3D pens are great for bringing kids creativity to life. The possibilities of having their drawing in three dimensions inspire more creativity as the image drawn looks realistic to the eye.
Because the 3d technology is fairly modern, there are very little resources on buying and using 3d pen for kids, my aim in this article is to share as much information as humanly possible on getting the best 3d pen for kids to help guide your decision in getting a 3d pen kit for your little one.
While there is usually a general assumption that the most expensive is always the best, this assumption does not hold true when it comes to buying online. An individual’s best choice will greatly depend on why they’re getting the item.
For most parents, the primary objective of getting a 3d pen for their child would be an attempt to help develop their creative sense, as well as their fine motor skills.
Using one of these kids 3d pens to make something fantastic requires a certain level of creativity, one that can be mastered and developed over the course of time. Fine motor skill is also required to manipulate the position of the pen to bring out the artistic details of the intended object.
If this sounds like why you are considering the possibility of getting a 3d pen for the young one, you’re on the right path, and you would do well by reading through this article in details.
What’s a 3D pen?
In a very simple term, 3d pens are drawing pens that are capable of producing a 3d image.
They look similar to the regular pencil or pen in physical appearance, sometimes bulkier because of the technology behind them. The major difference between a regular pen or pencil is that; 3d pens don’t have lead or regular ink in them but rather filled with plastic filament the melt to produce the ink that is further used in forming a different shape, based on the artist desire.
3D drawing has been around for a while but became extremely popular recently. Most people still wonder about the difference between a 3D printer and a 3D pen, because the former is more popular than the latter.
They perform exactly the same function, the major difference being that one is automated, while the other isn’t. Some seasoned users of the 3D pen also claim that it can be used to fix broken plastic on small objects by melting the filament over the defective area. This is not possible with a 3d printer, and thus can be considered an advantage in addition to being portable and less expensive.
If your child has an aptitude for artistic things, or if they happen to be a technology enthusiast, getting them one of this would go a long way in building up their confidence as an artist. Over time, they would develop and perfect the fine motor skill needed to make fantastic figurines with a 3d pen. Not just that, they would develop the enjoy the fun associated with creating different objects, resulting in a broadened creative mind.
Things to consider when buying a 3d pen for your child.
Filament Type: There are four major types of filaments in the market as at the time of writing this. The Standard, flexible, composite and specialty filament. Basically, the filament houses the plastic that would, later on, melt to give out the semi-solid plastic that would be used in creating your object.
A good pen would always come with a filament that could be easily replaced. Because you’re getting this pen for a kid, and you’re not particularly certain about how excited they would be to try out 3D drawings with the pen, you should not bother yourself excessively on the “best filament”, but rather get a product that allows you to change filament if there is a need for it.
Control: The more control features your pen has, the more expensive it is. Some of the basic features that you should look out for in getting a pen for your child is the speed as well as temperature control. This will go a long way in controlling the pace at which the filament melt the plastic and thus give your child some pace until they master how the technology works.
Price: Getting the best is good, but you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on getting a 3D pen for your kid, especially if it is their first pen. It’s advisable that you go for something within the medium price tag without sacrificing the quality of a good pen.
Users Review: Because the 3D pen is a relatively new technology, it would be a bad idea to just “follow your gut” when making a purchase decision. It is important that you check out the reviews of parents that have gotten the same pen for their child, read both positive and negative reviews before making your decision.
Design: Most 3D pens are bulky, even at that, you want to get a pen that would not be excessively bulky for your child. If it’s too big, they would find it difficult to maneuver the pen from time to time.
Aside from that, you want to get a pen that does not get hot excessively, since they would be used by kids, the extension of the filament and position of grip should be greatly considered so as to avoid any possible hazard that may arise from an increase in temperature.
How does a 3d Printing Pen Work?
Just in case you heard about 3d printing pen from your child, and you don’t know it works specifically, then this section of the article would help a great deal.
There are three main sections involved in the printing of a 3d Image with 3d pens.
The first part is the plastic filament. You can think of this as the “ink”, but in a solid form. The second part is the heating chambers, this section is responsible for melting the plastic into a semi-solid state that could be used by the artist in forming the shape that appeals to them.
The last part is the extruding nozzle, which is the tip of the pen from which the semi-solid plastic extrudes from the pen.
From the above explanation, it’s easy to deduce that a typical 3d printing pen works by melting the plastic filament, and the semi-solid plastic is used in drawing desired object, as it is allowed to cool off into its new permanent shape.
Which 3D printing pen is the best for my child?
Depending on the age of your child, as well as the budget you have in mind, the answer to this question is highly subjective.
In the past, people would only get a 3d pen for kids above the age of eight (8) because of the high temperature associated with the pen, and younger kids run the possibility of placing their hands on the wrong part of the pen, thereby getting burns from the heat.
Quite recently, a new form of 3d pens was introduced. This pen doesn’t get hot like the ones that run on melt plastic filament.
The technology behind this new 3d pen is known as “cool ink”. The ink is not as hot as the former ones and can be used by kids that are much younger than eight (8). Even the ones that are known to have a high temperature when in use, can still be used by kids, under proper supervision.
I’ll go into specific information in the review section of the article, and hopefully, you would be informed on the appropriate pen for your kids based on variables that apply to you.
Top 10 3D Pens For Kids
#1. 3Doodler Start Essentials 3D Printing Pen Set for Kids
This is by far the most popular 3d printing pen for kids in the market as at the time of writing this article, and an article of this sort would not be complete without a 3Doodler Start Review. It’s popular for its safety feature of having no hot part. Both the plastic and the nozzle can be touched by the kid without the risk of being burn.
Most 3d pens are known for being hot because of the technology behind them, the temperature for this particular temperature is very low.
Another great feature is the inbuilt rechargeable battery that comes with the product. You can use the pen for approximately an hour without having to plug it into an energy source. It is only compatible with the eco-plastic filament. The product comes with 48 strands of the filament, and you would be required to buy a refill when you run out of the initial filament.
Manufacturer strongly advice against using other filaments because of the low temperature of the device, using other types of filament might clog the pen.
Although it is a little bit bulky, as compared to other 3d pens, it should be noted that this product is specifically designed for kids safety and fun. The rechargeable battery is a huge plus and is enough as a reason to get the product for your child. Apart from that, the pen is quite flexible at the nozzle, allowing your child to create amazing 3D objects.
#2. 3Doodler Create 3D Pen
This 3D Doodle Pen is a slight variation of the previously reviewed product. It’s made by the same manufacturer. While the start essential is created specifically for kids, this is targeted at adult, but it can also be used by kids above the age of eight (8), and even younger kids with adequate supervision.
One of my favorite features of the pen is the weight. It’s not excessively bulky like most of the products in its category.
This simple lightweight pen is easy to manipulate when trying to create the perfect object. The nozzle can also be changed if there is a need to get more precision, it is one of the few pens with such feature. With a wide range of eco-friendly to choose from, the options are almost endless. It is quite easy to change colors as the need arises.
The company keeps improving this product from time to time to meet the current standard.
It would have been much better if the pen has a rechargeable battery like the start essential, but that is almost impossible without adding to the weight of the pen.
If you’re interested in bringing your kid’s imagination to life, with a little bit of precision and a wide range of objects to create via numerous stencils that are available online; this is the right pen to get your older kids.
The pen comes with 50 strands of plastic for initial use. Once you run out of this, you would be required to order a refill to enjoy the pen.
#3. Canbor 3D Pen
Few of the numerous benefits of 3D pen is that it improves imagination and help develop a child’s spatial thinking ability. This is exactly what the Canbor pen is offering, at a relatively cheap price as compared to other products in it’s category.
In the cost section of the article, I strongly suggest that parent should not spend excessively for the first 3D pen as they’re still trying out kids interest.
In situations like that, the Canbor pen is an appropriate choice.
It has a led screen display on the body, and two buttons for adjusting the temperature as appropriate. It is equally compatible with PLA and ABS filament of 1.75mm as specified by the manufacturer. It’s important to stick to this specification so as to avoid pen clogging.
A good pen should allow the user to switch easily between filament, especially when you’re working on a project with varying colors; this is made possible by the technology behind the Canbor pen.
Aside from the technical details, the ergonomics of the pen is impeccable. When pens are bulky, the precision is greatly affected, and it would also have a negative effect on comfortability. This pen is designed to fit into kids hands appropriately.
Another issue that most 3D pen users complain about is the noise, this pen is strategically designed to be as quiet as possible, allowing your child to work on their object without the distracting noise.
The speed control button on the side allows the user to control the speed at which the filament comes out from the nozzle, it has a forward and backward button on the other side as well.
#4. Dikale 07A 3D Doodler
When getting a 3D pen for a toddler, the first issue of concern is safety. You don’t want them getting burns from excessively hot pens, this might discourage them from trying it out some other time. This product has inbuilt features that focus on safety for kids.
It would automatically sleep or shut off when the pen is idle for a while. This feature is highly beneficial; knowing that kids might be very forgetful. Another great feature is the single control button, in older versions of pens, users are required to press and hold while they make the desired object.
This pen completely eliminates the need for that; once you press the start button, you’re good to go.
Another convenience button is the speed adjustment button, you can equally set the filament mode based on your choice of the filament. The LCD display on the side of the pen gives the user some information about the current extrusion speed, and the filament mode when setting the pen up for use.
It is compatible with both ABS and PLA filament, as a gift, the product comes with 120 feet of PLA filament and 250 stencils ebook to commence your journey into 3D drawing world.
#5. MeDoozy 3D Pen
Most manufacturers will define their users as age eight and above, this product is suitable for kids below the age of eight, as it is designed specifically for kids between the ages of 13 and 14.
If you’re interested in engaging your child’s imagination and creative mind as early as age three, then this is the appropriate product to get started with. The color and the design of the pen is enough to attract any kid to use the pen, as it comes in various shapes such as cat, pig, and bear.
It’s not excessively bulky in size, thus it fits perfectly into kids hands. The product also comes with an inbuilt battery that allows usage for up to 2hours without connecting to a power source; this is good for outdoor use.
Sophisticated toys are not good for kids, the simpler it is, the better. The pen has just three buttons. They can easily master its use in less than an hour, and from there on, they’re good to do.
To prevent burn, the pen is designed to extrude low-temperature plastic, making it safe for them. As an addition to the pen, the package comes with various add-on… A project book, four 3D pen stencils, molds and emoji. It also has a PCL filament, which is meant for the initial use before replacement.
#6. KT-PRASE Portable 3D Printer Drawing
Aside from safety, sophistication and cost are important factors that should be considered when getting a toy like this for your child.
The manufacturer of this pen like other products on this list dealt with the issue of safety fairly well, what’s more, interesting is how they’ve made the toy less sophisticated so they can be easily used by kids.
It has a button the controls the speed of extrusion as well as the temperature of the pen.
If you’re familiar with 3D pens, you would agree that, there are instances when you need the filament mold to come out fast because there is a whole lot of space to fill up, and in some other occasions, you’d need them to be as slow as possible in other to carve out the desired details. The buttons on this pen permit this adjustment as you desire. It is compatible with PLA and ABS filaments as manufacturer advice against the use of PLC filament.
The design is also ergonomically perfect, in that the body is not too bulky, and fits perfectly into the kid’s hands. The pen has a power bank features that allow you to work with a charged battery when you’re away from power source. I would have preferred that the battery is inbuilt so as to make it portable.
#7. Hongdak 3D Doodle Pen
The major advantage this pen has over the previous one is that it is compatible with the three common types of filament; the ABS, PCL and PLA filament, all at 1.75mm. And as a bonus to the package, is three roll of PLA filament to get you started.
This doddler pen allows temperature and speed adjustment like every other pen. The minimum temperature is marked at 60-degree Celsius and can be gradually increased at one degree up to 100 degrees Celcius. The Led display on the pen gives information about the filament type, the current speed, and temperature and possible error warning when there is something to take note of.
The manufacturer suggests that users be of age six and above. The pen is particularly slim, giving room for accuracy when drawing because it’s easy to grip for kids and maneuver for precision.
On the negative end, this pen does not has a battery, which means you cannot use it without being connected to a power source. And most buyers complain about the length of the power cable that comes with it is a little bit shorter than expected. Aside from this, it is adjudged a good pen for kids.
#8. TR-LIFE 3D Pen
More often than not, affordability and quality don’t come in a pair, but the TR-LIFE pen fits right into both description, making it a top choice for beginners. This pen appears delicate but in reality, it’s a strong pen with great features.
The casing is made of transparent plastic, so you can what’s going on inside, while this does not make it better than other pens, it though give an aesthetic look that may be cherished by kids. It reminds them of the importance of keeping it safe rather than throwing it around.
The power cable is a USB port connector to the pen; this means you can easily connect the pen to your power bank when you’re outdoors and let your kid enjoy the quality time of creativity, the USB cable is very long as well.
It’s also not complicated to operate, all you have to do is plug in the USB, and wait for the indicator light to change from red to green, then you’re good to go. Although you can’t adjust the temperature of the speed of extrusion, it has an inbuilt auto self-[rotection function that automatically pauses after thirty seconds to prevent blockage and also switch off after eight minutes of running to prevent overheating.
The product package comes with the pen, drawing templates, fingertip protector for safety purpose, and the USB adapter. Also included in the package are PLA filament for test running the pen.
#9. Scribbler 3D Pen V3
Scribbler has been around for a while, and they’ve learned so much over time, as the product has been improved following market observations. This is arguably one of the best product in the market as at the time of writing this.
The pen is compatible with a wide range of filament, ABS, PLA, Copper, etc, without the risk of having a clog. This wide range of filament has some impact on the temperature of the pen, which ranges between 140-240degree celsius The OLED it the pen gives detailed information about the settings, temperature, and material type being used.
Not bulky in any way, giving room for precision while making your desired object.
The pen is shaped to fit into the palm, with detailed attention to the contour and nozzle. In total, it has six control buttons around it. The first pair beside the OLED is for temperature increase and decrease, while the second pair of buttons is for adjusting the speed of extrusion, the other pair is for staring and pausing pen operation as the need arises.
If your child has been using a 3D pen for a while, and you see a need for a “bigger boy” upgrade, then this is the perfect option for you.
#10. MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen
This pen is designed for older kids as it comes with a little bit of sophistication in its features, making it more functional than most basic 3D pens. The first noticeable functionality is the extrusion speed control. Most pens, you can either set the pen to fast or slow speed, but this pen allows you to adjust between varying speed, giving room for more speed control, rather than a sharp fast or slow control.
The options of filaments are also very wide; as long as it is 1.75mm, it would work with this pen without any restriction or risk of pen clogging.
Temperature ranges between 130-240 Celsius, with would melt most filaments in the market.
Once you make a decision based on your choice of filament, all you have to do is let the pen raise the temperature and load the filament to commence operation.
When it comes to 3D pens, especially for kids, one of the major issues is the size of the pen; if it is too big, it becomes a burden, and handling it becomes a task for the kid, this pen is described as ultraslim. The power source is a USB connector making it easy to use on the go.
A feature that makes this product stand out amidst pens is the removable nozzle. You can switch between nozzle to improve precision as the need arises.
Best Overall 3D Pen For Kids
Arguably, each of the products reviewed in this article has its own strength and weakness. Some are either not rechargeable or bulky, while others are expensive and is limited by the number of filament they’re compatible with. A particular product stands out though. Because the manufacturer has bee around for a while, they’ve over the time perfected the product to accommodate customers suggestion, and as such, they have a product that is very close to perfection.
The overall best 3D pen for kids on this list is the Scribbler 3D Pen V3.
Best Budget Pen
Cost is another factor as discussed earlier on; it’s a good idea to find a perfect balance between an affordable product and a quality product. While the cost of purchase has been greatly considered in this article, a particular product fits perfectly when it comes to affordability and functionality, and that is the TR-LIFE 3D Pen. This product is the best option without sacrificing quality along the way.