Which 3D pen is best?
An affordable and fun way to get started with 3D printing projects is a 3D pen that heats plastic filament and lets users draw 3D objects into existence. It provides a unique STEM learning opportunity for children and can be a valuable tool for adult artists or anyone interested in crafting plastic components in their own homes.
The MYNT3D Professional 3D Printing Pen is suitable for all user skill levels and performs professional-level quality, with plenty of options to manually adjust the settings to adapt to your needs.
What to know before you buy a 3D pen
Wired vs. wireless
Some 3D pens plug into an outlet and stay connected to their power source, while others are wireless and need to recharge after a certain amount of time. The benefit of wireless is that you do not need to be near an outlet to use the pen, but it could potentially die while using it. The main drawback of a wired pen is that sometimes a wire could get in the way, depending on what you are creating.
Be sure that a 3D pen is suitable for the type of job you have in mind. There are 3D printers suited to large components and precise measurement, while you can primarily use 3D pens for artwork or detailed 3D sketching. Trying to craft something precisely to fit particular measurements with a 3D pen is difficult, so make sure that you understand what you need to use your 3D pen effectively.
If you plan to have children using the pen for experimenting, learning and creating art projects, it may be essential to find a pen suitable for younger users. There are 3D pens available that are extra safe and plastic filaments that are non-toxic and harmless. Choosing the safer products available might be perfect for a family looking for 3D pen equipment.
What to look for in a quality 3D pen
Some pens are capable of working with more than just one type of filament. High-quality 3D pens have temperatures that you can specifically change or adjust to the current needs. Different types of plastic filaments have different melting points, so try to find a pen that lets you manually change its heating temperature.
3D pen users will find that it is vital to control the speed of filament feeding manually. By directly adjusting the speed, it can be easier to work slowly on a detailed portion of a project and prevent the pen from clogging or inadvertently messing up what you are creating. The best models make the speed easy to adjust and control directly.
A good pen cools off quickly and does not easily overheat during regular use. High-quality pens do not have heating components easily accessible to prevent users from accidentally touching metal that could burn the skin. It is also best for the pen to be able to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance. Keeping your nozzle and internal parts clear of debris will not only let the pen last longer and prevent damage, but it can also help it not to become clogged or overheat.
How much you can expect to spend on a 3D pen
Cheap 3D pens that do not hold up to long-term use can be obtained for about $20-$40 and provide an affordable learning experience for anyone new to 3D pens. For a decent long-lasting or high-end pen, expect to pay anywhere from $40-$100 or more.
3D pen FAQ
Are 3D pens safe to use?
A. Most 3D pens have hot parts that are not safe to touch, but the pen should not pose any danger if appropriately used. Using filaments that melt at lower temperatures can also be safer if potential burns are a concern. As long as you use plastics that do not produce fumes, it should also be safe to print with plastic without the need for special protection. PLA filament is an excellent, completely safe filament for beginners to use.
What plastic filaments can a 3D pen use?
A. It depends on the specific model, so check what kinds of plastic your 3D pen can safely print and fit. Many 3D pens can print with PLA and ABS, the two most common types used for this type of 3D printing. ABS is cheap but gives off fumes that can make people feel sick and needs to be safely used only in ventilated areas. PLA is more expensive, but it is biodegradable and has a lower melting point. Note that PLA takes a bit longer to cool off than ABS.
What’s the best 3D pen to buy?
Top 3D pen
What you need to know: This 3D pen is great for working on professional-quality projects, but people of all experience levels can also enjoy it.
What you’ll love: The print speed and temperature of the pen can be easily adjusted. User information is clearly displayed on the pen’s OLED display to see the current settings easily. The kit also includes some ABS plastic filament for users to get started right away.
What you should consider: The power cord on its own is a little short, and the pen can be slow to get heated up to desired levels.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top 3D pen for the money
What you need to know: This extensive 3D pen starter kit is great for kids to learn about using a 3D pen safely and has everything you need to get started out of the box.
What you’ll love: The pen is specially designed with no hot components so you can use it without any risk of children burning themselves. Each kit includes the pen itself, packs of starter plastic, templates and a DoodlePad.
What you should consider: You will need to be sure it has time to charge with the included Micro-USB charger. Some users have had trouble understanding the instructions, so they may not be as clear as they should be.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This updated version of an older pen model gives users a very smooth experience.
What you’ll love: The pen offers control over the speed that helps in creating detailed pieces. It is the first 3D printing pen to use dual drive technology that improves the power and durability of the device. It is perfect for using non-toxic filaments like PLA, ABS and flexy plastic materials. The kit also includes a variety of plastic filament colors.
What you should consider: Using some third-party filaments has caused occasional jams.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Elliott Rivette writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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