.

Indeed this 3D pen was designed with the professional user in mind. It is very flexible and luxurious and will definitely produce excellent creations.

Features:

  • FDM technology (wide range of materials from metals, nylon, wood and even PLA)
  • A professional design with experts in mind
  • Adjustment controls for the in-built fan
  • LCD screen indicator for speed and temperature
  • Speed control dial
  • Temperature adjustment dial
  • Can be used wirelessly or plugged into a power source
  • Easy to use
  • Portable

Market Price: 249$

Available at 3Doodler PRO

 

#2: LIX Pen ($149)

This high-end 3D pen is manufactured as “the smallest circular 3D pen in the world.” At 0.55 inch diameter and 6.54 inch length, this pen previously won the Design Intelligence Award. It is also advertised as “a professional tool that offers you comfort and pushes your creativity to a new level.”  Its body is made of anodized aluminum that gives it a valuable appearance. This pen has two speed control buttons on the body. On purchase, the package that will get to you contains one 3D pen, one bag of random PLA filament and another of random ABS filament and an external adapter. This package will be delivered to you in 2 to 3 weeks when you purchase it from the website, which is the only place you can purchase it from because it’s not yet on Amazon.

A Kickstarter campaign that led to 8.030 backers collecting 731.690£ is what is responsible for the rolling out of this pen. However, according to the reviews and comments on Kickstarter website, a good number of backers are unsatisfied with the product. You should therefore check out the reviews and comments before making your ultimate purchase decision on this pen.

Features and Specifications

  • LED indicators for temperature and speed
  • Portable
  • A professional design for artistic use
  • FDM technology (PLA and ABS)
  • Temperature adjustment dial
  • Hot nozzle that makes it unsuitable for use by children

Market Price: 149.95$

 

Available at Lixpen.com

 

#3. Yingjia 3D Printing Pen ($96)

The Yingjia 3D Printing Pen features an LCD screen that is used for monitoring the nozzle temperature. It also has two buttons on the body next to the LCD screen that you can use to adjust the temperature in 1-degree increments.  It also has filament unloading and extrusion buttons and a switch on the side for controlling the speed of extrusion. The safety feature that has been incorporated in this pen will automatically switch the pen into standby mode after five minutes of non-use. Another feature that you will greatly appreciate with this pen is the filament jamming detection system that protects the nozzle from clogging.

 

This unique professional use 3D pen is powered by both a battery pack or through a USB cable from a power source that can even be a desktop computer or a laptop. This makes this 3D pen highly portable.

Features

  • A button for adjusting temperature in 1 degree increments
  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Filament jamming detection system
  • Safety feature for automatic shutdown after 5 minutes of idleness
  • Extrusion ad reverse buttons
  • LCD screen for monitoring nozzle temperature
  • Powered either from the battery pack or by the wall adapter
  • Hot nozzle that makes it dangerous for use by children
  • Portable
  • Quiet in operation
  • Easy to use
  • Speed control switch

Market Price: 96$

Check Price of Yingjia 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

#4: NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Printing Pen & Clones (From $71)

The NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Printing Pen lives up to its name. It uses FDM technology for extrusion of ABS, PLA and also wood filaments.  This 3D pen has a lightweight and has both the look and feel of artistic consideration in its design. It is made safe for use by the auto-standby mode which takes effect after one minute of idle use.

The NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Printing Pen features an airflow design at the nozzle tip that makes it easier for the artist to be in control of the advancement of their project.

This pen also has a pair of buttons on one side; both for controlling the filament extrusion speed. It also has an unload button on top of the feed button which make it easy for the user to switch between filaments of to clean up on completed use. Further down on the pen two buttons can be found that you can use for controlling the nozzle temperatures. To see the effect of your adjustment, you can use the LCD screen on the body of the pen.

Features

  • FDM technology (ABS, PLA and wood filaments)
  • LCD screen for monitoring nozzle temperatures
  • Nozzle temperature control buttons
  • Speed control buttons
  • Feed and Unload button
  • Compact quality
  • Easy to use
  • Professional design that has artists in mind
  • Lightweight

Market price:  NEXTECH 3D pen and clones (71-89$)

#5: Yosou 3D Printer Pen ($70)

This is a sleek artistic pen that has a lot to offer. It is an extremely quiet pen in operation and has an automatic standby feature that will inactivate the pen when not used in a predetermined duration.

This pen is designed with two buttons on the side; one for unloading and the other for extruding filament and also has a side slider for controlling the speed of extrusion.  There is also an LCD screen provided for monitoring the nozzle temperature.  Since you can use both the ABS and PLA filaments, there is virtually no obstacle that can hinder your creativity when you have this pen at hand.

Features

  • Temperature monitoring using the LCD screen
  • FDM technology (Both the ABS and PLA filament)
  • Speed adjustment slider
  • Light weight
  • Extrusion and filament reverse buttons
  • Quiet in operation
  • Easy to use
  • Hot nozzle that makes it dangerous for use by children

Market Price: 70$

Check Price of Yosou 3D Printer Pen at Amazon

 

 

#6: Smarson 3D Printing Pen ($51)

This is a rather basic artistic 3D pen.  It has a nozzle temperature monitoring LCD screen and buttons around the screen that you can use to select the filament type and to adjust the temperature. It also has extra buttons on the right side of the pen that you can use to adjust the extrusion speeds, and two others for unloading and for extruding filament. There is an LED light indicator on the pen that will flash a red light when the pen is heating up, and on completion of the warm up when the pen is ready for use a blue LED indicator lights up.  On purchase, your package will contain a packet with 4 different colors of PLA filament, a stand for the device, a power adapter and the Smarson 3D Printing Pen.

Features

  • Temperature monitoring LCD screen
  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Blue and Red LED light indicators for when the pen is ready to use and when the pen is still heating
  • Speed control buttons
  • Extrude and reverse buttons
  • Lightweight
  • Hot nozzle that makes it suitable for children
  • Easy to use

Market Price: 51$

Check Price of Smarson 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

#7: MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen & Clones (From $50)

This 3D pen model functions by the FDM technology. It has two buttons on the side that you press to unload the filament or to extrude it. The unload button can also be efficiently used to continuously feed the filament by double-clicking as opposed to holding continuously on the button which can be tiresome. This feature makes doing big projects relatively easy. The MYNT3D Professional 3D printing pen a removable nozzle that you can easily clean or switch in the event of a clog.

This 3D pen is also designed with an OLED display that will show both the temperature of the nozzle and the material being used. You can adjust the temperature to between 130-240 degrees Celsius in 1-degree increments. This pen also has a side slider that will help you adjust the speed of extrusion to your preference.

Features

  • Adjustable temperatures (in 1 degree increments) between 130-240 degrees Celsius
  • FDM technology(Both ABS and PLA filaments)
  • OLED screen display for nozzle temperature and material type
  • Removable nozzle for easy maintenance
  • Lightweight (40grammes)
  • Speed control slider
  • Filament feed and unload buttons
  • A smart feed button for continuous stream
  • Easy to handle and use

Market Price: (MYNT3D and clones 50-70$)

Check Price of MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen and Clones at Amazon

#8: 7TECH 3D Printing Pen & Clones (From $40)

The 7TECH 3D printing pen is an affordably priced printing pen for expert artists. Like most of the other 3D pens, it also gives the user freedom to choose between ABS and PLA filaments, control the speed of extrusion and also set the nozzle temperatures. Apart from these basic functions, this 3D pen is also endowed with a filament jamming detection which helps prevent clogs. In operation, this gadget is designed to work quietly will go into sleep mode if idle for five minutes; a safety feature in the pen. You can monitor every single input data from the LCD screen on the pens body and adjust the extrusion speed using only one finger.

Features

  • Speed control slider
  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • LCD material that displays the nozzle temperature, the speed of extrusion and the material of the filament being used
  • Hot nozzle that makes it dangerous for use by children
  • Automatic filament jamming detection
  • Unclogging mechanism
  • Automatic standby mode after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Easy to use and extremely quiet

Market Price: 7TECH 3D printer and clones (0-80$)

Check Price of 7TECH 3D Printing Pen and Clones at Amazon

 

#9. HATCHBOX 3D Printing Pen & Clones (From $30)

This 3D pen is made purely of plastic and therefore is extremely light in weight (50 grams). The slim curved design also makes holding it quite easy to hold and you can use it just like the normal pen. This pen can print with both the ABS and PLA filament and can therefore be used by most professional 3D artists. This pen features a temperature control button, and a button for selecting the type of writing material.

This pen is very easy to use, especially due to the availability of the OLED screen that you can use to view information. There are 6 extrusion speeds that you can choose from, and this will give you more control over your project. Although this 3D pen is the most simple in our list, and the cheapest, it can be the best thing to happen to your artistic 3D printing skills.

Features

  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Temperature control buttons
  • Very light weight (50 grams)
  • LCD display screen that shows the filament type and the temperatures.
  • Speed control buttons
  • Hot nozzle that makes it unsuitable for use by kids

Market Price: HATCHBOX and clones (30-110$)

Check Price of HATCHBOX 3D Printing Pen and Clones at Amazon

 

 

 

Best 3D Pens for Hobbyists

Most of the 3D art enthusiasts (hobbyists) are newbies in 3D printing and therefore need simplistic 3D pens that can encourage their creativity. We analyzed the pens in the market, based on their deign structures, their features and the user-friendliness and came up with a list of 10 3D pens that any 3D art enthusiast will not get disappointed with when they have it in their hands. Again, if you find this comprehensive read very time consuming, and you’d rather we just tell you which pen is the best for you, simply jump over to our very detailed comparison table, and find everything you need to know about 3D pens for art enthusiast but in a very simple version. We hope you will find what you are looking for.

 

#1: 3Doodler Create (V 2.0) ($100)

The 3Doodler Create Version 2.0 model is a product of the pioneer 3D pen manufacturers; Wobble Works. This model is a sister to the 3Doodler Pen but has improved features. It is made of aluminum body that gives it an appealing outlook, in addition to making it light in weight. This pen has simple, yet intuitive controls.

This pen is capable of adjusting to only two temperatures and two speeds.

The most interesting thing about this 3D pen is the range of accessories that’s available for it. These include a Doodle Pad that can be used as a Doodling surface, a changeable nozzle seta project book, a foot pedal for relieving fingers and a Jet pack (portable battery pack). 3Doodler also offers Create (V 2.0) 3D pen  bundle that can be used for educational purposes.

Features

  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Appealing outlook
  • Multiple accessories
  • Reputable manufacturer who is also credited for the pioneer 3Doodler pen
  • Compact build quality
  • Hot nozzle that makes it unsuitable for use by children
  • Easy to handle and use

Market Price: 100$

Check price of 3Doodler Create (V 2.0) at Amazon

 

 

 

#2: Dewang X4 Intelligent 3D Printing Pen ($100)

If you were searching for a simple 3D pen then it will be an excellent idea to look into the Dewang X 3D Printing Pen. This 3D pen features only two buttons; one for adjusting the extrusion speed and for switching between ABS and PLA filaments, and the other for unloading and feeding in the filament. The only other feature in this pen is the LDC display that tells the user the kind of filament that’s in use. The safety feature that this pen uses will automatically turn off the 3D pen after being inactive for 3 minutes. This pen is made portable by the availability of the USB port which allows the user to power the pen via a USB cable into a power bank.

Features

  • Has USB port for powering using USB cable
  • FDM technology (Both ABS and PLA filament)
  • Extrusion and unloading buttons
  • Nozzle heats up o high temperatures making it unsuitable for use by children
  • Automatic shutdown feature
  • Filament selector button that also functions for speed control
  • Easy to use

Market Price: 100$

Check price of Dewang X4 Intelligent 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

 

#3: 3D Driller 3D Printing Pen ($70)

The 3D Driller is another famous brand you should look out for when shopping around for a 3D pen to use for fun. It has been built in a way that it captures the needs of both the old and the young. This pen has speed control features that you can use to manipulate the speed of filament extrusion and two buttons; one for unloading filament and the other for extruding. This pen incorporates a safety feature that automatically unloads filament when the pen has been idle for 3 minutes, therefore preventing burns and nozzle clogs. My favorite feature with this pen is the enhanced cooling system which ensures that the extruded filament is cooled down barely seconds after it leaves the nozzle. This feature makes it possible and easier to draw in the air with this pen.

 

Features

  • FDM technology (PLA Filament)
  • Safety feature automatically unloads filament after 3 minutes of idleness
  • Extrude and reverse buttons
  • Speed control buttons
  • Hot nozzle that makes it unsuitable for children
  • Easy to use

Market Price: 70$

Check price of 3D Driller 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

#4: Homecube 3D Stereo Drawing Pen ($60)

The Homecube 3D Stereo Drawing Pen has a slim design that contributes to its light weight and makes handling and working with it easy.  It features a load/unload button that automatically extrudes the filament or reverses it. It also has a feed/load button that automatically opens the back of the pen to allow you to feed the filament. A variable speed slider is also present in the pen. This enables the user to manipulate the extrusion speeds. The safety feature of this pen will let it sleep when idle for five minutes. A unique feature in this pen is the removable nozzle. This makes replacing or maintaining it considerably easier. This pen does not feature and LCD screen, but it has LED lights that will alert the user when the pen is ready for use.

Features

  • LED light indicator
  • Auto-shutdown safety feature
  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Speed control slider
  • Hot nozzle that make it unsuitable for use by children.
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable

Market Price: $60

Check Price of Homecube Stereo 3D Drawing Pen at Amazon

 

#5: DIKI IV Intelligent 3D Printing Pen ($58)

The DIKI IV Intelligent 3D pen stands out because of its ability to be operated with a single button. The single button on its body makes it easy to set up and to use. Once you have plugged in the pen, you simple click the button and wait for the flashing red light to turn green. Once this happen the pen is ready to use and you can load the filament then single click the button again for extrusion to start. Pressing on the button again will stop the extrusion. This 3D pen also features a USB port that allows the user to plug it into normal outlet using either the power bank or the adapter.

Features

  • FDM technology (PLA Filament)
  • Features a single button on the body
  • Affordable
  • LED indicator
  • Nozzle tends to heat up making it unsuitable for children

Market Price: $58

Check Price of DIKI IV Intelligent 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

#6: NexGadget Intelligent 3D Printing Pen ($56)

The NexGadget Intelligent 3D Printing pen has an ergonomic, sleek design with a desirable weight. It features an LCD display that alerts the user on whether the pen is active or not, shows the extrusion speed and the nozzle temperature, and shows the type of filament that’s being used. It also has a smart control feature that allows the user to press a button only once to initiate continuous extrusion. It also has speed control buttons which enable the pen to eject the filament at 6 different speeds. The pens safety mechanism enables it to automatically shut down when it has not been active for more than one minute.

 

Features

  • The nozzle heats up to very high temperatures, which make it unsuitable for children.
  • It is cheap
  • Uses FDM technology (ABS and PLA Filament)
  • Load/ Unload buttons
  • Speed control buttons
  • Speed adjustment buttons
  • Automatic shutdown safety feature
  • Easy to use
  • LCD screen that indicates filament type and speed and shows temperature
  • Smart control feature for continuous filament flow

Market Price: 56$

 

Check Price of NexGadget Intelligent 3D Printing Pen at Amazon

 

#7: Lay3r 3D Drawing Pen ($52)

The Lay3r 3D Drawing Pen has a simplistic design. It has two buttons on the body; one is used for feeding in the filament and another for unloading. This pen also has an automatic shutoff feature that inactivated the pen when it has stayed idle for more than 5 minutes. It also features a cooling fan, which is unique to this pen and prevents it from overheating. On purchase, what you’ll receive in your Lay3r package is a power adapter and some ABS filament.

 

Features

  • The nozzle can heat up to really high temperatures which make it prohibited for use by children.
  • Has an unloading button and an extrusion button
  • Affordable
  • Relatively easy to use
  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • It is very basic
  • It is simple in design
  • Has a cooling fan

Market Price: 52$

 

#8: Future Former 3D Printer Pen & Clones (From $40)

This model of 3D pen is the most basic design that you will ever come across. However, it has an ergonomic aura that attracts attention to it. It features only two buttons; a power button that also serves as the extrusion button when you press then hold, and an extrusion button. The pen allows the use of both ABS and PLA writing materials, which gives the user freedom to unlimited hours on 3D printing. The safety and power saving feature for this pen is going cold when idle for 5 to 10 minutes.

                        Features and Specifications

  • FDM technology (ABS and PLA filament)
  • Ergonomic design
  • Reduced to basics only
  • Ideal for newbies in 3D printing
  • Allows switch of filament type
  • The nozzle gets heated to high temperatures making it prohibited for use by children
  • Extrusion stop/start button
  • Speed adjustment and control buttons
  • Power button
  • 100% money back guarantee given on purchase.

Market Price: 40-60$ (both for Future Former 3D pen and the clones)

Check Price of Future Former 3D Printer Pen and Clones at Amazon

 

#8: Manve Intelligent 3D Pen & Clones (From $20)

The Manve Intelligent 3D pen is a copycat of the 7Tech 3D pen is design. The main difference however is that The Manve does not have an LED screen. It however has a relatively simplistic design with only 2 buttons on its body; one for unloading the filament and another for extruding the molten material it also has a slider on the other side of the 3D pen which the artist can use for controlling the extrusion speed so that they are in control of their project. This pen also features 2 LED lights; one shows if the pen is plugged in and the other shows if the gadget is active. The safety feature that’s used by this pen is for putting the pen in standard mode if not used within 5 minutes.

Features and Specifications

  • Standby mode after 5 minutes of inactivity.
  • Hot nozzle which makes it unsuitable for use by children.
  • LED light indicator that shows when the pen is in use and when it’s powered.
  • Very quiet during operation.
  • Uses both ABS and PLA filaments (FDM technology)
  • An extrusion and a reverse button.
  • Speed adjustment slider.
  • Easy to handle and to use.

Market Price: 20-53$ (both for the original Manve Intelligent 3D Pens and the clones.)

Check Price of Manve Intelligent 3D Pen and Clones at 

 

#9: Da Vinci 3D Pen ($50)

The XYZ Printing Company is popular for their cheap but quality 3D printers. The new gadget from this renowned group, the Da Vinci 3D Pen, has also received massive attention since its release. The pen has a simplistic design with only two buttons; one for feeding filament and the other for unloading it, and a tiny LED light that indicates when the pen is plugged in. This pen only uses PLA writing material and the company avails 11 propriety filament colors for use with the pen. However, this does not restrict you to using these filaments and the pen will take in any other PLA filament as long as it’s of the right gauge. This pen is one of the most affordable in the market.

                        Features

  • FDM Technology (PLA filament)
  • Power cable with no allocation for battery used
  • LED indicator
  • Light weight that makes it easy to handle
  • Unload and Feed buttons
  • Relatively easy to use
  • 11 propriety filament colors

Market Price: 50$

Check Price of Da Vinci 3D Pen at Amazon

 

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