11 Best 3D Pens for 2022

Keelan Balderson Image
Keelan Balderson

Updated: August 02,2022

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The younger sister of 3D digital printing, 3D pens offer a similar experience with more user control. We were able to get our hands on 11 of the best 3D pens currently available, testing them for:

  • Type of pen
  • Comfort and ergonomics
  • Ease of use
  • Filament and colors
  • Pricing
  • Charging and power
  • Features

Come, let’s find the best 3D pen for you.

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Top 11 3D Pens for 2022

Best for: Budget under $100

Filaments

PLA, ABS, FLEXY, and WOOD

Display

N/A

Recommended Age

14+

Short Description

The 3Doodler Create is a pro-3D pen that can help you fix models you’ve already printed and create new objects from scratch. It’s comfortable, consistent, and supports a wide range of affordable filaments. It’s also our pick for the best 3D pen under $100.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Standard 3D pen use

Filaments

PLA

Display

OLED

Recommended Age

7+

Short Description

A light and well-balanced professional-grade pen, the Mynt3D printing pen pro gives you full control over extrusion and lots of useful indicators. At $59 it also meets most people’s budget. It comes fully kitted out with a plastic drawing pad, the tougher ABS filament, and an AC adapter. It supports a respectable 32 colors.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Cool color and ink variety

Filaments

Inks

Display

N/A

Recommended Age

6+

Short Description

Often described as 3D gel pens, CreoPops provide a much wider range of filament or ‘inks’ for solid ink printing. This includes everything from glow-in-the-dark colors to options that give off an aromatic smell. It’s also suitable for kids because it doesn’t have any hot parts or thermal printing, using LED light to solidify its material instead.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Children

Filaments

PCL

Display

N/A

Recommended Age

6+

Short Description

A traditional FDM-style filament pen that melts at a lower temperature, the bright orange Junior is much safer for kids. The pen printer price is also just $39, making it a great gift for any creative child. The Mynt3D pen comes with 3 rolls of filament in the pack.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Multi-color creations

Filaments

PLA, ABS

Display

LED

Recommended Age

8+

Short Description

The Duo 3D pen from Scribbler takes the typical 3D pen experience and doubles it, giving you two nibs that can work at the same time or as and when you want them. This allows for easy multi-color pen printing without having to reload filament. It’s also very well-made and comfortable to hold for long periods of time, making it a perfect professional 3D printing pen.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Affordable all-arounder

Filaments

PCL

Display

N/A

Recommended Age

8+

Short Description

One of the best value 3D pen options, the 3D Basic 2 by Simo uses low-temperature PCL filament, making it suitable for children and adults alike. It is also non-toxic and biodegradable, which a lot of the typical plastic filament isn’t. At just $39 this is a steal of a product and arguably the best pen under $50

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: No-heat and no-toxic safety

Filaments

PCL

Display

N/A

Recommended Age

6+

Short Description

A cheaper starter pen for kids, the 3Doodler Start still performs like a pro with accurate and well-paced extrusion. It’s designed in such a way that there are no hot parts to touch. You don’t have to be restricted by a cable since it can be charged by USB and used for 45 minutes.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: LCD display

Filaments

PLA, ABS

Display

LCD

Recommended Age

5+

Short Description

This affordable but professional pen is only $37.99 and supports 12 standard PLA colors, 120ft worth that comes with the product. It has a display screen, can work cordless when charged, and you get 250 free stencils to teach you the art of 3D drawing. Arguably the best value 3D pen on the market.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Doing more than 3D drawing

Filaments

PLA, ABS

Display

OLED

Recommended Age

14+

Short Description

The most versatile 3D pen on the market, the MultiPro from Simo extrudes filament, burns patterns into leather and wood, and has other exchangeable parts. These allow for soldering, cutting, sawing, and drilling. It’s much more than just the best 3D pen. 

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Detecting and fixing jams

Filaments

PLA, ABS

Display

LCD

Recommended age

8+

Short Description

The best cheap 3D pen we’ve reviewed also happens to have one of the coolest innovations – automatic jam detection. This lets you know on the LCD display that things are flowing incorrectly. You can simply press the unload button to put it right. With great quality filament and all the core 3D pen features, 7Tech provides superb value for money.

Full Review
Key Features
Best for: Comfort

Filaments

PLA, ABS

Display

LCD

Recommended age

14+

Short Description

SkyWriter’s $99 3D Pen is a consistent and super comfortable professional product that supports PLA and ABS filament. It only takes seconds to heat up and the 8-speed settings allow you the control you need for efficient and precise 3D drawing. It also has an impressive pack of extras, including stencils and a large color filament set. It’s certainly in contention for the best 3D pen under $100.

Full Review
Key Features

What Is a 3D Pen?

A 3D pen is a tool associated with 3D printing processes and computer-aided design. That’s why they are sometimes called 3D printing pens or 3D painting pens. They are fun and functional for kids, hobbyists, and professional artists and designers.

In essence, a 3D pen allows you to draw out a 3D object, much like the extruder on a 3D printer but on a smaller scale and by hand. Obviously, this type of pen does not contain ink but a bulkier filament or other substance that quickly hardens. That said, a smaller range of pens use an ink and light mechanism.

Depending on the type, they come with a range of features, including:

  • a mechanism for refilling the pen
  • unloading the pen 
  • managing the speed of output 
  • temperature control for heating the filament 

And more!

Uses for 3D pens are still somewhat limited and are mainly used for fun or by professional artists to make unique 3D artwork. They can also work as an excellent addition to 3D printing, allowing you to add elements and tweak things to a printed model by hand when the main object has cooled.

Compared to a regular pen they are bulkier, more expensive, and often require USB to power and charge. Most do not come with software or even need to be paired with a computer or device of any kind.

How Do 3D Pens Work?

There are two main types of 3D printing pen options. One has 3D systems more in common with an FDM 3D printer and is sometimes called a hot pen. You must buy and load the plastic-like filament or ‘strand’ into the pen and turn on its heating mechanism to get it to the right temperature to extrude out for ‘drawing’. 

As soon as it leaves the pen, the regular room temperature will soon cool the filament into a solid, so you need to get the hang of it in order not to make a mess or ruin your design. Drawing will require a suitable bench, table, or surface so you don’t get plastic everywhere. Plain paper isn’t suitable because it’s too thin and light and will stick. A heavier paper-based surface can sometimes be effective. You can also use these pens directly on existing objects – ideally that have been 3D printed with similar material.

They are almost always called a pen rather than a 3D pencil.

What most beginners start off doing is using 3D templates that you fill up with the pen’s material to create patterns. You can even create fully 3D objects as you join each part of the overall piece together. 

The key thing to note is that most 3D pens work in thin air. By that we mean once you’ve drawn some kind of base structure, like a triangle, you can slowly raise the pen while extruding and create a solid upward line within the 3D space. The substance is thick enough and will harden enough that your structure won’t just fall over unless it’s poorly designed, to begin with.

The second kind of 3D pen is a cool pen or one that uses LED or UV exposure to solidify an ink without any noticeable heat. Kids’ 3D pens are more suitable for this technology as they tend to be easier to use and come with more elaborate colors and ink types like glitter and glow in the dark. 

How To Choose the Best 3D Pen

Choosing the best 3D pen comes down to your own requirements and what you plan to use it for. If you just want to have a bit of fun, you don’t need the most advanced or expensive product. If you’re into 3D printing, are an artist, or otherwise a professional, however, you’ll need a good performing option that matches your other equipment. Here are some of the main factors to consider:

Price

Everyone has an idea of how much they are willing to spend. Fortunately, the 3D pen price range does not vary that greatly. You can usually pick up a good pen for well under $100, while the most expensive rarely break the $150 mark - unless you include a lot of accessories. Still, as a general rule, the more expensive the better quality the product and end result of your 3D creations. 

Purpose

Before making your purchase, you need to decide what you’ll be using your 3D pen for. Is it just for a bit of fun or are you an artist trying to make a creative impression? Are you an individual hobbyist that already 3D prints and wants to add to this with a pen or are you in a team or larger business and need a bunch of functional pens for commercial reasons? 

Ergonomics

The best 3D pens aren’t just a thick cylinder with a nozzle. Creating good 3D objects takes time and you need something that fits your hand and doesn’t get uncomfortable during long sessions. In that sense, stay away from particularly heavy pens or ones that heat up to the point that you have to keep putting it down. Plastic is ok and often helps keep the pen lightweight but if there’s nothing extra to help with the grip it can make your hand sore.

In these cases, it’s best to read user reviews if you can test out the products in physical retail stores.

Age

Not all pens are suitable for children because they heat up and the nib can be dangerous to touch. Filament is also messy and can be toxic if consumed. It's advised that children under 6 avoid 3D pens unless heavily supervised. Meanwhile, the best 3D pens for teenagers are typically just the best pens in general.

For children, the best option is to buy a 3D pen for kids that has low heat or is completely heatproof. These are not just aesthetically more appealing because of the bright colors and design but often come with kid-friendly stencils and projects to complete. Pens like the Mynt3D Junior 2 use a special low heat filament so a child cannot burn themselves. The CreoPop for kids uses an entirely different technology that doesn’t use heat at all and has many cool colors and inks that appeal to kids 

Cables

Some of the most powerful 3D pens require a permanent power supply from an outlet which means there will always be a cable. If you’re not a fan of the idea, look out for chargeable pens. Many are USB compatible and can be charged via an outlet with an adapter or by USB in a computer and laptop

Being cable-free means you aren’t restricted in where you do your projects and there’s no risk of getting tangled in the cable and ruining your creations. 

Heating and Filament

Most 3D pens are like FDM 3D printers that heat up a plastic filament and extrude it out, only via a pen nib. The best 3D printing pen is one that allows heating adjustments and lets you know the temperature.

The type of filament is also a consideration because it’s an added cost. The cheapest is PLA and certainly isn’t weak or poor quality but the strongest is ABS. It can offer the durability needed if creating commercial products.

Pens that don’t even use a traditional filament offer the most variety and don’t get hot. If that appeals to you, the biggest difference is they cost more. 

Wrap Up

Our team tested the best 3D pens, so you don’t have to.

Whether you’re looking for what amounts to a handheld 3D printer or a more refined 3D art pen, we’ve got you. Our lists consist only of the top options on the market.

FAQ.


What's the best 3D pen to buy?

The absolute best 3D pen we’ve reviewed in terms of features and performance is the $99 3D Simo MultiPro, which 3D prints but also burns, saws, cuts, screws, etc. If it’s just a 3D drawing pen you want, our top pick is the Mynt3D Pro Printing Pen for $59. It has multiple settings and a display.

All the pens on our list meet a basic standard of quality. There are many close runner ups such as the TechBoss 3D pen and Da Vinci 3D pen that are of a similar standard.

Are 3D pens worth it?

3D pens are certainly worth it if you’re already excited about the growing 3D printing industry. They give the perfectionist an extra tool to fine-tune their creations. Meanwhile, artists can create unique work using just the pen itself. 

They also bring a fun element to the educational setting without ruining an institution’s budget. If your school, for example, has a 3D printer it’s a logical addition that every student can enjoy. Likewise, if there isn’t a budget for a 3D printer, some 3D pens are the next best thing and can be used to demonstrate what three-dimensional printing is all about.

3D pens are also not that expensive, so it’s always worth trying out new things that fit your budget

How much does a good 3D pen cost?

Like all products, prices vary when it comes to 3D pens but, overall, they are not that expensive. You will be looking to pay between $20 and over $100. The best 3D pen is one that has all the speed and temperature settings, a display, and ergonomic design. However, you can still start picking these up for around $40.

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Keelan Balderson

Keelan Balderson

A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.

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