Just a few years ago, 3D printing was a rather expensive technology that very few could afford. It was something new, everyone saw the potential in it but as far as application goes, not that many had the actual money to buy a 3D printer. Years passed by, the technology improved, fabrications costs went down and competition drove to new 3D printing products being developed. Today, 3D printing is being used in personal projects, education, engineering, medical applications and many more.
Today we will talk about the applications of 3D printing in education. Buying a 3D printer for a child is not something many parents can afford still but there are other options. Over the past couple of years, we saw the introduction of 3D printing pens. These small devices allow the user to simply draw but in 3D. By now, most 3D printing enthusiasts should already be familiar with the 3D printing pens.
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Are They Worth It?
A 3D printing pen has limited applications. It lacks the precision of a regular 3D printer but it is also hundreds of times cheaper. It uses a similar concept. It takes a heating element and a plastic material that becomes soft at a certain temperature. The material hardens quickly when exposed to room temperature making it possible to draw 3D structures. It can be a good learning tool especially for children but for adults as well. We have seen many great projects posted online with objects that have been made using simple 3D printing pens.
Best 3D Printing Pens in 2023
Unfortunately, there are not that many manufacturers or brands that market these tools which means that there are a limited number of models available to choose from. Fortunately, we were able to select 10 different models and round them up in a simple list. With these things in mind let’s get right into our list of the top 10 best 3D printing pens in 2023 reviews.
10. SUNLU Professional 3D Printing Pen
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The SUNLU 3D printing pen is advertised as being a professional model. For what is worth the pen is actually made using decent materials and comes with useful features. It uses non-toxic ingredients and it does not leave and kind of hot plastic smell. It has a USB cord which means it can be powered by pretty much anything and comes with thermal control. The model has an interference detection that ensures smooth operation and it is fairly quiet.
The fact that it has a thermal control means that it can work with ABS and PLA but the problem is it does not a speed setting or a continuous feed option. This means that it works best with PLA rather than with ABS.
9. SASRL 3D Printing Pen
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SASRL offers a great pen for a good price. It comes with a useful LCD screen that makes it possible to see the current operating temperature and two small buttons to adjust it. The pen works the same as any other pen with a heating element and a filament feeder. In terms of materials, it works with, according to the manufacturers the pen supports only PLA. A few filaments are included in the kit of the device.
PLA is a good material to work with. It makes it easy to craft various objects and shapes but some would see the fact that it does not work with ABS as a major inconvenience.
8. CCTRO 3D Printing Pen With LCD Screen
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CCTRO 3D printing pen is one of the more affordable models in our list with a decent price tag and good performance. It has a small LCD screen that shows temperature that offers better control over the melting levels. Using the buttons on the sides the temperature can be adjusted and the type of filament can be set as well as the feed speed. The model has a continuous feed as long as the button is pressed and works with both PLA and ABS plastic filaments.
The printing pend is fairly decent but it takes time to get used to it. At first, drawing a shape will prove to be difficult because of its size and how it fits in the hand. It takes slow movements and a bit of patience.
7. Titanium Micro RP600A Intelligent 3D Printing Pen
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Titanium Micro RP600A is not the first pen developed by the manufacturer but it is one of their most popular ones. It is advertised as being a smartpen but its biggest asset is the compact form factor. The pen is quite slim and has temperature control, feed control and works with both ABS and PLA. Inside the package, the manufacturers added 3 filaments of 10 feet each, a USB cable as it can be powered by a power bank or laptop and a power adapter.
One small inconvenient that the pen has is the fact that there is no way to tell what temperature it is running with. It can be adjusted but knowing the temperature seems to be a feature that was overlooked by the manufacturers.
6. Simphee 3D Printing Pen
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The Simphee 3D printing pen is a great pick for the ones that are looking for a model that managed to actually work as expected. It is a simple 3D pen with a heating element and manual temperature control. To assist with the temperature control the manufacturers added an LCD screen. In theory, the model works with both PLA and ABS but the manufacturers recommend PLA. In fact, the device was designed to work with low-temperature PLA filament as it is safer to work with and a bit easier to handle.
If we are to talk about flaws, the biggest problem the pen has is the design. It is very bulky. At times it might feel difficult to hold and it will take time to get used to using the 3D printing pen.
5. Sunveza Professional 3D Printing Pen Kit
Sunveza offers a great 3D printing pen kit that includes everything needed to get started. Inside the pack, the manufacturers included the pen, a wall plug adapter, and 4 filament rolls to start creating right away. The model has temperature control and an LCD display that shows the current operating temperature. In terms of compatible materials the model can use both PLA and ABS filaments but the temperature settings are different for the two materials.
The pen itself has a rather odd shape. It is more narrow in the middle and thicker at the ends. Holding it feels a bit awkward and takes time to get used to. It is understandable as there is a heating element inside and it cannot be extremely thin but there are better designs out there.
4. AdroitOne 3D Printing Pen
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The AdroitOne 3D printing pen is one of the smaller models in our list. It falls under the same price category as most other pens but it feels better in the hand when using it. The model has two buttons to control the temperature while the on button ensures a continuous filament feed. Speaking of filament the model works with ABS and PLA but both materials have different temperature settings.
Using the pen is fairly simple but it requires a bit of tweaking. The temperature settings for each material are not clearly specified in the instructions and it will take a few tries until the optimal settings are discovered.
3. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen with OLED Display
MYNT3D is advertised as a professional 3D printing pen. It works quite well and the heating element inside seems to get the job done right. The pen has a small LCD screen on one of the sides which shows the current temperature. It’s two side buttons that allow the temperature to be adjusted. The model comes in a large box that includes everything needed as well as some PLA filament. It can also work with ABS if PLA is not available.
Pretty much everything about this pen works as expected. What most users will notice is that the tip will need to be cleaned quite often. The solidified plastic will block the tip and will need to be opened from time to time.
2. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen With 50 Plastic Strands
The 3Doodler Create 3D printing pen is one of the best products on the market. It was made to be easy to use and work as expected. The device has a simple design that actually makes it feel like a pen when holding it. It is slim, light and it is relatively quiet when used. The model works with ABS plastic filaments. 25 filaments are actually included in the kit. In terms of precision, the pen uses 3mm filaments which are not as slim but they are easier to work with.
For the most part, the 3Doodler pen does not have any major problems. What some might see as a con is the absence of temperature control. The manufacturers made the device operate at a standard temperature for the 3 mm ABS filaments.
1. Soyan 3D Printing Pen
Soyan 3D Printing Pen is one of the most popular models in our list. It is also one of the cheapest but surprisingly it works decently well as long as the right type of filaments is used. The model can work with 1.7 mm ABS filaments. It is relatively quiet and feels good in the hand. The heating element works quite well and the feeder works continuously if the on button is pressed down.
The pen itself works like any other normal pen. It does not have a lot of issues which is great especially for the price. What most people that never used a 3D printing pen will need some time to get used to it. It is a bit bulky and there are other models that are a bit more compact and slim.
Things To Keep In Mind
3D printing pens usually work with either ABS or PLA. These two materials have different melting temperatures. In order to use both of them with the same device, the pen needs to have adjustable temperature and an LCD screen in order to see the current temperature. This is an important aspect to keep in mind otherwise it is best to use only the material recommended by the manufacturer of the pen.
Another thing that needs to be known by the ones that did not use a 3D printing pen before is the maintenance part. The tip of every 3D pen tends to get clogged with hardened ABS or PLA that needs to be removed. This happens with all the pens but with some, they are easier to clean than others. Our list does include some models that are easier to clean than others.