Last Updated On July 7th, 2022
Are you looking for the best 3D pen in the UK? Each 3D printing pen is different, and some work much better for certain situations, so there are real differences between them. Here are our reviews of the best 3D pens currently usable for 3D printing, as well as other information and answers for consumers.
In addition, this guide includes an in-depth buying guide to help you understand more about these products, what you can do with them, and how to evaluate them when making your purchasing decisions. People use products like these for many reasons, so knowing what sets them apart is crucial for finding the right one.
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Best 3D Pen Reviews – Top 5 Picks
Our Editor’s Choice is the 3Doodler Start + Essentials Kit. Its design is entirely safe for children and has no hot parts, including the pen nozzle and the plastic filaments. It is also easy to hold and lightweight.
The 3Doodler Start + Essentials Kit has everything you need to get started. In addition to a 3D pen, you get a mat for doodling, 48 strands of mixed-colour plastic, an activity guide, and a micro USB charger.
The included filaments are made from proprietary PCL plastic that is child-friendly and made in the USA. Impressively, the plastic remains cool to the touch throughout the process. You can even draw on your skin.
The newly upgraded pen model is equipped with improved extrusion gears to facilitate a smoother drawing process. The pen also features a wide design with a slight curve for a more comfortable grip. Children shouldn’t have an issue depressing the buttons or holding this pen for extended periods of play.
While this 3D pen makes an excellent choice for the above reasons, it might have a shorter battery life than other top options. You may also experience lower versatility due to using a proprietary filament.
This product makes a fantastic choice for new users just starting their 3D art-making adventure. Its quality design is easy to use and offers you a level of versatility that isn’t always found in other options.
The MYNT3D Super 3D Pen is compatible with both ABS and PLA filaments giving you a world of creative possibilities. It features power and temperature-ready lights, making it intuitive and straightforward to use right out of the box. Even so, we still recommend reading the manual to get the most from your purchase.
A tiny screw enables temperature adjustments, which is required when switching plastic materials. A screw cover helps prevent unintentional adjustments.
There is also a conveniently designed step-less speed slider that gives you infinite options and precise control over the extrusion of filaments. This product is built with an ultrasonic sealed modular nozzle to help prevent clogs, even at higher speeds. Whether you work fast, slow, or somewhere in between, this 3D pen caters to your artistic preferences easily.
The temperature control screw on this device might be trickier to adjust. In addition, this model may not be ideal for left-handed people, and more advanced users could find it lacking.
If you are looking for an option that is good for children and adults, we recommend the KreativKids 3D Pen. It has a high-quality build and is highly versatile.
This pen has a powerful motor with metal gears for added durability and a smoother drawing process. Outside, the pen features sturdy control buttons and is comfortable to hold. For your protection, an automatic standby mode is activated after three minutes of inactivity.
Unlike many other pens, it was built with adjustable speed and temperature controls to accommodate varying filament types. It is compatible with PLA and ABS plastic filaments. The filament included is PLA which is biodegradable and not harmful to your health.
If you desire inspiration or guidance on how to best use this 3D pen, KreativKids delivers. You can access tips, tricks, and 3D activity templates using a QR code supplied with your purchase.
The KreativKids 3D Pen might have a shorter usable lifespan than expected. Additionally, it may be a bit trickier for small children to use and could be slightly heavier than other top options.
Quality and value combine to make the Mynt3D Junior2 3D Pen. Specially designed for kids, it is a lightweight and easy-to-use option.
This 3D pen features a wide exterior with an ergonomic grip. Even for tiny hands, it should remain comfortable and fun to use. All exterior portions of this pen are low temperature, so you don’t need to worry about accidental burns.
The Mynt3D Junior2 3D Pen is constructed with a sealed nozzle to prevent potential clogs. It is compatible with PCL filament, which is another way this pen ensures it will remain safe for kids.
In addition to the 3D pen, this set comes with starter stencils, three different coloured rolls of PCL plastic filament, a USB cable, and a user manual. It also has a long battery life to help keep kids interested and engaged for extended periods.
You should know that this 3D pen might not be compatible with ABS or PLA plastic filaments. Also, it may not come with as many accessories and could be less durable than other options. Regardless, we think it makes a fantastic value choice.
Polaroid may be most famous for its cameras, but this 3D pen stands out from the crowd as a top choice for any buyer.
This model features three interchangeable nozzles that provide faster model creation and support different design choices. That’s a huge advantage over any single-nozzle 3D pen, and it’s one of the reasons this product is so easy to use compared to other competitors.
This 3D pen also integrates with the Polaroid Play Trace App, which allows you to trace over photographs and use the pen to turn them into 3D art. The software isn’t perfect, but you can see Polaroid’s legacy of working with photographs in these design choices.
This pen includes three 15g plastic filament packs in assorted colours, but expect to buy a lot more of those if you want to use this pen to the fullest. Despite the emphasis on playing and the ability to use PLA plastic filaments with this 3D pen, it’s not quite for children. Like most 3D printing pens, it can get quite hot, so keep an eye on things.
Instead of using an OLED display, as some pens do, this 3D art tool uses a user-friendly LED display. It’s also subtly irregular in its design, with the changes making it easier to grip and hold. When you look at this pen 3 nozzle choices supplement the usual speed control buttons, and that’s a quality-of-life feature that really stands out.
While this is the best 3D pen in the UK overall, and easy to use for most people, it does have a few production hiccups that mean some models work quickly. Make sure you know the warranty and consumer protections for this product in case you need to exchange it.
Now that you’ve seen our reviews, let’s take a closer look at what separates these pens from each other and what you should look for when making a buying decision.
What to Look for in a 3D Pen
Finding the differences in 3D pens can be tricky. Unlike product categories where most entries are fundamentally different from each other, these pen choices are nearly identical except in the smaller details. That makes choosing between each pen much harder than it seems at first glance.
However, there are a few areas we can look at to decide between them.
Accessories are all the extras beyond the pen itself, such as drawing guides and stencils. These extra features are particularly useful for buyers with conditions like aphantasia, which can make it significantly harder to produce 3D art without further guidelines. Pens that aren’t on this list, such as the Creopop 3D and 3Doodler create, may not have many accessories.
Pens can have different materials in specific areas. The best 3D pen choices have better materials in the areas where the plastic filaments pass through. Ceramic nozzles are particularly good here because they can stand up to the heat and help resist clogs.
Unfortunately, aside from the nozzles, most companies don’t provide any information on their interior materials. That makes it harder to determine which pen is most likely to last for a long time.
Design factors include things like the shape of the pen and the placement of the buttons. Each 3D pen is fundamentally a tool for art, and if you have to shift around to get to the controls you want, you could end up making a permanent mistake with your art.
The best pens have all of their main controls within easy reach while you’re moving the pen. In this context, that means being able to comfortably move your finger to change the settings.
Many pens also use arrow designs for the buttons, rather than squares. This provides an extra level of information because you can instantly determine which button you’re touching.
Weight is a minor factor at best. Children tend to do better with lighter pens, which won’t tire them out as quickly, but adults won’t notice much of a difference even during longer projects.
How Long Do 3D Pens Last?
That’s a great question, and like most products, the answer varies. A high-quality pen should last for dozens, if not hundreds, of drawing sessions as long as you take care of it. This means cleaning it after each use and avoiding extended use sessions. While these pens are literally made to handle high temperatures, working for too long without breaks could damage them.
What Types of Filaments Are Available?
While there are several types of filaments on the market, most pens use PLA or ABS filament. Many of the better pens accept both, but some pens only work with one of these options. Even pens that aren’t in our reviews, such as 3Doodler Create and the SL 300, tend to fall into this category.
ABS filament, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a popular choice for many 3D printing applications. This includes pens and full-size printers. ABS is notably durable and has strong insulation properties, which means things you create with it are far less likely to break as long as the plastic is thick enough.
It also has higher temperature resistance than other materials, which means it’s less likely to melt unless you put it directly next to a major heat source. Finally, you can process ABS with acetone after using it, which will give it a smooth and shiny finish. This gives it added versatility for many artistic projects.
ABS bonds well to itself, has a decent amount of flex, easily peels off of material like papers, and is generally glossy. However, it doesn’t have any translucent options.
PLA filaments, or polylactic acid, are an extremely popular alternative to ABS. This plastic typically uses organic compounds as the base, rather than the petroleum sourcing that most plastic products have. That means this is a renewable, organic material that’s safer to work and play with.
In rarer cases, you may find PLA filaments with additives like aluminium, bronze, or even wood fibres. This can give more versatility to artistic projects, although making the most of these traits requires both practice and experience.
However, while it’s environmentally friendly and many people use it for that reason alone, PLA is fundamentally more fragile and sensitive than ABS. It doesn’t resist heat as well, although this doesn’t matter for all users.
One other consideration is that PLA doesn’t contract as much as ABS, which means it will be truer to the original size you print it at when it cools. Neither will shrink much, but if you’re making many lines or layers, this could come into play.
PLA adheres well to itself and ABS, as well as clothes that you may want to draw on. It adheres too well to paper, so it can be a bit harder to peel off of stencils. Like ABS, it’s generally glossy, but unlike its competitor, it also has some translucent options.
Which Material Should I Use?
PLA filament is a great choice if you want to make decorative objects and don’t need to worry about mechanical strength. Most people use 3D pens for art, and unless you’re making something especially large or delicate, the difference in structural strength probably won’t come into play. PLA is also better for kids.
For reference, most manufacturers ship PLA filament with their pens. This applies even to products that we didn’t review, like the SL 300.
ABS is the better choice if you want to create delicate art or want to use your creations for practical purposes. It’s especially better in anything that you’re using to hold up other items, and the thicker you can make it, the better.
Remember, most pens work with both types of filament, though only of the correct width (usually 1.75mm).
Are There Any Other Materials I Can Use?
That depends on your pen. ABS and PLA are by far the most common materials, and most pens don’t function with other options. However, in rare cases, you may find specialty pens that work with other materials. Our guide doesn’t include pens that work with these materials, but you can look at products like the SL 300 to see if they’ll work.
TPU and PCL are the most common choices among rarer filament materials.
TPU, or Thermoplastic Polyurethane, is a flexible and durable material as long as you keep it out of direct sunlight. It adheres better than ABS to most materials, including glass, but doesn’t bond to metal. It’s also a bit elastic, so creations using this tend to be slightly bouncy.
PCL, or polycaprolactone, has a particularly low melting point and takes a little longer to solidify. This makes it a good choice for kids. However, it also decomposes in moist environments, so high humidity can be a serious threat here.
Our Editor’s Choice for the best 3D Pen is the 3Doodler Start + Essentials Kit. It features a child-friendly design and uses child-safe PCL plastic made in the USA. There are no hot parts on the pen’s exterior, and it is easy to hold and use, even for kids.
It also comes with a wide range of accessories, including a doodling mat, activity guide, and 48 strands of mixed-colour plastic. This 3D pen makes an excellent selection if you want to spark creativity, enhance spatial awareness, and improve fine motor skills in children. It is so enticing that you may even find yourself wanting to use it to experiment and create.