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Best 3d pen for December 2018

You’re probably here because you’ve heard a lot about the different things that could be done with a 3d pen.

You’re aware of the potential. Most of all you’re extremely excited at the prospect of getting to own one.

But with the flood of markets that have entered the market lately, you don’t know which one to buy.

Fortunately, help’s at hand.

In this article we’re going to list and discuss the best three 3d pens available in the market today.

Market size

The 3d printing market is expected to reach to 8.6 billion USD by 2020 with an annual growth of 21% per year.

Also called additive manufacturing, that enables us to develop products using digital blueprints and materials like plastic, silicon and metal.

It’s used in aerospace industry, healthcare and research.

With reduced errors, higher accuracy almost no wastage of raw materials and the freedom of being able to build products precisely as you want them, 3d printing is gaining steam.

Higher production cost for units for individual users is a bottleneck that’s hampering progress. The software is expensive and lack of skilled machinists.

 

A 3d pen is a miniature version of a 3d printer. You can hold it in your hands like a regular pen. Instead of 2 dimensional ink, the pen extrudes 3d plastic ink using which you can create objects, art and such.

How does it work?

Inside the pen there will be a hollow where you can insert plastic strands called filaments. The heat generated inside the pen melts the plastic and extrudes it out of the tip. Just like using a regular pen you can draw with a 3d pen in any direction. You can also draw into the thin air to create 3d objects. This takes some practice to get it right but you’ll eventually get there.

You can create any number of objects say chess pieces, 3d toys, plastic objects and knicknacks. With some practice you might be able to repair broken objects or put together some of them from scratch.

All age-groups can use the pens to model things and despite the heating element present inside it’s considered safe for kids. Very recently doodling has gained prominence as a stress buster among adults. These pens take it to a broader level by the versatility built into them. If you’re already using 3d printers for modelling things there’s no reason why you wouldn’t like 3D pens.

But unlike the pens, the artistic freedom and involvement is limited in printers. Printers print out objects based on a blueprint given to them. There’s no particular use of a skillset. However, things are very different with pens and require lots of practice before you can pop out beautiful creations.

Kids particularly love 3D pens because they’re able to create things. 3d Doodle provides stencils and ready made structures that kids and adults can model their designs on.

The star feature of a 3D pen relies on the fact that you’re creating something with your bare hands. You’re not relying on software or a 3d printer to produce things. Also 3d pen lends enough dexterity to fix problems that might have cropped up in your printed object. So, it’s useful to have.

 

Features required

 

There are certain features required in a 3d pen depending on your unique needs. More power motors lend additional accuracy when drawing. A powerful heating element helps you draw with greater ease. Below I’ve listed some features that you might like having in your purchase.

  • The level of comfort: Drawing projects require your hands and if you’re modelling something in thin air it takes a lot of hours. Thick pens aren’t very comfortable and don’t provide a strong grip. While eventually you might be able to get used to the thick shape, a shape that naturally fits your hands is preferrable considering all the time we’re going to spend with it.
  • There’s also the heat from the pen’s heating element which adds to the problem.
  • Reliability: A few cheap pens I tested broke down after using it for a couple of times. Pens should last long and not clog easily.
  • Steady plastic extrusion: You should be able to control the speed and settings at which plastic gets extruded so that you have proper control. A pen with extrusion speed settings allows for that.
  • multiple temperature settings make it possible to work with a wider range of filament types.
  • Easy loading: The pen should easily allow swapping of plastic filaments and adding new filaments.
  • Swappable tips: Mutiple tips will allow to draw with the desired thickness that some objects require.
  • Good customer service: The company behind the pen should be reachable if something goes wrong. It’s a bonus if the pen has a generous replacement policy or warranty.
  • Wide filament compatibility: Filament capability could range from ABS to other one.u into buying from the same company. A 3D pen that can work with a range of materials and brands is better.
  • Safety: A pen that steams off smelly fumes each time you try to use isn’t a good pen. Such chemical fumes could be harmful to health. Also see if the pen leaks molten plastic from the body. Such pens should never be used.

 

How did we test

We conducted a variety of tests trying to get a grasp on how easy or difficult it was to use each pen. We tested the temperature and speed settings to understand if we got the desired results when upping or lowering temperature and speed. We looked for clogs and jams and studied the noise and how hot the pen got.

Finally we drew straight lines and triangles and drew into the air to see how well each device performed.

 

3Doodler

 

From all the pens we tested we found the 3Doodler Create to be one of the best ones.

It’s very easy to hold and use and comes with additional accessories that makes the device very versatile.

It has a triangular body, made fully in Aluminium which is easy to hold despite holding for long periods. Two buttons are one the body pressing which lets you extrude at slow or fast speeds and gives you more control. The heat distribution is managed is such a way that the pen stays comfortable to hold throughout the use.

Never once in our long use did we find it uncomfortable because of heat.

It’s a steady stream of plastic from the nib and if you’re able to control the quick speed settings won’t be a problem.

 

Loading filaments is standard procedure. You need to unload the filament by pressing and holding extrude button and the strand would become loose enough to come out.

If you keep filaments for a long time inside the pen it can damage itself and that’s not recommended. It supports both ABS and PLA and supports temperature settings for both one is 380 F for ABS and 360 F for PLA.

The clogging problem which is common in most pens which happens when melted plastic hardens and gets stuck  inside didn’t occur in our use for this pen.

 

Create Doodler comes with 50 10 inch strands of plastic filaments. The company provides one year warranty for the product. However using any other filament voids the warranty. The ABS filaments are the most expensive compared to every other pen we;ve seen so far. THe motors can handle straight short stands of plastic provided with the product and not coiled strands that are sold elsewhere. So keep that in mind.

3Doodler is one of the best 3d pens available today. It’s slim to look at and sturdy to hold thus providing you with capable doodling abilities.

The new design features improved drive system making ink flow easier.

A rectangular body might make handling a bit difficult for those used to cylindrical shapes on other pens but the particular design gives better access to controls on the pen.

The body being built in aluminium, the pen is light-weight to hold and work with.

The pen comes with intuitive speed and temperature controls.

MYNT 3d pen

It’s another great choice available today.

The stepless motors allow for consistent and easy speed control.

The temperature can be adjusted in measure of 1 degree celcius.

Unlike most pens that require a power source nearby, this one can be charged portably. So if you require portability or want to feel the sun on your skin when working then this pen from MYNT should be your top priority.

The pen ticks all boxes on quality and convenience.

Leo EVO 3d Doodler pen

One of the best pens in the market today, it can be easily wielded by both artists who’re professionals and even kids.

Leo EVO is a great option to keep your kids busy during holidays.

Speed and temperature adjustment options cater to professionals who want to take doodling to the next level.

As far as kids are concerned, the 3d templates are a great place to get started and become acquainted with the tool and art designs.

Inside the box you will find the pen, filaments and templates for kids.

The pen additionally is equipped with a digital screen that updates itself with real-time information regarding the level of the plastic ink, temperature and speed.

The display makes it certainly useful.

Pros

An attractive design that fits the hands.

Can be used by both kids and artists

Has a digital screen that updates itself with all relevant details on the pen’s status.

Cons

Nothing much to speak of

 

LIX Pen

Unlike the option seen above, the pen developed and marketed by LIX caters itself solely to professionals.

The design is professional and tidy and you won’t find a problem to make it fit your hands.

LIX pen looks like any normal ink pen on the outside and such design isn’t normally seen in most 3d pens today. Most of which are bulky by design and feel like you’re holding two pens instead of one.

The new model is much better and much more affordably priced thanks to the cost cutting achieved in much more efficient design and creation process.

The USB recharging feature makes it a cool tool that can be carried around and charged in a variety of environments including being able to plug to a laptop.

What the manufacturers gained in making the pen easy to handle and easily fitting the hands it has sacrificed in being able to load thick filaments.

Pros

Lightweight

Easy to carry

Great design

Extremely easy to doodle

Cons

The construction feels a bit cheap.

The thin design means that the filament that can be loaded cannot be very big.

 

Glyby 3d pen

 

Glyby 3d pen won’t win any prizes for design. It’s unassuming and unpretentious and one may not like it at first sight.

That said the features are fairly comparable.

Considering the price of the pen— it’s priced at nearly half than most competitors in the space the options provided are pretty good.

The pen works on nearly all surfaces. And it could be said that the product is solely created for kids. Kids are going to love being able to doodle with Glyby.

 

Pros

Cheap pen

It’s easy to use

Cons

Design is uninspiring

Professionals aren’t going to find anything worthwhile

Kuman 100B

The latest version of Kuman 100B pens packs a lot of power in them.

The wide body coupled with the wide bottom can make it a pain to use for some of us.

But other than that the design isn’t really that bad.

The LCD display which is built-in displays all vital information pertaining to the pen including temperature, speed and other vitals.

The auto standby mode ensures that if the pen is idle for more than 5 minutes the supply to the heating element stops and the pen stops melting the plastic filament.

This in turn ensures that neither electricity nor filament gets wasted.

Can easily adjust temperature beginning with 160 degrees to 230 degrees.

Help and Support

The customer care must be lauded for their apt response times and the packaging comes with eBooks and tutorials to help you sail your way along and understand each and every process.

 

Pros

LCD display

Great for professionals, lots of free products included.

Cons

Thick bottom makes it difficult to handle

Nothing spectacular about design

 

How does 3d printing pen work?

Such pens use a filament or molten plastic to do designs and art work in 3 dimensions. The solid plastic filament once inside the pen, melts due to the heat generated via the electric connection we give it.

The extruded plastic comes out of the nib instead of ink and you’re ready to create 3d art.

Drawings and creations in 3d become a piece of cake with the pen.

 

History

3d pens first began as a kickstarter project that eventually was adopted by corporations. As such today there are hundreds of competing products in the market.

What should you look for when purchasing 3d printing pens?

It goes without saying that quality, name and reviews of the product should occupy the center spot.

Here are different features that should be kept in mind.

Control mechanism:

The control mechanism concerns itself with how the pen ejects ink. So if there’s a knob that adjusts temperature you can have control on ink ejection.

Higher temperature results in faster melting of the filament and in turn generates more ink. Lower temperature slows the process down considerably.

Filament type:

There are two major types of filament types being used currently. The first one is made of the same material that LEGO blocks are made of and require a higher temperature to get started with melting.

This also results in permanent 3d creations. The plastic dries up fast and you can be ready with your design in minutes.

The second kind of ink of ink is made of starch and as such is bio-degradable. It requires much lower temperatures and the designs aren’t permanent.

Ideally, a 3d pen should support both types of filament.

Check reviews

Reviews form the backbone of any product.

Reviews are a testimony to the experience customers had when using your product and when you read a lot of them you can get a lot of information and idea on which pen would best suit your purpose.

 

Concluding thoughts

So what do you think of our guide on 3d pens? Enjoyed it? Hated it? Do let us know in the comments below.

 

 

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