When it comes to creative toys, 3D pens are one of the latest innovations to take the world by storm. They're not quite 3D printing, but they're a much cheaper and more efficient way of creating miniature sculptures than 3D printing, or conventional clay crafting methods. Essentially, a 3D pen is like a hot glue gun, in that it melts plastic just enough so you can use it before the air cools it and it goes solid again. This means you can make plastic sculptures for very little effort or cost. So if you have a creative mind at home, whether they're a kid, a teenager, or an adult, chances are you have considered getting one. But which ones are available, and how do they compare?
This mid-range 3D pen is one of the latest designs. It is very user-friendly, only needing the press of one button to make it work, making it great for kids. It supports PLA, a non-toxic plastic, so it is perfectly safe. It is also lightweight.
This is the very best one for young children. It is designed to be safe from the age of eight, with no exposed hot elements, and the plastic comes out warm, meaning there is no burn risk at all. This means it is also good for clumsy children.
This pen is much more expensive and burns hotter, and therefore better designed for older children. However, it has adjustable release speeds and temperatures for a perfect finish.
This pen is able to handle both PLA and ABS plastics and includes some of each. The feed and temperature are also adjustable. It is a more mid-range price. And it comes with a much safer holder for children.
This cheaper 3D pen comes with 20m of PLA filler, but also takes ABS. It is very light and easy to handle, making it great for older kids and teenagers who want to use it regularly. However, the end does get very hot, not making it suitable for younger kids.
This is another cheaper pen. It is USB chargeable and comes with an adapter and some filament as well. It does not have adjustable settings, but this means it is simple and easy to use by just pressing the button.
This is an insanely cheap product. It takes ABS and PLA at 1.75mm. It is ergonomic and starts up fast. It comes with some PLA filament included. It does not have many other features.
This one takes ABS and PLA as well. It comes with some filaments included, as well as a series of fun and practical attachments.
This more expensive product is much more nuanced. It allows you to adjust flow and temperature so as to get a precise result. The display lets you keep an eye on progress.
This mid-range product is the ultimate safe version, as the air vents cool the item, making it safer to handle and last longer.