3D printing pens are one of the most exciting gifts this holiday season. Making it possible to draw in 3 dimensions, 3D printing pens are flooding the market with dozens of different makes and models currently available to buy.
One of the biggest challenges faced by someone purchasing a 3D printing pen for the first time will be dealing with all the lingo. While 3D printing pens are relatively easy to use, the terminology around them can be confusing. Figuring out the right product to buy will require having knowledge of what is currently available in the market.
With that in mind, below is a guide to 3D printing pens. In addition to covering what 3D print pens are, we will also look at how they work and finish by examining some of the best 3D printing pens currently on the market with a focus on buyers with different skill levels.
I. What Are 3D Printing Pens?
A 3D printing pen, also known as a 3D pen, is a device that allows you to create 3D models. Using a range of filaments as material, the pen allows you to draw the shape in thin air leaving behind a quickly hardening material. As a result, you can construct a wide range of 3D shapes with nothing more than a lightweight 3D printing pen.
3D printing pens are relatively new. In the last few years, they have exploded in popularity as prices have dropped. Relatively inexpensive, 3D printing pens are a fun thing to explore as they provide you a lot of opportunity for creative self-expression.
While any people will consider them a professional tool of artists, they are fantastic for hobbyists and children as well. Depending on the make and model, you will have a lot of options to select from. Currently, you can find around 70 different 3D printing pens currently being sold.
II. How Do 3D Printing Pens Work?
3D printer pens are relatively simple. They have a filament fed in from behind. This filament will be manipulated in such a way as to leave on the nozzle end in a liquid form. Once out of the nozzle of the 3D printer pen, the material begins to harden and becomes fully solid. 3D printer pens are split into two different categories based on how the material comes out from the tip and hardens.
The original and most common now is the fused deposition modeling. Shortened to FDM, the fused deposition modeling is the same technique that a lot of desktop printers will use. During this process, molten plastic will come out of the nozzle end of the pen. The nozzle is heated and keeps the plastic liquid until it is deposited on a surface. Once out of the pen, the plastic quickly hardens and becomes rigid. With this material and 3D printing pen design, you can make vertical structures pretty easily.
The second type of 3D printing pen is far less common but far more friendly. It is known as the photopolymer process where special ink is extruded from the tip of the 3D printing pen nozzle. The moment it is exposed to UV light, it begins to harden. Some of these pens come with UV light creators to help quickly harden the material once it comes out. While less common and requiring more time to solidify, these 3D printing pens are far safer for use with children.
III. Should I Consider Getting A 3D Printing Pen?
A 3D printing pen is more than just a novelty. With years of development behind their design and countless companies producing and releasing 3D printing pens, the industry has expanded beyond a passing phase to become a an art form in their own right. With a great deal of thought given to their design, a 3D printing pen is the perfect thing if you love creating things and want to explore 3D object making. Even if you have no skill going into the process, you can still have a lot of fun.
A 3D printing pen allows you to create shapes in a way that only now leaves the 2D constraints of the page. Offering you the power to draw and create things out of thin air, you can turn any object in your imagination into a reality. Never before has it been this easy and this inexpensive. In addition, the filaments used are relatively inexpensive. The objects you create a sturdy and can stand up to some ware and tare depending on the design.
You can also gift a 3D printing pen to someone you know. For example, there are many different kinds of 3D printing pens with some specifically designed for children. Including the cold tip design, they are safe to use and do not risk burns. A 3D printing pen can help your child see things in more than 2 dimensions, improving their visuospatial skills. It can also be a great gift to anyone you know who loves to create. While many people will love playing around with a 3D printing pen, few people will think of purchasing it for themselves.
If you are interested in getting a 3D printing pen, then you are in luck. Below we review a wide range of 3D printing pens and provide our input on the best pens for you to buy. We also split our recommendations up into advanced, beginner, and children 3D printing pens.
IV. 3D Printing Pens For Artists (Advanced)
Looking for 3D printing pens that provide a full range of customizable options?
The 3D printing pens for artists include all the bells and whistles, making them the most versatile and expensive 3D printing pens currently on the market. For those just beginning, hobbyist pens provide a far simpler tool to get started for. However, for those who want to mess with printing temperature, printing speeds, material types, and more, the artist 3D printing pens are ideal. While they may take some trial and error to learn, they are none-the-less the most fun to play around with once you get the hang of them.
Hatchbox 3D Printing Pen
Out top choice for 3D printer pens for artists is the Hatchbox 3D Printing Pen. It is also one of the least expensive pens worth considering. The Hatchbox is made completely out of plastic, meaning that it will be far more lightweight than the competition. Easy to use, it is not suitable for kids because of the hot nozzle design.
The LCD screen on the device shows the filament type you are using as well as the temperature. With PLA and ABS support, you can control the speed easily. Prices for these pens can go upwards of $100 depending on where you get them from and what is included along with the pen.
While the Harchbox 3D Printing Pen is a solid choice, there are several other 3D printer pens for artists that are worth considering. Some other choices you should consider include the 7Tech 3D Printer Pen, the MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen, the Smarson 3D Printing Pen, the Yosou 3D Printer Pen, the Nextech Intelligent 3D Printing Pen, the Yingjia 3D Printing Pen, the 3Doodler PRO, and the LIX Pen.
V. 3D Printing Pens For Hobbyists (Beginner)
Want to explore the world of 3D printer pens but are not yet an expert?
There is an entire category of 3D printer pens made specifically for hobbyists. What sets these pens apart is that they are designed to work from the start with few changes. Typically, they have fewer options and controls than other pens, making them easier to use and calibrate. These 3D printer pens typically include hot nozzle technology that makes them easier to use. While not a great option for children, they are perfectly safe for adults who use them carefully.
Manve 3D Printer pen
One of the best 3D printer pens for hobbyists is the Manve Intelligent 3D Pen. The Manve 3D Printer pen provides the same great experience as professional artist 3D printer pens without a lot of the options. Far from removing quality, it makes the 3D printer pen easier to engage with.
A set of simple indicators let you know what setting the pen is on and whether or not it is currently working. The pen also comes with a standby mode after 5 minutes to help save power. Very quiet, the pen is easy to use with PLA and ABS filament.
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The 3D printer pen by Manve is one of many excellent printer pens for hobbyists. Along with the one we covered, you may want to consider the Future Former 3D Printer Pen, the Da Vinci 3D Pen, the Lay3r 3D Drawing Pen, the NexGadget Intelligent 3D Printing Pen, the DIKI IV Intelligent 3D Printing Pen, the Home cube 3D Stereo Drawing Pen, and the 3D Driller 3D Printing Pen.
VI. 3D Printing Pens For Children (Safety First)
Last but not least, we look at a growing industry of 3D printing pens for kids.
3D printing pens can give children the ability to explore 3 dimensions by drawing complicated works that teach a great deal. Unlike other 3D printing pens out there, 3d printing pens for kids will have a nozzle that is not hot to the touch. In addition, the material used will be as non-toxic as possible. In this way, the 3D printing pens will be as child safe as possible. That being said, you should still probably check in on any child using a 3D printing pen.
Tech 4 Kids 3D Magic Imagi Pen
One of the best 3D printing pens for kids is the Tech 4 Kids 3D Magic Imagi Pen. The 3D printing pen is specifically created for and marketed towards kids. The printing pen stays away from the heated thermoplastics in order to print. Instead, it uses liquid polymers that become solid when exposed to air. UV light can also be used to speed up the process, allowing for vertical printing. Another benefit of the 3D Magic Imagi Pen is that it uses 3 AAA batteries to work. This makes the 3D printing pen easy to carry around and perfect for when you are traveling. Be aware that 3 AAA batteries are not included and that it can last for about 4 hours of use. Cordless, it is among the most inexpensive and accessible 3D printer pens for kids out there.
While the Tech 4 Kids 3D Magi Imagi Pen is our top choice, there are a number of other pens that are made for kids and well worth considering. Another brand well worth your attention is the AtmosFlare 3D Drawing Pen.
Another pen that uses cool ink technology, you have another affordably priced drawing pen that uses AA batteries and is fairly lightweight. In addition, you may want to consider the CreoPop 3D Pen, the Polyes Q1 3D Pen, and the 3Doodler Start.
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VII. Where Does That Leave Us?
3D printing pens allow for your imagination to take flight. Expressing your creativity in three dimensions, it has never before been possible to create objects. With many 3D printing pens on the market, it can be challenging to find the right one for your skill level and needs. Thankfully, any of the 3D printing pens listed above will be a solid choice to explore the world of 3D art. If there is one last thing to consider, it is that 3D printing pens are still in their infancy.
Every year new and exciting pens are released that dramatically expand capability and fun. After you purchase your first 3D printing pen, keep an eye on the market for new and exciting innovations.