The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to the Best 3D Printing Pens 2018

Posted on

From quick DIY fixes around the home to elaborate art projects designed to dazzle and impress, there isn’t much you can’t do with today’s top 3D pens. That said, choosing the right pen for the right purpose is rarely an easy task, especially for those new to the world of 3D drawing.

Those looking for a gift for a creative child, for example, will have different needs to those looking to use a 3D printing pen to touch up designs produced through a 3D printer, whilst professional artists planning to add a pen to their arsenal of tools.

Today, we’ll take an in-depth look at ten of the very best 3D pens on the market so that, whatever you’re planning to do with your new pen, you’ll have all the information you need to decide on the best one for you.

Before we get to that, however, there’s one question we need to answer:

What is a 3D Printing Pen Anyway?

As you’ll see in our 3D printing pen reviews, pens allow for greater freedom and flexibility than your standard 3D printer.

With a printer, you’re limited to printing out pre-made designs, whereas with a pen, you can hand-draw anything you can think of, on just about any surface.

That’s not to mention the fact that pens are significantly less expensive, come with a greater variety of options and, let’s face it, are simply much more fun to use.

Without further ado then, let us introduce you to the models we consider to the very best 3D pens of 2018, starting with our top ten chart before providing our in-depth 3d pen reviews in which we reveal how -and why- we made our decisions about our favourite models.

No. 3D Pen LCD Display Weight Dimensions (in inches)
Check Price
1: Scribbler 3D Pen V3 Large OLED 6.4 ounces 6” x 2” x 4” Check Price
2: Lix 3D Pen LED Heat Indicator 1.41 ounces 6.4″ x 0.5″ x 0.5″ Check Price
3: 3Doodler Create (Editor’s Choice) No 12.8 ounces 6.3” x 0.7” x 0.7” Check Price
4: Scribbler 3D Pen DUO Large OLED 4.8 ounces 8” x 2” x 2” Check Price
5: CreoPop 3D Starter Pen No 16 ounces 7″ x 1.2″ x 1.2″ Check Price
6: MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen Large OLED 1.4oz 7”x0.75”x0.62” Check Price
7: 3Doodler 2.0 No 9.9 ounces 11″ x 3″ x 5.1″ Check Price
8: Glyby Intelligent 3D Printing Pen No 3 ounces 7.3” x 1.6” x 1.1 “ Check Price
9: 7Tech 3rd Generation 3D Pen Large OLED 2.3 ounces 8.4” x 5.7” x 2.3” Check Price
10: Ailink 3D Doodling Pen OLED 2 ounces 7” x 0.94” x 0.95” Check Price

In the above table, we’ve tried to focus on the features that all pens have in common in order to provide a fair and unbiased comparison. That being said, there are such vast differences between many of the leading models that choosing a pen based on size alone is rarely advisable.

With that in mind, we’ve tried and tested cores of the latest models and put together the following in-depth 3D printing pen review to help you make a fully informed decision about which model is best suited for you or your child.

10. Ailink 3D Doodling Pen

Best for: Best budget 3D Pen
Price: From $265 (via Amazon)


Probably the best 3D pen for the money, the Ailink 3D doodling pen will set you back less than $50 and provides plenty of fun for kids and crafty grown-ups alike.

Right out of the box, one of the first things you notice is that it’s remarkably light.

OK, there are lighter models out there -and we’ll get to those later in our guide- but at only two ounces, what you’ve got here is an extremely lightweight 3D writing pen that handles smoothly and is easy to draw with.

Of course, this is helped in no small part to the slender, ergonomic design which adds a level of comfort you don’t often find with budget pens.

The main appeal though is the eight different speed settings so that you can manually adjust the extrusion and enjoy better control over the pen as you’re drawing. It’s rare to find a 3D printing pen that offers so many options – most simply provide ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ settings, which is hardly ideal for more complex designs.

TOP TIP: Making it a good option for children, the 3D doodling pen comes with a unique, patented nozzle which guarantees no burns, an ideal safety feature which makes it a popular model for children.

That being said, this is still a budget 3D pen for under $50, and what you get is, well, under $50 worth of pen.

Indeed, despite all that it gets right, the Ailink still has its flaws.

Our own test run was consistent with many user reviews that say the Ailink runs out of heat more often than with other leading pens. We certainly found this to be true in our case, and often had to wait anywhere from a minute to several minutes just to get enough heat for a short bit of drawing.

If you’re using this as a tool to provide quick fixes to your 3d printing or have other reasons to only use it in short bursts, that may be fine, but for serious crafters or kids who like to spend hours creating 3D drawings, the regular cooling is going to prove incredibly frustrating.

TOP TIP: The Ailink 3D Doodling Pen does have an automatic shut off which can prevent waste and burning from overheating. However, it only shuts off after eight minutes, which is significantly longer than other models.

Still, the pen is incredibly easy to set up and doesn’t require much of a learning curve, so you or your kids can start having fun with it right out of the box.

In terms of filaments, we’re talking 1.75mm ABS, PLA, and PCL, meaning you do have a good variety to work with when it comes to creating anything the imagination can come up with.

Pros Cons
Best 3D pen under $50 Runs out of heat too often
Eight speed settings Automatic shut off takes too long (8 minutes)
Patented safety nozzle Only comes packaged with 2 coils of PCL filaments
Adjustable filament feed

BUY ON AMAZON

9. 7Tech 3rd Generation 3D Pen

Best for: Beginners
Price: From $49 (via Amazon)


Buying a budget model may be a good idea if you’re only taking tentative steps into the world of 3D drawing and aren’t sure whether you’re going to stick with it. However, if you’re serious about taking it up as a craft -or even about investing in a 3D drawing pen as a professional work tool- then you’re going to need a model that does two things:

1. Goes above and beyond the standard ‘cheap’ pens
2. Still serves as a low-cost alternative to the higher brand models so that you can master the basics without too much of an investment.

A favourite of many a 3D pen review, the 7Tech 3rd Generation 3D Pen does both of those things better than most others, and more than deserves its place in our guide today.

At just 2.3 ounces, the 7Tech offers a lightness which belies its oversized 8.4” x 5.7” x 2.3” dimensions. This means that, despite its size, the pen is still pretty easy to get to grips with, and could only be improved by forging the sleek tube-like design for a more ergonomic, hand-friendly feel akin to some of its higher-priced counterparts.

TOP TIP: One of 7Tech’s most compelling features for beginners is that it’s a breeze to set up. The 3D magic pen works right out of the box after an initial charge with clear, easy-to-follow instructions for set-up, cleaning and maintenance.

Where it comes into its own though is the advanced features.

The pen boasts multiple speed control options and one of the best thermal control features we’ve seen on any pen in this price range. The thermal controls allow to-the-degree adjustments between 45 to 220 degrees, which can prove especially useful for newcomers when mastering the basics of 3D drawing.

Also especially helpful for beginners is the fact that the 7Tech will notify you if your filaments get stuck – a problem that can thwart many a novice 3D drawer in their tracks. The notification means you don’t keep trying to draw with a stuck filament, which ultimately causes even more damage to the pen.

TOP TIP:Unlike other pens which work with a variety of filaments, the 7Tech 3rd Generation 3D Pen only supports PLA and ABS, and only supplied with three PLA filaments, so you’ll have to invest in a lot more to really get any use out of it.

The biggest drawback is that the pen does get unnecessarily hot, often too hot to use safely. As such, we’re unlikely to recommend it for children, but do still stand by our claim that 7Tech make one of the best entry-level 3D pens for adult beginners that you’re going to find in 2018.

Pros Cons
Advanced thermal controls Gets extremely hot
Multiple speed settings (for greater control over your drawing) Limited filament options
Lightweight Would be better with an ergonomic design.
Budget cost (under $50)

BUY ON AMAZON

8. Glyby Intelligent 3D Printing Pen

Best for: Best 3D pen for kids
Price: From $32.99 (via Amazon)


When selecting the best 3D pen for your kids, there’s really three things you need to look out for:

● It needs to be reasonably priced so you’re not paying over the odds for something the kids may eventually get bored of and stop using.

● It needs to be incredibly safe so they can use it without burning themselves.

● Most of all, it needs to be fun.

Thankfully, the Glyby Intelligent 3D Printing Pen ticks all three boxes and then some.

One of the best 3D printing pens for under $40 that you’ll currently find, Glyby may be outdone by some of their higher priced rivals in terms of advanced features, but for a children’s toy, the $33 price tag is hard to beat.

Safety wise, it comes with an automatic switch-off feature which puts the pen in standby mode after five minutes of inactivity, thus preventing overheating and the risk of grabbing an overly hot pen. Whilst we’d like to see Glyby reduce this five minute period to two minutes as with some of the top models, this is still better than nothing and helps keeps kids safe whilst using the pen.

TOP TIP: : Temperature controls are also included which again makes this a safe pen for children and allows them greater control over their drawings, but be warned the controls can be fiddly and managing them is a job perhaps best left for mum or dad.

In terms of fun, though the Glyby may not boast the sleek, polished, and professional look of a Lix 3D pen or similar top-grade model, its bold and basic design does make it attractive to children, whilst the minimal learning curve and effortless set-up means kids can start letting their imaginations run wild right out of the box.

Whilst we’d recommend other models in our guide for professionals and those serious about crafting, as a children’s toy to give them for a birthday or Christmas present, Glyby Intelligent 3D Printing Pen is a tough act to follow.

TOP TIP: Perhaps the biggest drawback to this pen is that isn’t portable, and needs to be plugged into a power outlet in order to run. Yet whilst that may not be ideal for adults working on big projects, it didn’t seem to hamper our own children’s enjoyment during testing.

Pros Cons
Best 3D pen under $40 Not a good choice for adults and those serious about 3D drawing
Automatic switch-off to prevent overheating Needs to be plugged in to be used
Child-friendly design Only supports PLA and ABS filaments
Speed and temperature controls

BUY ON AMAZON

7. 3Doodler 2.0

Best for: Arts & creative projects
Price: From $69.99 (via Amazon)


The original and still one of the best.

There once was a time when 3Doodler broke new ground by introducing the world’s first 3D doodling pen via a much-hyped Kickstarter campaign.

Whilst scores of imitators have flooded the market since, the innovators remain at the forefront of their industry, and are one of only two brands to be featured twice on our list today

Later on, we’ll tell you why the 3Doodler Create’s solid, durable design makes it into our top three, but for now, let’s focus on the 3Doodler 2.0, a next-generation upgrade of the original classic.

At 9.9 ounces, this revamped model is half the weight of its predecessor. Whilst this is certainly good news for those who found the original 3D doodling pen to be a chore to use, it is worth pointing out that it is still significantly heavier than most models on our list.

In fact, overall, it ranks as the third heaviest pen, behind -funnily enough, the 3Doodler Create, and the CreoPop pen that we’ll discuss later.

Yet whilst it may be one of the beefier models we’ve featured in our 3D pen review today, that weight lends it a sturdiness and robust reliability that is almost unparalleled, so if you’re looking for a pen that’s truly built to last, this is the best place to start.

Looks wise, the 2.0 model boasts an impressive, professional looking design, and is certainly one of the most attractive models we’ve featured today, but let’s be honest, looks aren’t everything, and with these tools, it’s all about performance.

Luckily, the pen does perform well. It’s relatively easy to handle despite its size, and doesn’t come with too steep of a learning curve.

For drawing in the air, this one works remarkably well; the plastic hardens almost instantly to help create stunning designs, and it also settles well on cardboard, paper, and wooden surfaces.

As an indirect result of this rapid cooling, the 3Doodler pen also happens to be a lot quieter not only than its predecessor, but than most other pens out there

TOP TIP: One big downside is that the 3Doodler 2.0 only comes with two speed settings. Whilst this is usually fine for hobbyist and craft projects, those looking to use a 3D pen in a professional setting should look for models which give more control over the speed.

One thing we really liked in our tests was the manual temperature adjustment, which did allow for greater control over the temperature.

Some models we looked at basically had two temperature settings – either high or low, or settings designed for PLA and ABS filaments, but the 2.0 allows you to really fine tune the settings so that they’re spot on for the design you’re working on.

We found that this really helped when creating fun designs that combine multiple different types of drawing and is why we’ve ranked this as our favourite model for hobbyists.

It also serves as a great 3D pen for kids, though we’d like to see much greater control over the speed before we recommended it for design professionals.

Whilst the pen does come with an option that allows you to extrude continuously, we found that doing so tended to result in filament jams, and isn’t advisable.

TOP TIP: Whilst all the best 3D pens will come with some amount of free filaments included, this particular 3D magic pen boasts 50 free filaments right out of the box, more than any other. That makes it great value for money and means you’ll be able to make lots of designs before you need to reorder.

Overall, if you’re looking to take your craft projects to the next level, the 3Doodler 2.0 is hard to beat.

Pros Cons
Half the size of the original Tendency to jam
Smooth, ergonomic design Only two speed settings
50 free filaments Requires regular cleaning to work well
Great 3D pen for the money

BUY ON AMAZON

6. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen

Best for: Ease of Use
Price: From $69.99 (via Amazon)


We’ve listed both the best 3D pen for kids and the best 3D pen for adult beginners elsewhere in today’s list.

The MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen certainly ranks highly in both of those categories and could serve as a viable alternative to either of our chosen kids and beginners models, but the real reason it makes our top five overall best pens is that it’s by far the easiest professional-level pen to use that we’ve come across, making it as solid a choice for those serious about design as it is for those looking to use it for fun.

What immediately stood out to us about this model was just how lightweight it is. At just 1.4 ounces, it’s a fraction lighter than our number two ranked Lix 3D pen, whilst dimensions of 7”x0.75”x0.62” make it slim, sleek, and a joy to handle.

Yet to start handling it, you first need to set up your pen. The good news, is that this is exceptionally easy too.

The .6mm can be removed effortlessly, whilst a helpful guide on the large, high-rez OLED screen helps make setting and inserting filaments an absolute cinch.

TOP TIP: The best part about the filaments is that, unlike many other brands, MYNT3D aren’t too fussy about which brand you use. The company do sell their own filaments but they actively encourage you to choose the best ones for your design, which makes this a very cost-effective purchase in the long-run.

The OLED screen also allows you to monitor temperature settings. Although this model can get a little too warm on occasion, you can adjust it anywhere between 130-240C without any trouble.

Speaking of adjusting settings – the speed settings here are some of the best we’ve seen on any 3D magic pen currently available. Using a slide button, you set the kind of speed that is exactly right for the task at hand, a far cry from those models that only offer ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ settings.

TOP TIP: Though the MYNT3D does support both ABS and PLA filaments, we found that the pen only really performs at its best with ABS. PLA filaments destroyed several nozzles, so we gave up and stuck with ABS and recommend you do too.

Another thing making this easy to use is that it runs on pre-charged power packs – slot one into the pen and you’ll get plenty of use -and plenty of fun- out of it.

Pros Cons
very easy to use Tends to only work well with ABS filaments
Not tied to same-brand filaments Tendency to get too warm
Lightweight and portable
value for money

BUY ON AMAZON

5. CreoPop Starter 3D Cordless Printing Pen

Best for: 3D drawing with no plastic
Price: From $84.50 (via Amazon)


3Doodler may have blazed the trail for innovation in 3D drawing by bringing out the world’s first 3D doodling pen, but CreoPop have taken that innovation one step further by creating the first pen on the market that doesn’t utilise thermoplastics to make your drawings.

Instead, this powerful cordless 3D printing pen works with photopolymers. When liquid ink is exposed to the built-in LED diodes, it solidifies that ink quickly so that you can create great-looking designs.

This isn’t just a cool party trick either, and actually comes with lots of benefits over other popular models, not least of which being that there’s no smelly plastic.

As regular 3D printing pen users will attest to, heat applied to PLA and ABS filaments can often leave unpleasant odours and even give off fumes which can be damaging to the health.

With their unique starter pen, CreoPop eliminate that problem and even use pleasantly-scented ink so that you can relax and enjoy whilst working on your design.

TOP TIP: Whilst using photopolymers does have lots of benefits, it also means that you can only get your ink from CreoPop. This means that you’re tied into paying whatever the company want to charge, and also means it’s not as easy to get your hands on spare filaments in a hurry as it is with typical thermoplastic pens.

The lack of fumes and odours also makes this a popular model for those concerned about the environmental impact of their 3D drawing, though perhaps the biggest selling point is that the pen doesn’t get heated and there’s no melting plastic to worry about.

Of course, that makes it a very safe 3D pen for kids to use as you don’t have to worry about your young ones burning their fingers whilst trying to draw.

Also in its favour is the fact that its very easy to set up, with the ink taking just a few seconds to change over once it runs out. Not that it should run out often. out of the box, this 3D magic pen comes with three standard ink cartridges lasting for 46 feet each, so you should get plenty of mileage out of it right out of the gate.

TOP TIP: Like the Lix 3D pen (more of which later) this is charged on a USB and can then be used completely wireless, so there’s no cables getting in the way of your work.

So far, so good then, but surely a 3D can’t be this perfect?

No, it isn’t.

In fact, if there’s one reason above any other why we didn’t rank CreoPop much higher, it’s that their 3D cordless printing pen is an eye-watering 16 ounces, making it by far the heaviest on our list.

OK, so 16 ounces isn’t exactly going to have you heading to the gym before you can lift it, but it does make handling a little more cumbersome than some of its lightweight rivals and the overall size also makes it more of a challenge to use than its competitors.

That’s not to say it’s impossible, but this one does take a little more getting used to than we would have liked.

A great, unique pen with lots working in its favour, but minus several points for ease of use and handling.

Pros Cons
Unique, innovative design Ink only available via manufacturer
100% safe for children Heaviest pen on the market
Doesn’t get hot Not as easy to use as other models
Wireless

BUY ON AMAZON

4. Scribbler 3D Pen DUO

Best for: Dual-nozzle printing
Price: From $69.95 (via Amazon)


Scribbler have carved out an impressive niche in the increasingly-crowded 3D magic pen market by putting ergonomic design at the very heart of everything they do.

As such, you’ll find the brand listed elsewhere on our list thanks to a powerful model which feels and handles better than almost anything else we’ve used to date.

Before that, however, we get the brand’s DUO model, a wholly unique 3D pen that stands out from the crowd by being the first (and to our knowledge, the only) 3D pen that offers the option to draw through two nozzles at the same time.

This adds a new dimension to your designs, and means you can combine colours or even different types of filaments into one drawing.

TOP TIP: One thing we love about the Scribbler 3D Pen DUO is that it’s compatible with a wide range of filaments. Not only can you use it with PLA and ABS filaments, but also wooden, bronze, copper, and flexible filaments.

Making it a great option for kids, the DUO is also unique in that it uses a ceramic nozzle instead of the standard copper nozzle, which adds a new level of safety, whilst automatic shut-off after two minutes of inactivity prevents overheating and also improves safety.

Speaking of heating, this is one of the better models we’ve seen for adjusting the temperature, with the option to make degree-by-degree adjustments across a range from 100 to 240 degrees, allowing you to fine tune the temperature to one that’s perfect your design.

Speed wise, we’re talking six different settings here. Whilst that may not be particularly impressive compared to some models, it certainly blows dual-speed models out of the proverbial water and again provides greater control and flexibility for intricate designs.

TOP TIP: Honestly, there isn’t much to dislike about this top 3D printing pen, but if we had to list its biggest drawback, it’s that it does need to be plugged into a power outlet to be used. As experienced 3D drawers will tell you, that can be annoying if the cable starts to get in the way of you creating the designs you’d like.

Of course, whilst the double-nozzle action is a nice selling point, what really makes this such a wonderful tool to use is the ergonomic design. Scribbler say that they base their design on scores of user reviews and feedback, and it certainly shows.

This doesn’t just feel good in your hand – it’s an absolute joy to use, and that’s despite it being one of the larger models on our list. If you want to try something different, the DUO is the way to go, but if you’d prefer just a single nozzle, the Scribbler 3D pen that we’ve ranked number one in our list will serve you even better.

Pros Cons
Smooth, ergonomic design Needs to be plugged in to use
Unique double-nozzle
Works with multiple filaments
Advanced safety features
Affordable replacement filaments

BUY ON AMAZON

3. 3Doodler Create 3D Printing Pen

Best for: Solid / durable design
Price:From $82 (via Amazon)


Often imitated, never quite duplicated, 3Doodler remain the standard bearers for quality 3D doodling pens, so it’s no surprise to see them ranking so highly in our guide.

What makes this one so special is that it’s a next-generation version of the original classic, with several revamped features and a solid, robust design that means its built to last for years to come.

Forget those cheap 3D pens that break down inside a year, the 3Doodler Create is designed to keep going, and whilst that does make it one of the best value for money models on our list, it does mean making some sacrifices, particularly in the handling department.

At 12.8 ounces, this 3doodler 3d printing pen is the second heaviest piece of kit on our list, behind only the 16 ounce CreoPop 3D Starter Pen. That does make it a bit more of a chore to work with than other models, but what it lacks in weight it makes up for in a smooth, slimline design that feels comfortable to use.

TOP TIP: : In our experience, the weight and unique nature of the 3Doodler meant it took longer than others to get used to. Unless you’re already a serious 3D artist, expect a steeper learning curve than with other models.

Once you’re up and running, the pen sets out to prove why 3Doodler are one of the world’s leading names in 3D printing pens.

Despite the learning curve, those making the most of the Create model will find it draws smoothly and effortlessly on any surface, with fast-cooling plastic also making it a top choice for drawing in the air.

TOP TIP: : One of the things that makes the 3Doodler such a smooth drawer is that it rarely -if ever- clogs up. we created multiple drawings during our testing and never once came up against a clog. Most 3D pen reviews we’ve read also reveal similar results.

We also loved the fact that this is one of the most flexible and versatile pens on the market, compatible with a vast range of plastics and a number of accessories (sold separately). These include interchangeable nozzles so that you draw different shapes and sizes, and a jetpack so that you can enjoy portable drawing with no need to be plugged into a power outlet.

Whilst we would have preferred portable drawing to be a standard feature, it’s a small complaint to make against a pen which otherwise performs like a dream, is highly affordable, and produces quality results that any professional artist would be proud of.

Pros Cons
Best-selling 3D pen Heavier than most models
Ergonomic design Better suited for professionals and advanced users rather than beginners
Works with a wide variety of filaments
Rarely clogs
Works with multiple accessories

BUY ON AMAZON

2. Lix 3D Pen (Editor’s Choice)

Best for: Value for Money
Price: : From $149 (via Amazon)


At almost $150, the Lix 3D pen is certainly the priciest model on our list. Despite that, we were compelled to rank it so highly for one simple reason:

In terms of all-round user experience and enjoyment, it outshines all but our top ranked 3D pen.

Yes, a Lix pen may not be cheap, but when it comes to value for money, this one is hard to beat and you certainly get what you pay for.

So, what are you paying for?

For starters, there’s the small, lightweight design that makes this an absolute breeze to handle. At less than two ounces and with dimensions of only 6.4″ x 0.5″ x 0.5″, this is literally the smallest 3D pen in the world, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t solid and durable enough for serious use.

We’ve read 3D pen reviews from professional designers who class this among their favourite tools, whilst our own tests proved it to be as sturdy and robust as anything on the market.

Unlike other models on the market, this isn’t the kind of pen you need to plug into an adapter, wait until it’s fully charged, and then use. Instead, the Lix 3D pen is powered via USB cable plugged into your laptop or similar device.

There are, of course, pros and cons to this.

On the one hand, it does eliminate the need to keep charging and recharging, something which can be a particular pain when creating larger pieces that take a long time.

On the other hand, having the cable permanently attached to the pen whilst in use can make designing a little awkward for users who find that it gets in the way whilst working on small, intricate designs.

TOP TIP: Though the USB cable can get in the way, we found that using a longer cable gave us much more freedom and flexibility and allowed us to work on both large and small designs without the cable getting in the way.

Also working in Lix pen’s favour is the fact that we found this one of the best 3D pens out there for drawing in air, with the plastic hardening much faster than with other models.

The pen uses straight rod plastic Filaments (either ABS or PLA) that are 20 cm long and 1.75mm in diameter.

Naturally, Lix recommends using its own brand of Lix Pen Filaments, and these can get pretty expensive. We’ve seen reports of users working with other branded Filaments without any problems, though it’s worth noting that Lix are quite adamant that if your pen breaks whilst using another brand’s Filaments, your warranty will be void.

The only other drawback is that we have read reports of the Lix 3D Smart pen jamming and being a pain to unjam, though again we can only give you this as third-hand information as it wasn’t our experience at all.

TOP TIP:Some 3D pens have a reputation for being incredibly noisy to use. Fortunately, the Lix 3D doesn’t have that problem. This is one of -if not the- quietest pens on our list, making it even better for those times you need to seriously concentrate

All in all, this pen proves that good things really do come in small packages.

Pros Cons
Small, lightweight design Higher price tag
Sleek, professional design Expensive Filaments
Very quiet Not everyone likes the USB power method
Doesn’t get too hot to use Only 2 speed settings

BUY ON AMAZON

1. Scribbler 3D Pen V3

Best for: Best All-Round 3D Pen 2018
Price: From $99 (via Amazon)


This is it then, the best of the best, the one 3D pen that outshone all other 3D pens in terms of design, use, and features.

At 6.8 ounces, the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 (a next-gen upgrade on the original legacy model) is neither too heavy to prevent easy handling, nor so light that it’s prone to breaking or damage.

Instead, what we have here is a solidly-built, super-reliable that delivers exceptional in-hand comfort (particularly important for longer drawings) and dreamily smooth performance from start to finish.

TOP TIP:The addition of a large OLED screen also helps make this a wonderfully easy-to-use model and proves particularly useful when adjusting the multiple speed and temperature settings.

Setting up and changing filaments is also relatively simple. You’ll be glad of this too, as the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 supports not just the standard ABS and PLA filaments, but also wood, bronze, copper and scores more, meaning you can really get creative with your designs.

All told, the multiple settings and smooth handling making it as popular a model for professionals as it is for beginners. The learning curve is slight, and the instructions are so simple and clearly-written that you should have no problem keeping this in good working order.

That also helps make the Scribbler 3D a popular option for children, and parents concerned about safety needn’t worry.

Like our number-four ranked Scribbler 3D Pen DUO, the Scribbler V3 utilises a patented ceramic nozzle to prevent burning and automatic shut-off after just a couple of minutes to make it one of the safest models we’ve come across.

On the downside, we felt Scribbler could seriously improve a V4 model by making it portable. Whilst being attached to a power cable isn’t the biggest drawback in the world, it was noticeable during our tests and may turn off those users who enjoy the complete freedom you get with a portable 3D pen.

TOP TIP: : Like most brands, Scribbler prefer you to use their own-brand filaments, and these can get pretty expensive.

That being said, we’re aware that these are minor issues compared to the effortless usability, incredible design (did we mention the Scribbler V3 comes in seven different colours) and advanced features, all of which combine to make this the all-round best 3D pen of 2018

Pros Cons
Solid, durable build Not portable (requires plugging into power outlet)
Smooth, ergonomic design Expensive replacement filaments
Works with wide range of filaments
Easy to use for kids, beginners, and pros alike
Rarely clogs

BUY ON AMAZON

What to Look For When Buying a 3D Pen:

So, that’s our guide to the top ten best pens of the year. Hopefully, it’s provided you with lots of information to help you decide which pen is best for you.

If you’re new to the world of 3D drawing, however, you likely still have a few questions, particularly about some of the terms and features we’ve listed in our review.

Here then, we look at some of the most common questions first time 3D pen buyers ask, and explain what you should be looking for to get the best pen for you.

How Much Should I Expect to pay for a 3D Pen?

We hate to be the ones to say it, but how long is a piece of string? Though a typical 3D pen price is going to be less than an actual 3D printer, the same rule applies here as it does to just about everything – the more you pay, the better quality you’re going to get.

In our list, we’ve ranked 3D magic pens that cost from as little as $32 all the way up to $150. Typically, however, we’d say budget between $50 and $100 for a good quality model.

Why Does Size Matter So Much?

Imagine using a regular pen at home. The bigger and heavier it is, the more cumbersome it is to use.

That’s why we’ve spent so much time focussing on size and weight in our reviews. We prefer lightweight pens as they’re easier to use, but at the same time, a little added weight can be a good sign of a solid, well-built product, so it sometimes pays to compromise

What are Filaments?

Think of filaments as like ink in your normal pen. A filament contains the plastic that gets heated inside the pen and then cooled once it’s extruded to create your design.

At a bare minimum, most good quality pens will support two types of filaments known as ABS and PLA, though there’s at least a dozen you could potentially use, including special wooden, metallic, and copper filaments that create some beautiful pieces of art and can prove invaluable for DIY projects.

In most cases, the more filaments a pen supports, the better it is. Likewise, the easier it is to replace filaments, the better.

What Are the Best 3D Printing Pen Brands to Choose from?

3Doodler were the original 3D pen brand, creating the world’s very first model. Today, they remain the industry-leaders in the 3D drawing pen market, continually pushing the envelope to create better and better models.

Though you will find plenty of poor imitations out there that are best avoided, there are some reputable brands that have taken 3Doodler’s original idea and expanded upon to create something of equal quality.

As you’ll see from our buyer’s guide, Scribbler have done some impressive things in the market and make some of the best 3D drawing pens we’ve come across.

That being said, all of the brands we’ve featured have a reputation for quality manufacturing and customer service, and we’re happy to recommend them as among 2018’s top 3D pens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *