Everything you need to get started with 3D painted art
Ultimate 3D Pen Review
The cream of the crop, the best 3D pens of 2017. We spent hours testing the top ten 3D pens currently on the market, and the results were surprising.
We split the pens into two groups, premium and budget, and test each pen individually. We testing with various types of plastic, and coming up with grades for design, features, practicality and value for money.
3D Pens for Kids
3D pens use hot tip extruders and molten thermoplastics to create 3D art. This makes most 3D pens unsuitable for children. But not all..
In our review you will find the best 3D pens for children. With plenty of good, value for money options available, you don't have to risk burning furniture, tables or your little one's fingers with these four child-proof 3D pens
Plastic Printing Material Review
Choosing the correct plastic one of the hardest tasks for 3D painting and printing. In our review we take a look at the properties , pros and cons of ten types of plastics.
PLA and ABS might be the most popular, but aren’t the only 3D printer filaments which you can use today. Did you know you can use wood and bronze infused PLA?
Our Top Picks in Each Category
3D Simo Mini - The Best 3D Pen of 2017
The 3d Simo Mini is my 3D pen of choice for 2017. It is a cut above the competition when it comes to build-quality and design. What sets the 3D Simo Mini apart is its ability to print with multiple types of plastic, most of the competition can only print with PLA and ABS. But the 3D Simo Mini can paint with Flex and other types of plastic which opens up many options for 3D art creation.
How is this possible? Well, 3D Simo developed a mobile app on which you can set the temperature and type of plastic which you want to use, opening up a new world of possibilities.
The second main advantage of the 3D Simo is its ability to not only paint in 3D but also cut, solder and burn. This is a revolutionary development in 3D pen technology. No other pen manufacturer has attempted to incorporate four different functions in one pen.
Considering the unique abilities of the 3D Simo, its beautiful and elegant design and its sturdy construction, it's the best 3D Pen currently on the market, with the only pen even coming close to it being the Lix Pen.
Make sure to take a look at our in-depth review of the 3D Simo should you want to learn more about the four different attachments as well as the mobile app.
AIO Robitics 3D Pen - The Best Budget 3D Pen
The Aussies have hit the nail on the head with the AIO Robotics 3D Pen. This pen has all the features and functions of a premium 3D pen in a sub $50 offer. This is why it AIO Robotics gets our vote of confidence for the best bang for your buck 3D Pen of 2017.
Some awesome features from the AIO Robotics 3D Pen:
y more to like about this 3D pen, and if you want to learn be sure to read our review on the best value for money 3D pens for 2017. I'm certain you will find a bargain in there.
Best Plastics for 3D Painting – ABS and PLA
After choosing your printing pen, the second, and very important step in the process of making plastic art is to select the correct printing material. 3D Pens use the same types of thermoplastics commonly used for 3D printing. The most common types of plastic which are supported are either PLA or ABS. You can use these plastics to refill your 3D pen or printer.
PLA (Polylactic Acid)
PLA is a biodegradable, environmentally friendly plastic which you will find…Well pretty much everywhere. From plastic bags to plastic cups, it is one of the plastics you will encounter most frequently in everyday life.
Features of PLA
- PLA is non-toxic and easy to use – perfect for kids
- It is entirely biodegradable
- Set your 3D pen to around 195-205ᵒC when using PLA filament with your pen
ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
ABS is a strong, semi-transparent plastic with a high melting point. Contrary to PLA, ABS is not biodegradable and can be toxic at very high (400ᵒC+) temperatures. Fortunately, it “melts” far sooner than that, and is one of the best plastics to use with your 3D pen.
Features of ABS
- Impact resistant and strong
- Slightly flexible, doesn’t shatter when you bend it
- Set your 3D pen to around 210-220ᵒC when using ABS filament with your pen
Click the button below to go to our in-depth guide where we take a look at features, pros and cons of these two filaments
Why 3D Pens are Awesome
Compare the 3D Scribbler, a well-rounded 3D pen which retails for around $80 (check the lowest price), to the cost of an entry level 3D printer, which costs $300+.
This large difference in price is the biggest reason to start with a 3D pen before trying your hand at 3D printing.
Practicality and Size
A 3D pen requires very little time to setup. Some of these pens can even be powered by a USB power bank. It is also light and very easy to transport.
This means that you can jump straight into creating 3D art in less than an hour after purchasing your 3D pen.
Speed and Flexibility
With the right plastic, you can draw 3-dimensional objects right in front of your very eyes. You don’t to wait for hours as your 3d printer slowly produces layer after layer of plastic.
Most objects which I created in my plastic art portfolio was completed within a day.
Simple and Easy to Use
A 3D pen doesn't require any software to run, the only setting you need to adjust is the extruder temperature depending on the type of plastic you are using.
The 3D Simo requires a mobile app, but this is way easier to use than the 3D modelling software which need for 3D printing.