The best 3D pens are no longer gimmicks, these are genuine artist tools that can help you sculpt in 3D using many different material types, from metal and wood filament to conventional plastics, and there are 3D pens to suit everyone, from professionals to kids.
To help you choose the right 3D pen, we've researched and rated a host of available options, while considering factors like price, design, functionality, and target audience for each model. We've made sure to include professional 3D pens that suit different purposes and artist levels, and have summarised all of the information we could find from both expert and customer reviews, to give a consensus mixed with our own knowledge and experience of drawing. I recently bought a 3D printer, but using a 3D pen was my gateway to larger-scale printing (my 3D pen also helps to fill in any defects on my larger models).
If you're not sold on the idea of a 3D pen, then why not check out some other home crafting equipment like the best Cricut machines or even the best laser cutters. Or, if you want to go bigger with 3D art try one of the best 3D printers - which have become much more affordable and user-friendly in recent years.
The best 3D pens: available now
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The best 3D pens overall
Best overall 3D pen
Filaments: ABS, PLA & more
Control: Temp, speed
We think the super-flexible MYNT3D pen Pro is the best 3D pen overall for both teens and adults. It's lightweight and ergonomic for a comfy grip, while easy to hold for smaller hands, and you can adjust the filament's speed and flow for optimal control. The OLED display lets you monitor the temperature, and this pen also supports a range of filament types beyond the usual ABS and PLA. The downside is it's a bit expensive, and a little overkill for what beginners and kids will need for getting started with their 3D pen.
The best 3D pen for beginners
Filaments: PLA, ABS, FLX
Our top pick for beginners is the 3Doodler Create+. This 3D pen has a beautifully ergonomic design and is super easy to use, even for first-timers. Our reviewer praised the online resources that this package includes, as well as the handy guidebook. The great thing about this pen is that it supports FLEXY plastics as well as PLA and ABS. You get 50 filaments included in a variety of colours, and the materials are versatile enough for most crafting projects.
See our 3Doodler Create+ review.
The best premium 3D pen for pros
Filaments: PLA, ABS,
Controls: Speed/temp/thickness/flow rate
One of the most premium 3D pens on the market, the SCRIB3D Advanced model comes with everything you need to elevate your handheld printing to the next level. It has a large LCD screen to help monitor heat and other crucial settings at all times, and each element can be adjusted by fine increments for a precise print. A swarm of positive Amazon reviews suggest this 3D pen is a winner for Pro artists, and the ergonomic curvature design is comfortable to handle.
Best 3D pen for pros
Filaments: ABS, Nylon, Wood, Plastic, Metals
Display: OLED, dial
Control: Temp, speed
As the name suggests, the new 3Doodler Pro+ is a top choice for pros. This stylish and feature-packed pen can not only draw with ABS materials but also metal, wood, and copper. It features an impressive number of features, including a variable dial that enables you to control temperature, speed, and the internal fan for more accuracy. We think this is a winner.
A great value 3D pen
Filaments: ABS, PLA
This 3D pen is a great value option in our opinion (for approx $40 / £49.99), and is similar to the MYNT3D Pro model (number 1 on this list). It features the same gearbox and replaceable nozzle design as its sibling, but without an OLED display or temperature controls. This model has a temperature screw instead that lets you switch between ABS and PLA filament. It comes with three colours of ABS plastic, and an AC adapter.
The best 3D pen starter kit
Filaments: PLA, ABS
Controls: Speed / temp
The SCRIB3d P1 is a great 3D pen for beginners, and it comes packaged with three colours of PLA plastic (30 feet), a stencil book, and a project guide to really help get you started. The pen has adjustable temperature controls for use with PLA and ABS materials, and a simple stepless slider control which can be used to manage the filament's flow rate.
The best 3D pens for kids
Best pen for food art
Control: 1 speed
If you're looking for something fun (and edible) to do on a rainy day then the Polaroid CandyPlay 3D Pen is an excellent choice for kids and adults with a sweet tooth. You can create sweets and sugar art using 3D pen tech. Simply load in one of the many Polaroid-flavoured cartridges and create intricate sweets and decorations for baking. Polaroid offers simple templates to get you started with designing your own foody art.
The best 3D pen for kids aged 6+
Filaments: PLA, ABS, FLEXY
Controls: Basic options
Designed for children aged 6+, The 3Doodler Start+ features no hot parts, and the controls are kept to a minimum, making it easy to use and easy to supervise. You're restricted to the manufacturer's child-friendly filament for this pen, and the basic pack includes 48 strands in eight different colours, each offering 60 inches' worth of filament. We think this is a great beginner pen, not only for STEM kids but adults who are new to 3D pens too.
The best 3D pen for teens
This is a much simpler 3D pen aimed at kids who are looking to get into more intricate modelling and crafting. The simplicity of this 3D pen makes it lightweight and easy to use, with a simple temperature and speed control and a ceramic nozzle for easy cleaning. It's agile and compact too, leaving no traces of mess, and you just need to plug in the pen, choose your filament colour, and bring your 3D creation to life.
A great 3D pen for tiny hands
Controls: Start / Stop
Another child-friendly option, the MYNT3D Junior2 3D Pen is This 3D Pen is designed for ages 6+, with an easy-to-grasp design and low-temperature nozzle. It’s shorter and thicker than most, making it good for tiny hands, and works exclusively with biodegradable PCL filament. It features a sealed nozzle design, is battery-powered, and is charged via Micro USB.
The best budget 3D pen for kids
Filaments: PLA, ABS
Controls: Basic options
This 3D pen is compatible with low-cost ABS and PLA plastics, and you can push out filament at three speeds with this basic 3D pen. Its sealed nozzle and overbuilt gearbox offer clog-free use, but otherwise, it has no clever features. If you're looking for the absolute basics, then this is it. It's also powered using a proprietary USB cable, but its low price may justify these drawbacks if you're looking for a budget option for kids.
The best 3D pens: frequent questions
Do 3D pens really work?
Yes, 3D pens really work, if what you want to do is create a 3D model by hand. If you want to create a 3D model based on a pre-existing design, though, you need a 3D printer.
A 3D pen uses the same type of heating element to melt filament that you get in a 3D printer. But while the latter is controlled by software, a 3D pen you control entirely yourself, much like using a glue gun, so you can get truly expressive. Once the filament leaves the filter, it cools rapidly, and hardens into whatever shape you have formed it into.
What is a 3D pen used for?
You can use a 3D pen to draw on any flat surface. But, as the name suggests, the real beauty of a 3D pen is that it allows you to draw in mid-air, using plastic filament, and create three-dimensional structures that then solidify. Alternatively, you can draw over an existing object to enhance it.
Who uses 3D pens?
Anyone can use a 3D pen, but they're commonly used by hobbyists, artists, makers, fashion designers and home furnishing designers in creative projects. They're also used by engineers and DIYers to solve practical problems, by teachers in education, and by kids for fun projects.
What 3D pen should I buy?
The best 3D pen available today is the MYNT3D 3D Pen Pro. It's light and ergonomically designed, making it easy to hold and use, whether you're a newbie or an experienced hand. An adjustable feed helps you stay in control, and you can increase the temperature in increments. It's USB powered and you can use a wide range of filaments.
What's the best 3D pen for children?
The best 3D pen for children is the 3Doodler Start+ Essentials (2021), which is suitable for kids from six and up. The controls are simple, and everything's been subjected to the strictest safety testing. There are no hot parts on the pen and its Eco-Plastic filament is non-toxic, BPA-free, and completely biodegradable in household compost. It typically takes about 45 days for the plastic to break down.
What's the best 3D pen for beginners?
In our view, the best 3D pen for beginners is the 3Doodler Create+, because it's so easy to use. Just plug in the pen, insert your plastic, wait for it to heat up, then you can doodle in three dimensions. The extruded heated plastic hardens almost instantly, so you can draw 3D structures, freehand or on stencils. This 3D pen comes with different colours of plastics, which are all safe and non-toxic, and an activity guide book to get you started.
Are 3D pens environmentally damaging?
If you want to avoid harming the environment with your 3D pen, then the plastic we recommend using is PLA, which is short for Poly Lactic Acid. A polyester derived from renewable biomass, typically from fermented plant starch such as corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp, this type of plastic is both biogradable and sustainable. To be specific, it typically takes around six to 12 months to break down, while for most plastics it takes hundreds of years.
The other type of plastic commonly used in 3D pens, ABS, is not so great for the environment. Short for Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS is petroleum-based and non-biodegradable. It's both bad for the environment and more toxic to humans than PLA.
What's the best cheap 3D pen in the US?
If you're tight on cash and in the US, you can get a very decent 3D pen for not much money, in the form of the MYNT3D Super 3D Pen. Despite being just $39.99 at time of writing, it's an excellent 3D pen, with a stepless speed slider that lets you regulate flow for optimal control of material while you're drawing. You also get a ultrasonic sealed nozzle which virtually nearly clog-proof.
What's the best cheap 3D pen in the UK?
If you're in the UK, your best bet for a cheap 3D pen right now is the Nikand 3D Pen. Suitable for both adults and kids, it costs just £39.95 at time of writing, and is a nice pen that's easy to hold and use. It also comes with an OLED screen, support for PCL and PLA plastic filaments, and the ability to control speed of filament extrusion.