Which 3Doodler is best?

You’ve heard of 3D printers, but what about 3D pens? For those who love to draw, these innovative contraptions open a whole new world of art. The possibilities are endless, and your efforts will be rewarded with a 3D model that you can handle and enjoy.

Whether you’re a designer, professional artist, adult beginner or a young child, there is a 3Doodler 3D pen that will help you in all your creative endeavors. Models like the 3Doodler Start+ Essentials 3D Pen Set provide lots of materials to get you started and spark your imagination. 

What to know before you buy a 3Doodler

What is a 3Doodler?

3Doodlers are 3D pens that can be fed plastic filaments, which melt inside and come out of a nozzle at the end of the pen. The released plastic remains malleable for a few moments before hardening, allowing you to shape it into any shape or structure you can think of. You can draw in mid-air and watch 3D structures form right in front of your eyes.

Age

3Doodler has several 3D pen options, each with a particular age group in mind. Be sure to get a pen that is suitable for your child’s age.

Materials

Filaments for 3D pens come in many different materials. Note that each one may have different melting points and cooling times.

  • ABS: This is recommended for first-time users. Made from the monomers extracted from petroleum, this material is tough and commonly found in many home appliances and toys.
  • PLA: PLA is a vegetable-based plastic material and is one of the most popular materials for 3D printing. For a 3D pen, it works best for doodling directly onto surfaces.
  • Flexy: As the name suggests, this filament is a thermoplastic elastomer that provides both flexibility and strength to 3D creations, even after it dries.
  • Wood: Wood-based filaments are typically made of a composite combination of a PLA base and wood dust, cork or other forms of powdered wood. 
  • Metal: These filaments contain either copper or bronze and give creations a metallic finish and helps make creations more sturdy and heavy. It’s a good choice for making jewelry or sculptures. 
  • Nylon: Nylon filaments create a fabric-like texture and create a semi-translucent look. The dried strands are sturdy yet flexible and can be dyed different colors with fabric dyes.

What to look for in a quality 3Doodler

Accessories

Because 3Doodler pens are geared towards younger and older children, they typically include extra accessories to help guide beginners and give them a starting point for creating. Some accessories are filament refills, maintenance tools, molds, templates and activity books.

Safety

Safety is important to consider, especially if you are looking to get a 3Doodler for a little one. Some of their models offer heat-resistant materials that don’t get hot from use, and prevent little fingers from getting burnt. 

Temperature range/control

If you think you may use several types of filaments, finding a 3Doodler pen that can control its temperature to be compatible with different filaments is important. Each model details its temperature capabilities in the description.

How much you can expect to spend on a 3Doodler

3Doodler 3D pens can range in cost from $20-$80. Prices depend on the particular model and what accessories are included. 

3Doodler FAQ

Can you use your 3Doodler on your skin?

A. No. While the plastic filaments from 3Doodler are safe for skin, it is not recommended to draw with the pen directly on skin, as it will result in a burn.

How much use does one strand of filament provide?

A. Each plastic filament strand can stretch out to a maximum of 10 times its original length. For example, a filament that is 6 inches long will stretch to provide 60 inches of 3D doodling.

What’s the best 3Doodlers to buy?

Top 3Doodler

3Doodler Start+ Essentials 3D Pen Set

3Doodler Start+ Essentials 3D Pen Set

What you need to know: This 3D pen prioritizes safety, designed with no hot parts to eliminate the chance of burning little fingers. It’s recommended for kids 6 and older.

What you’ll love: This kit includes the 3D pen, a doodle pad, packs of mixed-color plastics,  charger and activity book, making it perfect for beginners. It reaches a full charge in roughly 30 minutes and just needs to be plugged in and filled with a plastic strand before it’s ready to use.

What you should consider: The only compatible plastic filaments are 2.5 millimeters in diameter, unique to this particular kit. Other sized filaments will not fit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Staples

Top 3Doodler for money

3Doodler 3D Build & Play STEM Toy

3Doodler 3D Build & Play STEM Toy

What you need to know: This beginner 3D pen is for kids 4 and older, designed to use low-heat and BPA-free plastic.

What you’ll love: With a simple setup, the pen just needs to be plugged in. Turn the handle that lets the plastic filament out to use it. It includes a set of molds to guide your imagination and a booklet of backdrops for your creations to play in. 

What you should consider: Some reviewers say they had to turn the crank for a while before any filament came out and it cooled too quickly to fill the molds.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Worth checking out

3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen

3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen

What you need to know: Recommended for ages 14 and older, this 3D pen is easy to control and is compatible with different plastic types.

What you’ll love: Included are 15 colors of plastic filament, a power adapter, maintenance tools, instructions and an activity guide book to help spark your imagination. The heated plastic dries almost instantly and allows for endless creation possibilities.

What you should consider: There have been some instances where pens worked for a short time before the plastic stopped flowing through the pen.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Staples

 

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Keira Hulihan writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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