Best 3D Pens in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 30, 2020
3D pens allow you to draw 3D objects even when the surface is non-existent. In a nutshell, 3D printing pens are pretty much handheld 3D printers except they're more affordable, more comfortable to create with, and suitable for kids too. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Recommended Age
Kit Contents
Compatible Materials
Power Source
Control
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The device boasts a DualDrive™ mechanism that allows the plastic to run smoothly. This model is compatible with almost any kind of ABS and PLS plastic filaments with a thickness of 3 mm.

CONS

The pen gets rather hot after long use.

OUR VERDICT

The Create+ 3D Printing Pen is a reliable assistant for creating wonderful plastic art pieces like phone cases, cup holders, coasters and so on. You can find lots of interesting ideas in the 3Doodler App.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

14+ years

Kit Contents

3D pen, 75 refills (15 different colours), Stencil book

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA

Power Source

AC (power adapter included)

Control

Fast and slow speed buttons, Mode selector (ABS / FLX, PLA), Temperature adjuster, Status indicator light

Extras

Compatible with 3Doodler App (available on iOS and Android), DualDrive™ Technology, Tool kit included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The construction features dual air vents that ensure the body stays at the optimal temperature and is comfortable to hold. A special pen holder is very convenient when the pen cools down.

CONS

The cord of the AC power adapter could be longer.

OUR VERDICT

The manufacturer has equipped this model with all the necessary safety features. The smart placement of the nozzle ensures you won't get any burns and an auto turn-off feature with a 3-minute timer will prolong the service life.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

8+ years

Kit Contents

3D pen, 3 refills (different colours), Pen holder

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA

Power Source

AC (power adapter included)

Control

LCD-screen, Temperature adjusting buttons, Speed control dial, Withdraw and feed buttons

Extras

Dual air vents to keep pen housing cool, Non-slip grip

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

It's fitted with an OLED display that shows the selected temperature of melting. By the way, you can set the temperature in a range from 160°C to 210°C depending on the type of materials you're using.

CONS

2 refills run out a bit too quickly.

OUR VERDICT

This device is great for kids who are 8 years and older. It helps develop logic and spatial thinking. The 3D drawing stencils will help you create the first crafts and a PVC board will ensure your desk stays clean.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

8+ years

Kit Contents

3D pen, 2 refills (different colours), Pen holder, 2 x fingerstall, PVC drawing board, 3D drawing stencils

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA

Power Source

USB (USB-cable included)

AC (adapter included)

Control

OLED-screen, Temperature adjusting buttons, Speed control buttons, Withdraw and feed buttons

Extras

Modular nozzle design, Non-slip grip

Warranty

1.5 years

PROS

The set includes 12 refills of random colours with a length of 3 metres each. They should last for a few weeks of frequent use. The Withdraw button makes changing the filaments easier.

CONS

Doesn't have a slow mode.

OUR VERDICT

Despite the popular belief that working with 3D pens can be dangerous for your health, we can assure you that this model is completely safe. It comes with eco-friendly refills that contain no harsh chemicals and produce no weird smell.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

6+ years

Kit Contents

3D pen, 12 refills (different colours), Pen holder, 2 x fingerstall, PVC drawing board

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA

Power Source

AC (power adapter included)

Control

LCD-screen, Temperature adjusting buttons, Speed control buttons, Withdraw and feed buttons

Extras

Non-slip grip

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

PROS

The device can be connected to the mains with the AC power adaptor (comes in a set) or a long 5V/2A USB cable. Also, you can connect the pen to the power bank and use it wherever you need.

CONS

It needs quite a while to warm up to the needed temperature.

OUR VERDICT

If you seek an affordable yet practical 3D pen that will serve you for a long time, we recommend this model. It has an ergonomic shape and non-slip grip with 2 fingerstalls ensuring it won't fall off your hand.

detailed parameters
Recommended Age

8+ years

Kit Contents

3D pen, 2 refills (different colours), Pen holder, 2 x fingerstall

Compatible Materials

ABS, PLA

Power Source

USB (USB-cable included)

AC (adapter included)

Control

OLED-screen, Temperature adjusting buttons, Speed control buttons, Withdraw and feed buttons

Extras

Ceramic nozzle, Non-slip grip

Warranty

Amazon's 30-day return policy

3Doodler Create+

DualDrive Technology For Smooth Doodling

When selecting a 3D pen, it's only natural to want to get a product that would be comfy, safe to use, functional and durable. Is it what you want too? Then we recommend the 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen. This model deftly combines all these things and can actually offer you much more, which is exactly why we've given it the title of the best 3D pen in our list. Let's talk about its advantages.

To begin with, the 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen features an advanced DualDrive™ technology which gives it durability, increased power, and reliability. The pen's made with a special mechanism that ensures the plastic will melt and run flawlessly giving you more control over the doodling speed. In addition to this, there's a lower chance of clogging compared to similar models, hence no overheating and longer service life of the pen.

Speaking of plastic, this model is compatible with 3mm ABS and PLA refills. Plus, it features a temperature adjuster and can work with different melting ranges, making it a suitable option for all kinds of filaments. The pen heats up quickly and when it's ready to use, a status indicator lights up notifying you that the pen's reached the set temperature and you can get started.

Also adjustable is the speed. The pen features 2 buttons for slow and fast doodling, so you will be able to try different techniques and make small details with high precision.

Review of 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen

Find Inspiration in the App

This 3D pen from 3Doodler is suitable for children of the age of 14 years and older, but it's still recommended to use it under adult supervision to exclude electricity hazards.

When it comes to drawing, starting the doodling is very easy: make an outline on the flat surface, draw upward lines and then connect them together. The stencil book included in the package is a handy addition, allowing you or your child to practise different designs. What's more, you can install the 3Doodler App on your Android smartphone or iPhone and seek inspiration there.

Apart from the 3D pen and stencil book, you also get 75 refills in 15 different colours. The pen itself is also available in numerous designs, so you can purchase it in Onyx Black, Quartz Grey, Arctic White, and Camouflage Green.

We also want to add that this model comes with a 1-year warranty, so in case of malfunction, it won't be a problem to replace it. Plus, the manufacturer offers 24/7 customer support service so you can contact them at any time you need.

In conclusion, the 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen is one of the top choices if you want to get creative and make beautiful DIYs. It is a robust product that is highly praised by numerous authoritative sources for its smart features and impeccable performance.

3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

ETAOLINE (F476)

Packed With Lots of Safety Features

If you seek a high-quality 3D pen for your child yet you don’t want to pay premium for it, we recommend checking out the ETAOLINE 3D Pen with LED display. It is reasonably priced, easy to use and pretty functional, making it the runner-up on our list.

According to the manufacturer, the ETAOLINE 3D Pen is recommended for kids of the age of 8 and older. However, it is necessary to exercise caution and keep an eye on your child while they use it to avoid burns and injuries, even though compared to most other 3D pens, it doesn't tend to get very hot thanks to the Dual Air Vents. Plus it is easy to manoeuvre in the hand thanks to a convenient non-slip grip. What also adds to the convenience is that there's a special pen holder included. When you turn the device off, you can use it as a base rather than put the pen on the desk and mess up its surface.

The last yet not the least important feature worth mentioning is that the ETAOLINE 3D Pen has a timer. It automatically turns the pen off after 3 minutes of no use, eliminating overheating and prolonging the service life accordingly.

Review of ETAOLINE (F476) 3D Pen with LED Display

Easy to Use For Kids and Adults

Moving on to the power source, we would like to mention that this device works from the mains and comes with a power adaptor. However, some users point out that it is a bit short, so you may need an extension cord.

As for the controls, figuring them out will be a no-brainer. The pen comes with an LCD screen showing the set temperature and a few up/down buttons for adjusting the melting temperature and loading the filament. When the light indicator turns green, it means the pen's ready to use. There's also a control dial on the handle enabling you to change the doodling speed, which may come in handy when you need to draw some small elements.

The pen is compatible with both ABS and PLA plastic plus you already get 3 refills in the kit, so there's nothing to purchase separately, making it a great gift idea for kids and adults alike.

In all, we think the ETAOLINE 3D Pen with LED display is a good option for both creative children and adults. Not only does it provide professional-looking results, it's also safe and easy to use.

ETAOLINE (F476) 3D Pen with LED Display in the use

 

Aerb (SL-300)

Various Working Speeds

The Aerb (SL-300) 3D Pen is one of the most intelligent appliances out there. With its help, you will be able to get your creative juices flowing and craft lots of interesting items for your daily life.

The best thing about this device is that it is very flexible and can be adjusted however you need. Unlike most 3D pens that operate only on fast and slow speeds, this model offers 8 different speeds, making it suitable for crafting even the most exquisite pieces.

This tool is fitted with an OLED screen that shows the current melting temperature. You can choose between two modes depending on the type of plastic you're using. If you put the PLA filament inside, the temperature can vary in a range of 160-180°C. For ABS filament, the range makes 180-210°C. By the way, there are two samples of filaments already included in a set, though they are rather small and may run out pretty quickly. 

After you select the temperature mode and press a heat button, the pen will quickly reach the optimal temperature without you having to wait too long. What's also handy is that it doesn't take it long to cool down too, adding to its safety of use.

The device has a modular nozzle design that is less prone to clogging and prevents dripping when the device is not in use. The set also includes a pen holder so you don’t need to put the hot tool directly on the desk. Moreover, the manufacturer also provides a protective PVC drawing board, a nice little thing which will make keeping the working space clean easier.

Review of Aerb (SL-300) 3D Pen with LED Display

...and Power Modes

What also differs this model from its rivals is that it offers various power modes. You can connect it to the mains with the power adaptor that comes included in a set or use a USB adapter. As a nice touch, there is a mobile power mode supported as well.

This device is suitable for 8-year kids and older. To make the first steps in their crafting adventure easier, the set includes 3D drawing stencils that can help them improve their imagination and dimensional thinking.

Lastly, we want to say a few words about the design. This drawing pen comes in a matte black body. It has a comfy non-slip grip and is convenient to hold. In all, the Aerb (SL-300) 3D Pen is a great investment if you want to keep yourself or your kid entertained. It has a smart design and good functionality, making it the best bang for the buck.

Aerb (SL-300) 3D Pen with LED Display in the use

 

Uzone UK-3D

Safe for Small Kids

Those parents who seek a tool to develop designing skills of their kids and take safety very seriously may like the Uzone 3D pen with LCD display. It's one of the most child-friendly options you can find.

Since the working principle of a 3D pen lays in melting plastic, you should check if the refills that melt are not harmful in any way. Luckily, this device comes with eco-friendly filaments that contain no harsh chemicals and produce no weird smell while melting. What we also like is that the set includes quite long 12 colourful refills (3 metres each) and will last you quite a long while even if you use the pen on a daily basis.

The other nice thing that makes this device a good choice for a kid is that it comes with a PVC drawing board, so when you kids decide to get creative, they won’t make a huge mess. The set also includes a pen holder, which is handy when the pen is not in use or when it's cooling down.

As for the power source, like most of its counterparts, this drawing tool comes with an adaptor and connects to the mains.

Review of Uzone UK-3D 3D Pen with LCD Display

Convenient Controls

Moving on, we really liked the design of this model by Uzone. Its body is made in black and has an ergonomic design with 2 fingerstalls ensuring a convenient grip in the hand.

As for the controls, they are situated right at the fingertips: you get two melting modes and two temperature settings for ABS and PLA filaments. There's also an LCD screen where you can check settings and make adjustments and there's a withdraw button for fuss-free changing of filaments. If the filaments are too long, you can always cut them to the desired length so that nothing gets in your way. Aside from the above mentioned buttons, there are also start/pause buttons as well as speed controls.

Speaking of speed controls, you get as many as 8 settings, which is more than in any average 3D pen, yet you don't actually get any that's slow, meaning you will have slightly less control over the plastic and thus, need to act quick. This, however, shouldn't be a problem since the pen is very easy to use.

In all, if you or your child wants to get creative from time to time, this pen from Uzone is a good option to buy. Not only is it safe, it also has a smart design for the maximum comfort of use.

Uzone UK-3D 3D Pen with LCD Display in the use

 

3D Hero (SL-300)

Make It Portable

If you're looking for a decent 3D pen but you don’t want to overpay, we recommend going with the 3D Hero pen. It is not only affordable but also good quality, so we believe it will serve you for quite a long while.

One of the most significant advantages of this pen is that it offers versatility, allowing you to run it either from the mains or via a USB cable included in a set. What's more, the pen features a Power mode which means you can also connect it to a power bank and use for on-the-go crafting and/or repairing small things.

The next advanced feature of this model is its ceramic nozzle. It has a well-thought-out construction that prevents dripping, making the pen safe and easy to use - you can be sure no unwanted drops of melted plastic will spoil your creation or get on your skin.

As for the set, apart from the pen and power cables, it also includes a pen holder and two refills of different colours with a size of 1.75±0.02 mm. Note that when you run out of filaments, you need to purchase new ones with the same size, otherwise they may not fit. The kit also includes informative instructions.

Review of 3D Hero (SL-300) 3D Pen LED Display

Ergonomic Body

Now let’s talk about design. The pen has an ergonomic body and is pretty lightweight (358 g). Its smart shape combined with special fingerstalls ensures a good grip. Also, it's worth mentioning that this device is made of eco-friendly glossy plastic and is available in black and white colours.

Moving on to the controls, there are only a few simple buttons that are responsible for temperature and speed adjustment (you can choose slow and fast mode). There is also a button that provides quick and easy filament installation. The manufacturer has thoughtfully equipped this pen with a well-readable OLED screen so that you can check the selected temperature and speed settings at a glance.

This device works with two types of filament and you need to select a suitable mode depending on what type you're using. Do note that this model is a little less powerful than its counterparts in our list, so you will have to wait for a bit longer until it gets hot. Other than that, you'll find no flaws with it.

We consider the 3D Hero (SL-300) Pen one of the best options for the money. It has decent quality and clear controls, so it will be a nice gift for kids, teenagers and adults alike.

3D Hero (SL-300) 3D Pen LED Display in the use

 

What Is a 3D Pen?

3D pens sound like something straight from science fiction, don't they? Seriously, the ability to draw vertically on nothing, no surface at all, nothing but air sounds ridiculous. That's precisely what these pens are able to do though. Using these printing pens, you're able to create the most intricate 3D objects, which is pretty absurd considering how affordable these gadgets are. We've addressed what these pens are all about in the aptly named How Do They Work and What Can You Do With These Pens? section, so that's not what we'll highlight here.

What we'll highlight is that, aside from all the benefits we've laid out there, these pens are easy to figure out and easy to maintain. Unlike most 3D printers, these gadgets do not require you to understand complicated CAD software to conceive 3D objects. You won't see the energy bills skyrocketing too. You won't even have to sacrifice any space at all since these are about the same size as ordinary pens. You grab the 3D printing pen, squeeze the button that's responsible for extrusion, and proceed to draw 3D objects, there's nothing complicated here at all.

What Features to Compare

Recommended Age

3D pens can be toys and tools and sometimes both. The difference comes from various factors, including controls, settings, output, and more. We'll address these factors soon enough but what you should know now is that there are reasons these restrictions exist and you should definitely avoid giving printing pens designed for people above 12 years old to children. Sometimes, these reasons also include the melting plastic that can cause injuries and the gadget's rising temperature that can make kids uncomfortable.

Compatible Materials

Normally, printing pens work with non-toxic, BPA-free, biodegradable plastic, like ABS and PLA. Occasionally, specific models are compatible with more plastic types. When you go from high-end and mid-range pens to budget models, the people behind these models usually pack them with ink cartridges filled with some eco-friendly plastic that you cannot replace.

Controls

This is where premium models designed to accommodate big-time hobbyists and artists differentiate from children's toys. These controls can include temperature and flow rate adjustment settings. Sometimes, you'll even be able to switch between different output speeds, fine-tune the output thickness, and enable continuous feed so that you do not have to hold the button to have the plastic coming out. We've even seen and reviewed models with LCD/OLED screens that allow you to access and manage these settings.

Extras

Not unlike most gadgets, 3D pens are sometimes fitted with different extra features. The most advanced 3D pens are usually compatible with proprietary apps that are usually packed with interactive instructions, suggestions, and more. Some models come equipped with changeable tips so even though you're unable to change the thickness, the pen lets you switch the tips that extrude varying degrees of thickness.

Power Source

This is where things are pretty straightforward. You'll see pens that work from the mains, so you're tied to the next AC outlet but do not have to change/recharge the batteries. Personally, we like the models that come equipped with rechargeable batteries that are compatible with most USB-enabled devices, including power banks. 

Package 

In addition to the gadget, you'll usually receive refills and different guide books that will let you figure out the pen's usability. Besides that, 3D can come supplied with drawing sheets and different forms to aid sculpting.

How Do They Work and What Can You Do With These Pens?

Most adults know what hot glue guns are and how they work. We cannot say the same about 3D pens even though the principle is not that different. When you put things into perspective, these pens are basically handheld 3D printers. Sounds pretty neat, right? More often than not, printing pens come equipped with heating elements and an extruder, not unlike the components that desktop 3D printers are usually fitted with. The biggest difference here is that 3D printers are controlled via software, whereas 3D pens do not do anything themselves and rely upon you to guide them.

The melted plastic coming from the pen is usually soft enough to be fused onto most surfaces and worked into basically any shape you want. When the plastic leaves the tip, it usually takes no more than 1-2 seconds to cool down and solidify, allowing you to draw vertically on air.

Arts and Crafts

These pens can bring fun and usability to kids and adults, especially different artists, hobbyists, and professional designers. But how do you use them? Well, you can use them however you want but, according to experts, the easiest way to create 3D art is through 2D sketches. Sounds sketchy, right? Stick with us though. You draw these sketches, then use the pen to extrude plastic over them. This way, you have the baseline, so you know where the lines should lead and where the borders are, giving you the necessary limits to ground the object yet enough leeway to create.

Alternatively, you can create decor for objects at home. Any bland bowl or vase from the local department store will do. You can use these containers as a mold for the print so that you have some idea what you're drawing there. That's where you'll start. Gaining experience, you'll be able to create much more complex, complicated, and intricate 3D objects, without using any props at all. The raised decorative design is these pens' biggest strength but crafts, sculpture, and fine arts, in general, are where these gadgets will come in handy.

3D Design, Prototyping, Repair Work, and Education

Working with 3D printers, these pens will be able to aid small-time post-processing as well as repairing different 3D objects. Hard-to-reach corners are where 3D pens especially shine.

With 3D pens, automotive, jewellery, and fashion fields can streamline product development. Realising basic 3D shapes within minutes is not something that you can underestimate when it comes to these areas, especially when brainstorming and conceptualizing.

Needless to say, education is where printing pens can do unlimited good. From mathematics (drawing geometric shapes) to architecture (modelling) and hard sciences (visualizing physical models like atoms and organs), 3D pens will be able to aid them all.

Poor Man's 3D Printers? Not Really

What we're describing sounds like printing pens are basically poor man's 3D printers but that's not the case. Sure, they're able to do less and the price mirrors that too but there are areas where 3D pens are much more preferable to 3D printers. With these pens, you're able to develop freestyle hand drawings and free sketch concepts, you can play around with 3D tech without paying king's ransom, and you can teach children 3D printing basics without subjecting them to CAD software.

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Publish Date: 2020-03-30 18:32:55