Best 3D Pen 2017 Review Guide – 10 Best 3D Printing Pens reviewed

By Muhammad Asfand Yar | Gadgets

Best-3D-Printing-Pens

It seems like after the 3D printers, 3D pens have become the trend nowadays. For those who aren’t aware, these pens work on the same principle as the 3D printers do, however, on a smaller scale. The market is filled with the best 3D pens, and we are going to explore all of them.

Advantages of Buying a 3D Pen

It’s pretty safe to say that 3D pens are trending in the market at the moment, all the companies are releasing all sorts of amazing looking pens and consumers are paying more and more attention towards buying newer pens that are being released.

What is a 3D Pen and How it Works

In simple words, a 3D pen is just like an ink Pen that contains a special form of plastic, instead of any ink. In case you are wondering how these 3D pens work, the plastic filament is inserted from the back, and then once the filament is heated enough, the user gets to operate the pen, and extrude the amount of melting plastic that they require.

The melting points for both PLA, and ABS are different, and usually mentioned on the guides as well. Once the plastic starts coming out, you can start making all sorts of simple, and even the most complex of designs using a 3D pen.

Believe it or not, the internet is filled with sculptures, and structures that are made entirely out of plastic, using 3D pens. Just make sure that you pay enough attention, and you don’t get frustrated by the steep learning curve that comes with the 3D pens.

If you need to know how to play with a 3D Pen for the first time, this nice little video below will help you out.​

How to Draw Using a 3D Pen​

Rest assured, it doesn’t matter if you are a veteran artist, or a newcomer, if you give enough time to the pen, you’ll get the chance to learn and create some of the best looking art using the pen.

3D Pen For Kids​

These 3D pens are particularly alluring to the children who have an aspiring artist hidden away in them. As a matter of fact, not just for children, 3D pens are also really, really suitable for adults. The advantages are certainly there and we can’t simply deny them.

That’s why we have decided to take a look at the benefits of 3D pens, going through this will help you have a better understanding about why you should invest in one.

Helps You Grasp 3D Printing

Considering how 3D pens are basically based on the same mechanics and principle as their larger counterparts known as 3D printers, it’s a great way to learn and understand the concept of 3D printing.

The reason why we’re listing it here is because 3D printers are large, and still pretty expensive for the general public. However, investing in a good 3D pen will allow you to have a better understanding of the technology.

Brings Out Your Inner Artist

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone but if you, or your child, has an inner artist that requires more exploration, then we would advise you to invest in a 3D pen. No, we are not asking you to buy the top end model; as a matter of fact, you can start with something that is made for beginners, and move your way up the chain.

The point is that in this modern day and age where people don’t appreciate art a lot, 3D pen gives everyone a chance to bring out their inner artist, and create some of the best looking art. Just keep in mind that there is a fair bit of learning curve there, and you’ll have to know some technical details, but it gets easier once you learn.

A Lot Easier to Learn

The thing with 3D printers is that they are somewhat difficult to master, not to forget that some of them are actually not capable of printing things on a smaller scale. Now the good thing about 3D pens is that they are quiet smaller as compared to 3D printers, and that allows them to be a lot easier to learn as well.

We’re not saying that you can just pick up the 3D pen and start printing some of the finest looking art, but you need to know that the learning curve is rather small, and you can easily make some of the best looking art if you dedicate enough time towards the 3D pen.

Doesn’t Cost a Lot of Money

The reason a lot of people don’t buy 3D printers is because they cost a lot, and not only that, they require a lot of plastic because most of the printing jobs that are done on the 3D printers require a lot of plastic filaments to begin with.

However, the good news here is that 3D pen doesn’t share the same fate. These pens don’t really cost a lot to begin with, and once you’ve purchased the 3D pen that you have been wanting, the only real expense that you’ll have would be on plastic filaments that are either available in PLA or ABS plastic.

So, now as you have learned the benefits of a 3d printing pen, let's begin this review about best 3d Pens for us in 2017.

Best 3d Printing Pens 2017​ Review

NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Pen

NEXTECH-Intelligent-3D-Pen

The first 3D printing pen on our list is the NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Pen, this particular pen is made for people who prefer bringing out their imagination out, and creating something truly unique. The 3D pen comes with a rather simple, and practical design that doesn’t look anything like too futuristic, and it’s honestly better.

You can power it up using a power bank, or the supplied power brick, allowing you to have the maximum amount of portability. Moving on, the overall ergonomics of the NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Pen happen to be really good; it’s lightweight, and easy to hold, allowing the user to navigate without really facing any issue.

It comes with a rather small LED display that gives out the needed information, along with buttons that control the functions of the 3D pen, the good thing here is that you can control the extrusion speed. There are 8 steps of speed that you can choose from, something that is best for people who are trying the 3D pen for the first time.

One really unique thing about this 3D pen is that it happens to be the first 3D pen that comes with a smart technology that can control the temperature accordingly in order to prevent your hand from burning. As for filaments, it can use standard sized ABS, PLA, and wood filament.

While most 3D pens are known to suffer from tough maintenance, the good thing here is that the NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Pen happens to be really good with maintenance. You get all the instructions on how to clean the 3D pen, and once you’ve read them, you can simply clean it.

In case you are wondering what type cleaning we are talking about, we mean the plastic that usually gets left behind in the nozzle, it can create some operating issues and the nozzle requires to be thoroughly cleaned before being used again.

All in all, the NEXTECH Intelligent 3D Pen is actually a lot better than we had expected; sure, it doesn’t look fancy, or high tech, but behind the simple looks, there is a very capable and powerful 3D pen. Needless to say, this is truly a 3D pen that is made for people who want to create part, regardless of their skill level.

Pros


    • Extremely easy to use.

    • Can be used with a power bank.

    • Easy to clean.

    • Supports PLA, wood, and ABS filaments.

    • Has some nice feature like smart temperature control.

Cons


    • Design might be a little too simple.

MYNT3D 3D Pen

MYNT3D-3D-Pen - Best 3d Pens

The next 3D pen that we are looking at is known known as the MYNT3D 3D Pen, and while we were confused about the name, the good thing is that confusion ended as soon as we opened the box and started using the 3D pen itself.

Now the good thing about this 3D printer pen is that it happens to be very lightweight, this is mainly because it has a rather small, and slim chassis that allows the weight to be lower, and easily distributed. The lighter weight did make us wonder whether or not the build quality suffers here but the good things is that the build quality remains solid.

This pen also happens to be user friendly, however, it’s better to go through the manual first. Once you have sifted through the manual with concentration, you’ll be able to use the 3D pen. Just keep in mind that you will not master it in just a day, as it has a learning curve to it.

Now comes the good part, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we love 3D pens that have speed control on them, this feature is very underrated but when it comes to an actual use case, it happens to be really beneficial because it provides a great level of control over the 3D pen. This one does come with adjustable extrusion speed to help you be extra precise in your drawings.

Another thing that we must commend here is that the MYNT3D pen is compatible with both ABS and PLA plastic filaments, and then there’s the OLED display that is there to help you through some of the important information. It’s not super useful, but definitely a feature that a lot of people love.

With all the good things aside, you’d wonder if there is something bad about a product, and well, the MYNT3D happens to have a small downside which, luckily, is completely subjective. It comes with somewhat steeper learning curve that you need to get over quickly in order to have a proper experience.

Once you’re done with it, you’re presented with a 3D pen that can allow you to create some fine looking art.

Pros


    • Easy to set up and operate (once you have gone through the manual).

    • Supports multiple plastic types.

    • OLED display for proper guidance
    • Adjustable extrusion speed is a godsend feature.

    • Lightweight, and easy to handle.

Cons


    • Steep learning curve, requires proper manual study.

AIO Robotics 3D Pen

AIO-Robotics

For those who don’t know, AIO Robotics is a company that is known for creating  great 3D printers. This time, however, we are looking at the AIO Robotics 3D pen. To be honest, we weren’t really surprised when we saw this pen mainly because we knew that we are going to have a look at something really cool, and that’s exactly what we got.

The AIO Robotics 3D pen is actually one of the few 3D pens in the market that are shipping with a metallic housing instead of a plastic one. This allows the pen to have a premium, sturdy feel, but also improves handling.

It actually comes with all the features you’d expect from a high end 3D pen. For starters, you can increase and decrease the temperature with increments of 1, the pen also gives you complete control on the flow and the speed of the extrusion, meaning that even if you are not an expert, you won’t have any issues mastering the pen for the first time

There is a bright OLED display present into the mix that allows you to see the temperature as well as other useful information that you may find helpful while using the 3D pen. The good news is that the display is bright enough, so it will allow you to see it without any issues.

One sad thing about the otherwise amazing AIO Robotics 3D pen is that the pen only supports PLA filaments, and ships with a couple of filaments that can get you started right out of the box. Now ordinarily, this shouldn’t be an issue, but for those who don’t know, PLA plastic is known to be somewhat weaker when compared to the ABS plastic.

Now this didn’t concern as all that much, but considering how most consumers want the ABS, it could be a major downside for a lot of people, and even a deal breaker for some. If you’re okay with that, however, then this one is a great 3D pen to begin with.

Pros


    • Great, all black, metallic design.

    • Simple, and easy to use.

    • Easy to clean.

    • Comes with a bright OLED display.

    • Speed control allows proper control over extrusion.

Cons


    • Doesn’t support the much revered ABS plastic.

PACKGOUT 3D Pen - Best 3d Pen For Beginners

PACKGOUT-3D-Pen-Best 3d Pens

The next 3D pen that we are looking at is something that is made for the beginners, that’s because a lot of people are hesitant to spend some good money on a high end 3D pen mainly because they’re not sure if they are actually going to stick around till the end and use it properly.

We are talking about the simply named PACKGOUT 3D Pen, this is actually a 2nd generation pen from the same company, and as per the details that we managed to scour on the internet, this is supposed to be better the the first generation.

However, since we didn’t get the chance to test the original, we can’t really say much about how good it’s supposed to be. Still, we are going to try our best and see how good it fares.

The 3D pen is unapologetic when it comes to the design, as a matter of fact, it very easily embraces the curves and it is certainly one of the thicker, and sturdier 3D printing pens. We honestly don’t really have any issues with how it’s designed, it’s just that children may not be able to hold it properly.

The good thing is that the pen is actually lighter in weight, making it a lot easier to hold in hand, especially if you are planning to hand it over to a kid. Moving on, the pen uses both PLA and ABS filaments, however, the company recommends that you use PLA since it’s easier to use, and there is a comparatively smaller learning curve.

Whatever the case maybe, we’re glad that both plastics are supported by this 3D pen despite the fact that it’s not meant for experts. Despite being for beginners, the surprising thing is that the pen comes with a speed control. Sadly, the control isn’t as fine as we thought it would be because increasing or decreasing it shows a drastic difference in the speed.

All in all, the PACKGOUT 3D Pen is a 3D pen that is made for your children who are willing to spend some time learning the 3D printing using a pen, there aren’t a lot of advanced features, but given the price, it’s an understandable thing

Pros


    • Lightweight body.

    • Fun looking design.

    • Supports PLA and ABS.

    • Speed control.

Cons


    • Speed control doesn’t work properly.

    • Very light on features.

Manve 3D Printing Pen - Best 3d Pen For Kids

Manve-3D-Printing-Pen

The thing about 3D pens is that a lot of them actually look like each other, and while this may surprise some of the people in the market, it shouldn’t really concern you because they are not clones, and perform somewhat in a similar fashion.

We are halfway through the list, and 3D pen that we are looking at right now is called Manve 3D printing pen, in case you haven’t already clicked the link, you should know that this is indeed an entry level 3D pen that is made more specifically for the kids who want to try something cool for the first time.

The design is a reminiscent of some of the earlier models of the 3D pens, but it isn’t a bad thing by any mean because it happens to be really easy and comfortable to hold. Sure, you may want something fancy, but considering the price you are going to pay for this pen, things don’t really get better than what we have here.

When we first received the pen, we thought it would only one type of plastic filament, however, to our surprise, it supports both PLA, and ABS plastic filament, making it one of the more dynamic 3D printing pens that are in the market. Still, if you want your children to use it, we’d suggest that you give them some PLA filaments since they are easier to work with.

What surprised us even more is that this pen comes with adjustable extrusion speed, now this feature is usually reserved for the higher end 3D pens, but it was nice to see that the company did pay some attention to what features are actually important, and which ones aren’t as important.

Overall, there is nothing groundbreaking about the Manve 3D printing pen, as a matter of fact, it happens to be one of the easiest pens available in the market. The extreme ease of use, simple build quality, and a simple list of features make it a definite choice for parents who want to buy something like this for their kids.

If you are okay with the lack of advanced features, then Manve 3D printing pen is actually great for your kids

Pros


    • Simple and easy to use.

    • Speed control.

    • Supports both PLA and ABS filaments.

    • Lightweight.

Cons


    • Very light on advanced features.

    • Very light on features.

3D Doodler Pen 2.0

3DOODLER 3d Pen - best 3d Pens

A lot of people don’t know but 3D pens kind of became popular thanks to the 3D pen called the 3Doodler. Years later, the pen is back again with a new and improved version that aims to do a lot more than the original one did. Ladies and gentleman, we are looking at the new and improved version of 3Doodler.

Since we are not about comparing, we decided to leave the legacy behind and take a look at some of the more notable features of this amazing pen. For starters, it happens to be a really good looking, and a real slim 3D pen at the same time. This is a fresh sight to behold considering how we have been seeing a design that has become very generic.

Now the good thing is that the slim profile has allowed the pan to become an absolute breeze to handle, and not only that, it has significantly reduced the weight of the pen is. Needless to say, we commend company’s decision of following this route and significantly lowering the overall weight of the pen.

Now another cool part of this 3D pen is that the ease of use is certainly there, however, just make sure that you spend enough time learning how to use this pen. Learning is the key, and that is something everyone should know about. Once you have learned the necessary bits, you’ll have absolutely no issues using this pen whatsoever.

If you are wondering about what type of plastics are supported by the 3Doodler 2.0, you should know that both PLA and ABS plastic filaments are supported, ad work really, really well. All of this is topped up with variable speed controls that are there to help you increase or decrease the extrusion of the plastic filaments.

This is to make sure that people who are still new to the learning process of a 3D pen have an easier time controlling the pen by decreasing the speed. It’s not a feature that everyone will use, but it’s certainly a good one, and in most cases, a definite winner.

Pros


    • Incredibly slim and sleek profile.

    • Really easy to use.

    • Supports both PLA and ABS plastics.

    • Speed variation buttons help you control the 3D pen as you please.

Cons


    • None.

RANDTK Intellgent 3D Printer Pen

RANDTK-Intelligent-3D-Pen

The 3ED pen on our desk at the moment happens to be the one that just surprisingly shows up and promises to do some great, great things. In case you haven’t guessed, we are talking about the RANDTK Intelligent 3D, a 3D pen that looks very, very generic, but surprisingly, happens to be really, really good when it comes to the features.

To be honest with you, this is a great 3D pen that looks generic because of the design, but the fact that the outer shell is made out of ceramic just to protect the hands from heat is something that we can’t help but appreciate. For those who don’t know, ceramic doesn’t really heat up a lot, allowing for an easier experience with the 3D pen.

The pen does work with the standard sized PLA, as well as ABS filament, making the overall 3D printing job a lot easier than it normally would be, and in case you are wondering about the 2 of the most important features, the good news is that you can adjust the temperature on this 3D pen, as well as the speed of extrusion, features that are missing from bad or mediocre 3D pens.

You also get an LCD display that displays the somewhat necessary information; not a lot of people actually use the LCD display at all, but considering how it’s becoming a trend at this point, it’s always better to have the feature than not to.

The pen also has this feature called advanced thermal detection that prevents the filaments from jamming, during our testing, we didn’t really find the issue of filaments jamming, but it’s really nice to have a feature that can tell you when the filaments get jammed.

All in all, the RANDTK Intellgent 3D is a 3D pen that doesn’t’ look a pen that can do great things. However, to our surprise, it managed to be really, really good in almost every aspect. Sure, the looks don’t really make it a looker, but keep in mind that despite the generic looks, the pen is a damn good performer.

Our only real gripe is how the pen looks, and you should keep in mind that it’s just subjective, and other people may feel something else towards the pen.

Pros


    • Ceramic body prevents the pen from heating up.

    • The pen is easy to use and offers speed adjustment.

    • Supports both PLA and ABS plastics.

Cons


    • Generic design can be off putting.

Wokashaka Professional 3D Pen

Wokashaka-Professional-3D-Pen-Best 3d Pens

We are rapidly heading towards the final product of our list, and still have amazing 3D pens to look at, the one we are going to look at right now is the weirdly named Wokashaka Professional Printing 3D Pen. Now the name is certainly weird, but there are some interesting things about this particular 3D pen that made us buy it in the first place.

For starters, this 3D pen does use ABS filaments, however, doesn’t have support for PLA filaments. Instead, it uses another type of filament that is known as PCL. Now for those who don’t know, it is one of the plastics that happens to be completely odorless, and safe to work with. This is the best for parents who want to hand a 3D pen to their kids, but are somewhat afraid of doing so.

With that said, we admire the fact that the company is using PCL filaments, we wish more companies would follow through. Moving on, you are welcomed by a sleek looking 3D pen that is both slim, and easier to carry. However, that’s not all, the 3D pen also happens to be really light in weight, yet the overall construction speaks nothing more than quality.

Moving on, you have the LCD display that will help you have the important information like the speed that you have selected, the plastic you have selected, or the temperature of the pen. Not to forget, this pen ships with a small book of sorts with some fun looking templates that you can try out.

Overall, we believe that the weirdly named Wokashaka Professional Printing 3D Pen is actually a lot better than some may think. It has a lot of features that make it the number 1 choice for a lot of people who are looking to buy a 3D printing pen.

The one thing we can’t wrap our head around is why this pen doesn’t support the PLA plastic filament, especially after the fact that it’s super popular, and extremely easy to work with. If you’re really okay with that one issue, then this is certainly a 3D pen that you should go for.

Pros


    • Slim and sleek design.

    • Easy to handle.

    • Comes with a template book + ABS and PCL plastic.

    • Has an LCD display.

Cons


    • Doesn’t have support for PLA plastic.

QPAU Intelligent 3D Pen

QPAU-3D-Pen

The 2nd last 3D printing pen that we are looking at is weirdly named QPAU 3d Printer Pen. This is funny because we have had a fair share of weirdly named 3D printing pens, and this one somewhat takes the cake. However, we shouldn’t be judging a book by its cover.

Taking the pen out of the box we realise that it is not really sleek, however, the completely matte black exterior of the pen and all the right curves make it one of the most beautiful 3D printing pens that we have had the chance.

Sadly, we are in the business where beauty doesn’t win you a lot of good things, so that’s not what we are going to base our judgement on. Moving on to the good things, you’ll immediately notice that this 3D pen does have a small display on it, something that is becoming more and more common in the majority of 3D printing pens.

The good thing is that the support for both PLA and ABS plastic is there, so you can choose whatever you want to work with. For those who don’t know, the PLA plastic is made out of plants, while the ABS is made out of plastic. Both are significantly different even when you’re creating art with them.

Moving on, the motor that is used for extrusion can be manually adjusted in order to allow people to learn the 3D pen properly, you can increase or decrease speed, and the motor is high quality so it’s definitely not going to fail on you any time soon.

The overall ease of use is certainly there, and once you go through the manuals, and learn about both ABS and PLA filaments, you can finally start using this pen like a pro. The honest gripe that we have had with this pen was the fact that the pen can only be used if plugged into the wall charger.

With the USB ports becoming more and more standard, we thought that we’d get that, but sadly, not here. Still, not a huge deal breaker as you are definitely not carrying the 3D pen everywhere you go, so the downside is somewhat subjective to begin with.

Pros


    • Supports both PLA and ABS plastics.

    • Nicely designed + 8 speed steps.

    • LCD display for information.

    • Comparatively easy to learn and use.

Cons


    • Must be connected to the wall power brick.

3Dimage 3D Pen - Best 3d Printing Pen 2017

3Dimage-3D-Pen-Best-3d-Pens

The last 3D pen on our list is perhaps one of the higher end ones, and it is known as the 3Dimage 3D pen. Now the reason why we are calling it a higher end is not just the price, but the way it’s built, and the way it’s been received in the market. Sure, the name is weird, but once you take a look at the pen, you’ll realize how good it is.

Right out of the box, this pen looks like something straight out of the future, the majority of pen is silver with black accents gracing the exterior of the pen. On the body, you find various buttons for changing speed, changing temperature, and toggling between either PLA or ABS modes.

In case you haven’t guessed it already, the pen does support both ABS and PLA filaments, in order to give the user maximum amount of flexibility when it comes to creating some great looking art.

Did we mention that the pen also happens to be extremely easy to use? Yes, in case you are wondering, the 3Dimage 3D pen is a pen that doesn’t even require the manuals, however, we would still suggest you to go over them, especially if this happens to be your first 3D pen.

With that said, more features include smart thermal control that prevents the pen from heating up, and in addition to that, the pen also has a feature which detects whether or not there is a jammed filament. A lot of people may think of it as a gimmick, but it actually helps, especially if you find yourself working with the pen, and there’s a jammed filament, at least you’ll know what’s wrong rather than trying to trouble shoot the pen.

All in all, the 3Dimage 3D pen is one of the best, if not the best 3D pen that we have had the chance to use, the pen serves as a benchmark for the future 3D pens to come and will definitely be used as one. Sure, it may be a bit overwhelming considering the futuristic design, but once you get a hold of it, we can assure you that the experience will be unlike any other.

Pros


    • Extremely well made.

    • Sleek, and slim design, makes it look amazing.

    • Has a lot of good features like thermal control as well as filament jamming detection.

    • Supports both commonly used plastics.

Cons


    • None.

Conclusion

Testing all the wonderful products was a joyful experience, and while we thought that there would be monotony, the actual experience was full of twists and turns. Sure, it’s safe to say that 3D pens have to go a long way, but the good news is that the future isn’t that far.

This is mainly because pens like the 3Dimage 3D pen are already available in the market and are doing their best in making the 3D pens more and more popular. Sure, you are likely to spend some good amount of money, but that’s just the part of it.

For anyone wondering about the best 3D pen in the market at the moment, we have to hold it to the 3Dimage 3D Pen, mainly because of how smooth it was during our testing. Everything from the learning curve, to the build quality, as well as some extra features was to the point.

In all honesty, we haven’t used a 3D pen better than the 3Dimage 3D pen, and we don’t think there exists a better one in the market right now.

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About the Author

Muhammad Asfand Yar, or Asfand as his friends call, is Author cum Owner of List Enthusiast. Blogging is his old new-found love. He writes to boost his Knowledge - and yours too. He usually remains in front of computer screen - even when he isn't writing any Blog post - doing computer programming. C++ is his passion. Catch him on twitter @asfandyar12.