Most people have heard of 3D printers, but 3D pens are a whole different tool that aren’t very well known. I wondered this myself when I first heard about a 3D pen, so I set out to find out exactly what a 3D pen is and whether they are worth it.
A 3D pen is a small tool in the shape of a pen which pushes plastic through a heated system to melt it, then extrudes it through a nozzle at the tip of the pen. The plastic hardens almost instantly and can be used to make basic or complex shapes and models. It can use PLA, ABS, Nylon, Wood and even flexible materials.
That is the basic answer which gives you a quick idea of what a 3D pen is, but the rest of this article will go into some interesting and useful details about 3D pens, as well as 3 of the best 3D pens that are out on the market right now.
What is 3D Pen
A 3D pen is a handheld tool which allows you to insert a roll of thin plastic (PLA, ABS & more) into it, melt the plastic within the device, then extrude it layer by layer to create cool 3D objects.
They work similarly to a 3D printer, but they are a lot less complicated and much cheaper.
There are many brands of 3D pens that are aimed at professionals, children, artists and even designers for fashion. A 3D pen can really bring your thoughts and ideas to life in a very quick fashion.
It seems like magic at first, but after you get the hang of it, you realize how cool and useful they can really be. Whether you need an entertaining and creative way to occupy kids, or want to join up two pieces of broken plastic together, it is pretty versatile.
There are fashion designers who have actually made clothing directly from a 3D pen which is really cool.
How Do You Draw With a 3D Pen?
The video below shows sweet illustrations of how to draw using a 3D pen. They work quite similarly to a hot glue gun but instead of pushing hot glue out, you get a plastic which hardens pretty quickly.
The usual method to draw with a 3D pen is to draw the basic outline of a model then fill it in with the 3D pen. After you have the foundation, you can add more of a 3D structure to it.
What Do People Use 3D Pens For?
3D pens are great for a number of things, but being a supplement for your 3D printed models is one of these uses. when your models have gaps or crevices which need to be filled, then a 3D pen can be used to do so.
It can also join together a broken piece from a model. Once you add melted filament to your model, it would look like a blob and quite low quality. What you can then do is sand that melted filament down after it hardens to smooth over the surface.
Some areas are just hard to reach, so having a 3D pen in your arsenal can be very useful.
3D pens are a great help for artists who specialize in 3D objects as well as crafty work. Artists can create pretty intricate designs with a professional 3D pen and a good amount of experience.
They can make small sculptures as well as prototypes. This rapid prototyping method is an amazing way to show other people your ideas in real life, rather than just being a thought.
There are many 3D pens designed for educational purposes and entertainment for children, where they can have some type of workshop creating 3D objects. Kids can experiment and really bring out their creativity with a 3D pen.
The following professionals have been known to use a 3D pen in some instances:
- Product designers
- Jewelry makers
- Fashion designers
Teachers can draw models’ side by side with a lecture to explain science-based diagrams.
What Are the Pros & Cons of 3D Pens?
Pros of 3D Pens
- It is technically the cheapest way to 3D print
- You can use it to fill in gaps in 3D printed models
- Very easy to use and create models with, doesn’t need files, software, motors etc.
- A lot cheaper compared to 3D printers
- Beginner-friendly and child-friendly
Cons of 3D Pens
- Hard to create high quality looking models
Best 3 3D Pens You Can Get from Amazon
- MYNT3D The Professional Printing 3D Pen
- 3Doodler Start Essentials (2020)
- MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
Let the ocean of your imagination flow with MYNT3D, an amazing piece of technology. It gives you a super smooth speed to draw 3D objects with temperature and speed control systems. Moreover, the company offers a 1-year warranty as well.
- The nozzle can be removed easily for replacing or cleaning purposes
- Speed can be adjusted
- The temperature can be controlled between 130°C to 240°C
- The 3D pen is slim in design
- The power output of 3D pen is 10 watts
- It has an OLED display
- It is USB powered which can be used with a power bank as well
- Comes with three different color filaments
- The power cord makes handling easy for kids
- Temperature is easily controllable
- Durable and reliable to use
- The OLED display makes the reading of temperature easy and you can monitor it accordingly
- The pen can have troubles at the lowest feed rate
- There is no indicator to show whether filament is melted or not and when the pen is ready for use
- The power cord is not long enough
The 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Pen is an amazing invention for kids to carry out a healthy creative activity at home. This will not only raise confidence in kids but also bring creativity in them. Children can use it for their educational purposes as well.
It is highly safe to use because it has no hot parts and its plastic quickly hardens when come out to make extrusion easy.
- Plastic made in the USA specially designed for kids
- The pack contains, doodle mat, a micro-USB charger, 2 packs of different colors of filaments, a guide book for activity, and the 3D pen.
- It has one speed & temperature only
- It doesn’t contain any hot parts, with the whole pen is fully insulated to avoid burns
- Plug & Play
- Great pricing
- Safe to use by children because it doesn’t have any hot part which causes burns, even the pen nozzle.
- It helps to draw smoothly
- It helps children to understand, plan, and design space
- The plastic filaments use in this 3D pen are child-friendly have no toxins
The only back draw of the product is its limited function
This 3D pen is an amazing piece of technology with many features that make it a great tool to have beside you. The MYNT3D Super 3D Pen has the same gearbox and replaceable nozzle design as the Pro 3D Pen.
You can easily draw, design, build and repair with this 3D pen. You can easily adjust the temperature using an adjustment screw to switch between PLA & ABS.
Speed is one of the main positives with the MYNT3D Super 3D Pen and the smoothness at which you can draw without breaks is great. Anyone from professionals to even kids can easily draw 3D images.
It comes with 3 different colors of ABS filament to get you started.
Features of MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
- Stepless speed slider to regulate flow
- Modern ultrasonic nozzle with anti-clog qualities
- Easy-to-replace nozzles
- Lightweight, smart & high durable, weighing just 8 oz
- LED lights to indicate power mode and ready mode
- The pen works with a 100-240V adapter
- Its dimensions are 8.3 x 3.9 x 1.9 inches
- Great for kids, artists and engineers of all ages
- Protected from defects for 1 year
- The flow of melted plastic is perfect. 3D drawing can be made without any pause in a smooth flow
- Its nozzle doesn’t clog even after long term use
- The product is highly durable
- This 3D pen is very safe to use even kids can handle it without the fear of getting burnt
- The speed is adjustable of this pen.
- 1-year protection from defects
- The high pitch sound produced during the working mode is disturbing
- No LED display on the pen
To bring the article together, I’d say the 3D pen is a worthwhile purchase, especially for making adjustments and filling in blemishes on your 3D prints. It’s a good supplement to a 3D printer for a little more choice in fixing finalized objects.
It’s great fun for any kids around you, and of course for yourself! Friends and family would love seeing the concept of building something instantly in front of them, so I would recommend getting a 3D pen for yourself.
When you get to a high enough level, you can really create some impressive models, so get started today with a MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen from Amazon.