Just when you think that you’ve seen the best of 3D technology, a new invention pops up. Who’d have thought that in 2017 we’d be speaking of best 3D pens, pens capable of drawing three-dimensional shapes on surfaces or on air? Yes, you heard that right; 3D images on air! Kids, artists, hobbyists; the 3D pen continues to gain huge popularity as it greatly enhances creativity and brings out the best in you. A quick search on Amazon for instance, will reveal that there are not less than 90 different brands of best 3D printing pens in the market today. In other words, the market is saturated and it’s important that you have some basic knowledge about the different brands before stepping out to get yourself one. Below you’ll find 10 brands that are generally viewed as some of the best in the market today;
Best 3D Pen Reviews
Lix 3D Smart Pen
6.4 x 0.5 x 0.5 inches
LED Heat Indicator
163 x 36 x 22 mm
7.3 x 1.6 x 1.1 inches
175 x 20 x 17 mm
5 x 1 x 1.2 inches
7 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches
15.6 x 2.5 x 4.2 cm
7.5 x 1.5 x 4 inches
Genesis 3D Pen
7.9 x 5 x 3 inches
Lix 3D Smart Pen : “The Smartest And The Smallest 3D Pen”
The Lix 3D Smart Pen isn’t just one of the best you’ll find in the market today, it also happens to be one of the smallest! Now this is good news and I’ll tell you why; most 3D pens are bulky by nature and for Lix to come up with a light, pocket size version, this was a brilliant invention.
In reviewing the Lix 3D Smart Pen, I sought to clearly establish whether it was any different from other common brands, not just in terms of its weight and size, and true, I found it to be less noisy and works excellently on almost all surfaces I tried it out. The noise levels in some brands can be irritating as the plastic filament gets heated, then cooled; Lix have really done wonders to eliminate much of that noise in this pen.
That aside, the Lix 3D has one outstanding feature that’s missing in most brands; it can be powered via a USB cable. Why does this matter? Most 3D pens rely on a power brick that must always be plugged in to outlets when working. Now, this somewhat hinders movement and the flexibility an artist requires while working; compare that to a light and flexible USB cable that’s less limiting! You could as well use it anywhere or when on the move, as long as you have a power bank to power it up.
If you are looking for a 3D pen that has a great look, that performs excellently and with minimal noise, I’d greatly recommend this one. Once you have it in your hand, it was hard finding fault in it; you’re always assured of a great experience when creating your images.
Polyes Q1 “Cordless 3D Printing Pen”
The Polyes Q1 3D printing pen is the brainchild of Future Make, one of the most reputable 3D printing technology companies. One of the most striking features about this pen is that it is cordless; most 3D Printing pens rely on a cord or cable to connect them to a power source.
But Polyes Q1 3D pen relies on a powerful battery capable of running for up to 2 hours nonstop. This makes it ideal for hobbyists and artists looking for a lightweight and portable 3D pen to carry around.
You’ll also be interested to note that with the Polyes Q1 3D, you’re able to regulate the amount and speed of the ink being released. Anyone who knows a thing or two about 3D pens will tell you that some release the ink too fast, often against what the artist desires. But this pen comes with a specially designed speed control button. Actually, the proper word for this ink used in 3D Printing pens is known as photopolymer, and the speed control button in the Polyes Q1 3D pen helps regulate the speed of its discharge.
This is especially important for kids as it makes it much easier for them to design and draw their favorite subjects.
In drawing and design, it’s important that you have a variety of colors at your disposal. With the Polyes Q1 3D printing pen, you have a variety of colors to pick. Besides, the manufacturer has seen to it that the pen is also compatible with eco friendly ink.
You’ll however need to know that the pen relies on a single cartridge that needs to be constantly refilled; it runs for a maximum of 35 minutes before you’re required to refill it. This may be a bit inconveniencing for someone with a big project that needs much time. But by and large, this is a best 3D pen for any beginner.
3DSimo Mini “Best Affordable 3D Pen”
The 3DSimo Mini is an interesting 3D pen, not just due its reputation for quality images, but because it comes with extra attachments.
1. For instance, it can be used as a soldiering machine, even as a lighter. However, these attachments are just an addition; let’s look at other features in the pen that make it worth a place in this list.
2. At a time when technology has taken center stage in our lives, with more and more people relying on hand held devices in their day to day lives, the 3DSimo Mini has done something remarkable.
3. This is the only 3D pen in the market today that has an app that’ compatible with Android, Ios, and Windows phones. This means that with this app, you can watch tutorial videos on how to use the pen, choose different profiles, and so on so forth.
4. This ability to customize your drawings via an app connectable to your hand held device enhances your experience immensely.
And yet, despite the technological advancements in this 3D pen, it’s budget friendly and very deal for novices and pros alike. Great design, easy to use, and the attachments mentioned earlier plus the filaments are all included when you buy the pen.
7TECH “Most User Friendly 3D Printing Pen”
The 7Tech 3D Printing Pen stands out for one simple reason; its user friendliness. You won’t require any prior experience in order to be able to use it. Again, it has a silent mode that you can turn on when looking to create a quiet, serene working environment.
Is that all there is to the 7TECH?
1. A good 3D pen is one that feels light and comfy in your hand; make it too heavy and the user won’t for long without wanting to change hands or positions. The 7TECH 3D Printing Pen has scored impressively on this front. You will enjoy how the pen fits and balances in your hand, and how it easily responds to your movements.
2. Its slim and stylish make makes it a comfortable piece to work with over long periods of time. The friendly features allow you to push the limits to attain your creative goals.
3. As an icing on the cake, the alumina spatula included on the 7Tech will enable you to work comfortably even when the nozzle heats up. 3D printer pens can get extremely hot when working with them, the alumina spatula protects you from the overheating.
4. This pen lets you set your own pace with extrusion. Another noteworthy feature to the 7TECH is that you don’t have to worry about clogging; the pen has a feature that that protects the filament from clogging.
The 7TECH 3d printing pen places magic in your hands with its user friendliness, extrusion control and thermal control features. These features help eliminate some of the common hitches experienced in most 3D printer pens.
The MYNT 3D Printing Pen
If you ask me, this is the best 3D pen to get you started into the world of 3D art. It gives you the best of both worlds; a sophisticated appearance and easy to use. The MYNT 3D Pen has a reputation for its excellent accurate strokes.
Thus, whether you’re buying the pen for a child, or an adult who has used 3D Pens before, you will be assured of high quality images. This greatly motivates the user, which is why I started by saying that this is the ideal pen for beginners in the world of 3D Printing.
1. You can create art on any material with its filament; wood, plastic, metal, you name it.
2. The extrusion speed control feature makes it one of the top models in the market of 3d printer pens. This is because you can control the rate at which the filament is pressed out. You’ll thus work smoothly, and produce super accurate designs.
3. The temperature control on the MYNT is slightly different from other designs. You can adjust the temperature to control the thickness of the filament coming out.
4. Higher temperatures mean a thin filament, and a thicker one at lower temperatures. With this feature, you’re able to introduce varying textures to your work of art.
The MYNT 3d is one of the quietest 3d printer pens. You can hear a pin drop, literally, with its silent mode feature. This means that your friends and family will be at ease whatever time you choose to create art with the MYNT 3d.
Any downsides to it?
Well, perhaps the only thing to mention is that the MYNT is powered via a USB power cable. This is unlike some latest brands that are relying on batteries, to make them more portable for the user. However, you can make use of a power bank if you’re looking to work away from a conventional power source.
“Lightest 3D Printing Pen” : Lay3r
The Lay3r is the embodiment of efficiency and simplicity. It has all the features that one would wish to have on a 3d printing pen. It is large, fitting nicely in your hands and quite easy to use. The pen comes with ABS filament and a power brick. It is an efficient pen that works great for people of all ages.
Certain features make it stand out; a shutdown feature automatically switches it off when it is not in use and a fan cools it when the pen starts overheating. This fan is a most needed safety precaution for you and your child, no more worries about damage to your skin.
The Lay3r opens a world of possibilities with its flexibility and sensitivity to control. Even your 10 year old child can learn 3D art from this piece without encountering any difficulties. With a little guidance from you they can easily turn to 3d art gurus.
Although it has a large design, the Lay3r is lightweight and responds easily to your movements. Featuring a thin (1.75 mm) ABS Filament, it is a great piece for art and design or for repairing broken plastic pieces.
The Lay3r is ideal for those seeking simplicity, and efficiency at a reasonable price. It may feel a little awkward in your hand at first; but you’ll get used to it. With time you will actually get addicted to it. It has a fine build and coupled with the automatic shutdown feature, the Lay3r is an exceptional and the best 3d pen for your child.
As a bonus, users of this pen get a free access to the Lay3r online community. Here they get to share their art and join conversations that might improve their experience and skills.
CreoPop : Only 3d Pen With Cold Storage Ink Technology
Here is unique brand that you should be on the lookout for; the CreoPop 3D Pen. Of all the 3D Pens we’ve mentioned so far, this is the only one that doesn’t use plastic filament! Yes, you heard that right. CreoPop uses cool ink, a fact that sets it aside from the usual riff raff in the market. It is safe for children and adults and absolutely guarantees zero overheating.
1. The CreoPop3d pen works solely on batteries but can be charged via a USB attached to a power bank or PC. The battery life is outstanding. It can last through three hours of intense sculpting.
2. This makes it an ideal pick to work with and portable anywhere you go.
3. This pen uses light sensitive ink that dries up when exposed to UV light from the pen’s tip. This means that you will be saved from the smelly ordeal of melting plastic that is the case with most 3d pens in the market.
4. The use of UV light enables you to have unrestricted movements when creating 3d objects.
From my own experience, I observed that sculptures produced by CreoPop last longer because of the cold ink technique. You can showcase your work to many people without worrying that your piece will wear out. Isn’t that the wish of every artist?
Creopop features a wide assortment of cool toners that include;
1. Glittering ink,
2. Temperature sensitive ink ,
3. Ink that glows in the dark,
4. Elastic ink and
5. Magnetic ink, to mention a few.
Such varieties of toners at your disposal can inspire you to create an amazing piece of art. You get to create a piece that exemplifies reality. It is like bringing a painting to life.
The CreoPop 3d pen is budget friendly without compromising on the quality. It’ll offer you total control on the speed and intensity of every stroke. All such Qualities compelled us to put it in the list of best 3d pens of 2017.
AtmosFlare “Most Responsive 3D Pen”
The AtmosFlare is another top reviewed 3d printer pen, a pen you should look out for in 2017. It features switchable ink cartridges, the cartridges contains ink of different colors to enable you realize your 3d art goals.
The pen comes with an AA battery and four pen tips together with a user manual. This is an exceptional brand and easy to work with even for beginners. A UV light emanates from the pen’s tip to cure the filament; this enables you to create a neat and stable sculpture.
The AA batteries can last for four full hours. The pen’s design and frame is light with materials of maximum durability. This is an ideal pen for 3d art because the ink dries up fast allowing you to draw without messing your piece.
The four pen tips that come in the kit allow you flexibility, a chance to stretch the limits of your creativity. This is because you know that you have a backup in case you make mistakes with your first.
There is a cap specifically meant for unclogging the tip of the pen. Unclogging is easy and involves simply twisting the cap. Alternatively you can use a paper clip to remove the dried ink from the tip.
The AtmosFlare 3D pen lets you create sculptures in the air. You can play around with different colors and shapes to achieve your artistic dreams and surprise your admirers. This pen is suitable for artists of all ages and every user will get a chance to bring out the artistic genius in them.
The pen is highly responsive to movements. You can sculpt various sculptors in any direction and angle .The user guide will help you in getting started but with a little more practice, you will find the pen an indispensable tool in your art adventures.
“Best 3D Printing Pen For Beginners” : 3 Doodler
Why is the 3 Doodler rated as one of the best 3d pens available in the market today? Well, there are several reasons for this;
1. The pen lets you draw, design and sculpt on all surfaces including the thin air.
2. It features a flamboyant design and over 50 different plastic filaments. The plastic filaments are available in different colors to choose from. Replacement of the filaments is not a complicated process; even a novice will find his or her way through it pretty fast.
3. It’s easy and straightforward to use; you simply plug it into the power socket. It only takes one minute to warm up after plugging. Once the filament is ready to use the LED will blink a green color to notify you.
4. The 3 Doodler 3d Printing Pen also features two speed controls. You can either set it at fast or slow. The speed control lets you decide the appropriate pace of extrusion as you work with it.
5. It does not overheat. It cools fairly fast and this makes it safer to work with even for children.
6. Its durable design and unique nozzle makes it stand out. The extrusion system has been designed to minimize clogging. You can be sure to get maximum performance with the 3 Doodler 3d printing pen.
The 3 Doodler also features a high and low temperature adjustment button. When you choose to work with the high temperature the filament texture will be thin. This is a great way to start for beginners because then the filament is easy to shape into your desired designs.
This is a faultless pen and you can easily create amazing 3d images with it. The 3 Doodler guarantees you of flexibility, efficiency and robustness.
The Genesis 3D Printing Pen
This 3D Pen is made by Lasso Labs and is outstanding for its sleek design and efficiency. The pen looks and feels nice in your hands when working. The filaments come in several color combinations that you can choose from.
1. It has a stylish appearance and is made of quality and durable materials. The Genesis comes with three filament supplies.
2. It also features a LED indicator that lets you know the type of filament to insert into the pen. It is very responsive and lets you control the speed of extrusion for accurate designs.
3. You get to draw and create 3D images on any material. Starting out with the pen is easy and it feels right in the hands allowing you to materialize your artistic imagination. With the Genesis 3D printing you no longer have to worry about getting stuck.
4. The pen comes with a step by step user manual to guide new and experienced artists. This is manual is an important guide to get the maximum experience from the pen, and maintain its efficiency and durability.
5. Unlike other 3d printer pens in the market, overheating is kept at a minimal on the Genesis. Another thing what will make you fall in love with this model is the sturdy holder that it comes with, to help you have a clean and orderly art experience.
6. The Genesis has been specially designed to help you have an easy time in 3D art. You will not help but fall in love with the pen’s nice size and weight. It works effectively and gives high dimensional accuracy during drawing and designing.
The pen will enable you to create fantastic 3d art and designs without complications. Whether you are new to 3D art or a veteran artist, the Genesis will enable you reach your artistic climax.
Quick Guide On How To Choose The Best 3D Pen
Having compiled the above list of the best 10 3D Printing pens, it’s only proper that we end by shedding light on some few basics. It’s one thing knowing the best brand in the market today; it’s another thing to know how the pen works or how to trouble shoot minor setbacks.
How the pen works ? all 3D Pens work by heating a plastic filament that’s ejected as a molten liquid, but solidifies the moment it touches the surface. As the solid cools, the user can create any 3D dimensions images or structures by simply directing the stroke and movement of the pen. Although some pens use ink, this is rather the exception than the rule; most 3D pens make use of ABS filament that’s basically plastic.
How is the 3D Printing pen powered ? like you’ll have noticed from the above reviews, a 3D pen can either be powered via a cable/ cord, or a battery. The latter is gaining popularity for users and hobbyists looking for a pen that’s portable and capable of being used anywhere. But even for those that have to be connected to a fixed power source, power banks are tilting the odds and making them equally portable.
How safe are the 3D Pens with children ? most manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make their pens not just comfortable for use, but also safe for the young ones. Overheating may cause minor burns, while ingested ink may be harmful to your kid’s health. As a parent or guardian, you’ll need to watch over your child if he or she is under 8 years; older children are able to take care of themselves.
Common 3D Printing problems, and How to troubleshoot them ?
We all know how amazing and fulfilling it can be when we create the perfect designs with our best 3D Pens. However, there are those annoying and infuriating moments when the pen misbehaves and you’re tempted to smash it at the wall in frustration. But hold on! Some of the 5 commonest hitches can be rectified, only if you keep a cool head and are patient
1. Over extrusion; over extrusion occurs when the pen is discharging more filament than is required. This results in uneven and varied thickness of the stroke, leading to unsatisfactory designs. A beginner may not even notice that the amount being extrude is in excess; it takes a professional eye to notice that the filament needs to be regulated. Over extrusion is often corrected by adjusting your flow settings on the pen.
2. Stringing; stringing is used to refer to the unwanted, unnecessary strings that dangle out of between parts of the model. This happens as you move the head of your pen over an area you’ve already worked on (this is known as travel move in the world of 3D Pens). As you move the head, some filament may drip from the nozzle and lead to the mentioned strings. To correct this, try minimizing your movements, or simply cut of the protruding strings. Some pens have a retraction software that helps retract any filament back to the nozzle as you’re about to move the head, best 3d pens always support such feature to maximise the user friendliness.
3.Pillowing; you’ll experience pillowing at some point in your work, and this is manifested by unsightly holes or bumps on your design. This usually occurs when the top of your design isn’t thick enough, and gives way to some hollow holes, or uneven bumps. It can also be as a result of the ink not cooling enough on the top layer. You correct this by looking at the filament size; 2.85mm and above is always recommended. Alternatively, adjust the fan to G Code, which is depicted in most fans as M106.
4. Cracks; cracks in 3D printing are common especially in tall objects, often at the sides. Again, this is often caused by cooling problems that reduce the adhesion in the higher places. You can try and increase the extruder temperature to around 10ºC; this is done on the filament box and is straightforward even for beginners. Similarly, altering the speed and direction of the fans can help distribute the cooling mechanism proportionally and as required.
5. Missing layers; missing layers are used to refer to the gaps on a model either fully or partly. This is caused by under extrusion (opposite of over extrusion); this could be due to a filament whose diameter is smaller, and therefore releases less than required ink. Or it could be that the nozzle is clogged. For this hitch, you could consider getting an expert to do a mechanical check on the pen. The expert could realign the rods, replace a worn out bearing, or even check for oil to ensure that all joints are well lubricated. If you are replacing the oil yourself, always check and ensure that the rods are clean and dirt free. You can use sewing machine to lubricate the parts, and the good thing is that this oil is often readily available.
There we go, you now have a list of the best 3d pens in 2017, and the 5 most common problems/ hitches, plus how to fix them! This should be sufficient knowledge to have at your finger tips before going out to buy a 3D pen of your choice. Join platforms and online communities that are pros in 3D Printing; here’s where you sharpen your artistic skills, as well as learn more about the latest brands in the market.