I’m Rainbow Girl, a professional 3D printing pen artist on YouTube. I’ve used every 3D pen listed below, worked with 3D pens for thousands of hours and made over 50 YouTube videos on 3D pens. Many people ask me what 3D pen they should buy so I made this Buyer’s Guide and comparison chart of the top 10 3D pens to help you decide. Check out my Ultimate 3D Pen Guide for even more info on each 3D pen!
Buyer’s Guide + Pros / Cons:
Scribbler Nano: ($99)
Click here to buy and use the Coupon Code: Rainbow for $30 off! (Full Review Blog) (Scribbler Nano video)
Pros: Thinnest / smallest pen that lets you draw big! extrudes plastic thick and fast! very durable
Cons: harder to hold for younger kids, speed 1 and 2 are too slow so you’ll end up using faster speeds
3D Simo Mini ($129)
Click here to buy and get 3 free plastic packs! (Full Review Blog) (Video Review)
Pros: The only multipurpose 3d pen + Most control/features + smartphone integration
Cons: 3d pen makes a constant sound when on, most powerful 3d pen = more dangerous
Scribbler V3: ($99 with coupon code)
Click here to buy and use the Coupon Code: Rainbow for $30 off! (Full Review Blog) (Video Review)
Pros: Best LCD screen + Great for detail drawing, ergonomic design, rarely jams
Cons: Smaller buttons that you hold down when using pen which can be harder for larger projects
Click here to buy and use Coupon Code: Rainbow for 1 free plastic pack (Full Review Blog) (Video Review)
Pros: World’s smallest and thinnest 3D pen, charges via usb, stylish design, very quiet
Cons: Plastic comes out thin so your creations will be smaller
Polyes Q1: ($116)
Click here to buy and don’t forget to use the 10% off Coupon Code: Rainbow (Full Review Blog) (Video Review)
Pros: Best ink pen, can draw up in air very well, portable / rechargeable, ink doesn’t get hot
Cons: ink can be messy/sticky
3Doodler Start ($49)
Click here to buy (Video Review)
Pros: Cheapest price pen + Only low-temperature plastic pen + Safest pen for kids, portable
Cons: Can’t draw up into the air easily, takes 30+ seconds for plastic to harden, can’t change color easily
3Doodler Create ($99)
Click here to buy (Video Review)
Pros: Most attractive metallic colors, thin, can use multiple pen tips for different designs
Cons: Jams too much and is difficult to unjam, slow to load / unload plastic, can’t change color easily
Want more info/reviews/videos on each pen? Go to my Ultimate 3D Pen Guide!
More info on each criteria and my decisions:
Functionality – 1=Breaks often, 10=Never breaks (works perfectly)
Most pens work pretty well, except for the 3Doodler Create, which stops working quite often. Be prepared to spend most of your time attempting to fix this pen rather than drawing.
Fixing jams – 1=Hard to fix, 10=Easy to fix
The 3Doodler Start, Polyes Q1, and Creopop pens never malfunctioned while I used them, so I don’t know how easy it is to fix a problem. It’s rare for the Skywriter V3 to have an issue, but if it does, it’s not very easy to take apart the pen to fix it. The 3Doodler Create breaks often and tends to have repeating issues even after you think you’ve fixed it.
Features/options – 1=Simple, no options, 10=Many options (lots of control)
The 3Doodler Start is extremely simple. I would recommend the 3Doodler Start or the Scribbler V1 for young children or beginners. The 3D Simo Mini has the most options. It features wood burning, soldering, foam cutting, and 3D drawing, and a smart phone app to control the settings.
Ability to draw up in the air – 1=Cant draw up, 10=Easy to draw up
The 3Doodler Start is not good for drawing up in the air because the plastic takes a long time to harden. The Creopop can only draw up with slow speed. All other pens are very good at drawing up.
Comfort while drawing – 1=Uncomfortable, 10=Comfortable
The Lix pen receives a low rating here because the whole pen gets hot while drawing, and so it starts to hurt my hand. Also pressing down on metal to hold down the button hurts my thumb because of the texture. The Skywriter, 3Doodler start, 3D Simo Mini, and Creopop all allow you to press the button once to start drawing. This is nice especially for long projects.
Safety – 1=Dangerous, 10=Safe
The 3D Simo Mini is the most dangerous pen because it gets up to 480°C, and it doesn’t turn itself off when you’re not using it. The 3Doodler Create and Lix have metal tips that get hot and will burn you if you touch it. You shouldn’t touch the tip of the Scribbler or Skywriter pens either, but they won’t hurt you too bad. Ink pens are safe because the ink doesn’t get hot. The safest pen is the 3Doodler Start which uses low-temperature plastic.
Noise – 1=Loud and annoying, 10=Quiet/no sound
The 3D Simo Mini makes noise when using it as a 3D pen, and also has a constant sound even when you’re not drawing. It’s not really loud but it is annoying. The Lix pen is extremely quiet. It hardly makes a sound at all!
Precision drawing – 1=Difficult to do details, 10=Good for detailed drawing
The Scribbler V1 puts out thick plastic and doesn’t have a good temperature control, so it’s not the best for detailed work. The Polyes Q1 is a very thick pen and the tip is not very long so it can be hard to draw in small spaces. The Lix is great for details because its plastic comes out so thin. The Skywriter, 3D Simo Mini, and Scribbler V3 are also good for detail.
Changing color – 1=Difficult to change color, 10=Easy to change color
The 3Doodler Create and Start have low scores because once you put a piece of plastic in too far, you can’t back it out and you’ll have to use up the rest of that color before you can use a new one.
Portable – 1=Must be plugged in, 10=Long lasting battery, can draw anywhere
The Scribblers and Skywriter are powered by wall plugs. You can buy a jetpack for the 3Ddoodler Create to make it portable (sold separately). The Lix is powered by USB so you could buy any battery that has a USB port. The 3D Simo Mini has a battery (sold separately) which sticks on the pen with magnets and has no cables! The 3Doodler Start, Polyes Q1, and Creopop all operate with no cords attached.
Clean up – 1=Very messy, 10=No mess
3D pens that use plastic are easy to clean up after. They leave little scraps of plastic which you can pick up and throw away. Ink pens are messier because the ink is sticky and leaves sticky areas and scraps.