Bridging the gap between
art supplies and STEM toys, the best 3D pens for kids let children take their works of art to the next level. Whether they’re using a stencil to make a colorful pen cup or free-forming the cutest pig-dog-dino hybrid they can dream up, 3D pens create lasting plastic objects children can use as toys, masks, bespoke jewelry, and more. Parents say their children even use them to create custom repairs on broken toys. What Are The Best 3D Pens For Kids?
All 3D pens melt plastic-based filament, which is extruded out the tip, where it cools and hardens in the shape or pattern children have guided it into. There are two main kinds of filament used in 3D pens for older children, which are ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PLA (polylactic acid.) ABS is the same kind of
plastic Lego blocks are made of, and it’s similarly strong. It melts at a slightly higher temperature and has a stronger plastic-y smell when melted. PLA, made using sugar cane and corn starch, melts at a lower temperature and is shinier when cooled. It isn’t as strong as ABS and is more likely to break if dropped.
Our picks for younger tots use PCL (polycaprolactone) filament. PCL is a nontoxic, biodegradable polyester material that melts at a lower temperature,
making it safe for younger kids — it comes out warm but not hot and kids can even safely draw directly on the skin. However, PCL is also a softer, more breakable material and it can melt when left in direct sunlight. How To Choose A 3D Pen
Important features include easy-to-use controls that allow children to start, stop, and control the speed of the flow of the material and many allow kids to control the temperature of the pen. Know that 3D pens generally have a wire, but there are a few wireless models.
Safety-wise, there are only a few pens designed and recommended by the manufacturer for children under 14 years old. This is because most pens feature a tip that runs hot — in some cases close to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. These pens are similar to hot glue guns, and we recommend considering how much supervision your children will need. The pens are generally ergonomic with the only danger being the tip at the very end of the pen and the cooling filament if it’s ABS or PLA, so children should be warned against accidentally brushing them with their fingers, especially if they’re holding onto the object they’re working on. To make it easy for you, we’ve noted the recommended age for each pick below.
Set up a corner of their
crafting area with one of our picks below, which includes everything from 3D pens for younger kids to more deluxe models for older children who are ready for more advanced features. In a hurry? Here are the top picks for the best 3D pens: 1. The Overall Best 3D Pen For Kids: 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen Set 2. The Best 3D Pen For Younger Children: 3Doodler Start+ Pen Set 01 The Overall Best 3D Pen For Kids
With a whopping 15 colors of refill material including shiny colors, a doodle mat, and a storage pouch, the
3Doodler Create+ 3D printing pen set comes with everything kids need to create right away. This model extrudes a proprietary refill PLA filament that is twice as wide as many other pens, making it easier for children to create larger and more stable objects faster, and the pen itself is a more cylindrical (read: familiar) shape. Just keep in mind you’ll need to buy refills from this brand. Like similar pens, the tip does run hot. One advantage to this pen is that it doesn’t require kids to hold a button down to create flow, which can be turned off and on with a button. While this may be a disadvantage for younger kids, it makes it more comfortable to use it for long periods for older children who can handle shutting it on and off between uses. There is also a free 3Doodler app that offers step-by-step instructions on how to create many crafts. Helpful Review: “My son loved his first pen so much we upgraded to this one. He uses it to modify his action figures and man are they looking cool. Amazing product and if you have an articulate kid, this is a great tool to tap into imagination. We got a mat and a clear plastic case for storage. The first pen was a gift and a great bridge to learn how 3d pens work. Great gift idea for sure!!!” Recommended Age: 14 years old & up | Refill Material: 3Doodler 3 millimeters PLA, ABS, or Flexy Plastic | Colors Included: 15 | Wireless: No 02 The Runner-Up: A More Affordable 3D Pen For Kids
A display screen on this
easy-to-use 3D pen allows kids to choose their material type with adjustable temperature control and it has a variable filament feed speed depending on the kind of work a child is doing. As with other similar models, the filament flows out of a hot ceramic tip that is slightly recessed within the handle’s housing and it is powered by wire from an outlet. Reviewers say this pick has buttons that are intuitive and that this is a good model for beginner to intermediate users. Helpful Review: “This 3D printing pen is easy to use and perfect for beginners. It has amazing temperature control which is a key to a good 3D printing pen. Great value for money! I highly recommend!” Recommended Age: 14 years old & up | Refill Material: 1.75 millimeters PLA | Colors Included: 5 | Wireless: No 03 The Best 3D Pen For Younger Children
This well-rated, award-winning
3D pen is another fave from 3Doodler that’s safe for children as young as 6 years old, so your precocious creator can get in on the 3D fun, too. The wireless ergonomic pen only takes 3Doodler Start+ filament, which is in the PCL style. This pen has no hot parts to worry about and charges up via micro-USB in just half an hour. This model has extremely simple controls, allowing children an easy way to start and stop the flow of plastic. One interesting feature of this pen is that children can reverse the flow of material by double-clicking the same button that stops the flow, giving them a little more control as they get the hang of it. It also comes with stencils, an activity guide, and a doodle mat to help get them started. Helpful Review: “Really easy to use and a joy with which to play and create! The safety of the device is a highlight with a tip that will not burn or hurt a curious child. It melts plastic consistently and it could not be easier to use. It charges quickly enough via USB as well. The addition of a small project book with templates and a plastic sheet to ‘trace’ onto is also appreciated! You are only limited by your imagination in terms of what you can create with a 3D pen but having a mental springboard and examples of what can be done is great.” Recommended Age: 6 years old & up | Refill Material: 3Doodler 2.5 millimeters PCL | Colors Included: 8 | Wireless: Yes 04 The Cult Fave: A Wireless 3D Pen That Takes Any Brand — Not Just Type — Of Refills
If you know (or even suspect) your kids will get a lot of use out of their
3D pen, this is the one. This highly rated wireless pen features a replaceable nozzle tip to add to its long-term value, and it’s easily charged via USB (no wire in the way). Another bonus is that it can handle ABS and PLA filaments of all brands, and it can also handle wood- or bronze-infused filaments as long as they are the correct width and melt between 284 and 446 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a display screen for the temperature, which can be controlled in 1-degree increments, and it has a button for allowing for continuous flow of material and a separate control for flow speed. The manufacturer offers no recommendation on the age of users, but the tip does run hot and is similar to other comparable models rated 14 years old & and up. This pick maintains an impressive overall 4.4-star rating after more than 10,000 reviews on Amazon. Your kiddo will appreciate that it can use a battery to work wirelessly, so they can create anywhere. Helpful Review: “I thought this would be one of those things I would have to hold my kids hand for them to safely use. ( I have a 10 and 11 yr old) they can use it just fine without help. Safe and fun to create things.” Recommended Age: Not listed | Refill Material: 1.75 millimeters ABS or PLA | Colors Included: 3 | Wireless: Yes 05 A Budget-Friendly Wireless 3D Pen With Safety Features
If you’re buying a 3D printing pen for a younger child, you’ll want to consider the
MYNT3D Junior2. This pick has safety features that differentiate it from other MYNT3D models, including a plastic part that covers any hot surfaces at the tip and a low-temperature nozzle. It also uses a different filament from most other 3D pens called PCL that’s low-temp and low-odor, though this means the pen is not compatible with the typical ABS and PLA filament refills. Reviewers do warn that objects made with this pen can melt in a sunny window, but this can be an easy and budget-friendly place for younger kids to begin. This wireless pen charges via USB and it comes with green, blue, and red filament to start and refill PCL filament is comparable in price to other kinds. Helpful Review: “This was a lot of fun, they give you a decent about of plastic to play with and we made some leaves and a cute 3D heart. The temperature is great, it doesn’t burn your fingers or anything and works very well, its pretty intuitive and straight forward, perfect for your creative kids craft time!” Recommended Age: 6 years old & up | Refill Material: 1.75 millimeters PCL | Colors Included: 3 | Wireless: Yes 06 Nice To Have: An Organized Craft Case That Works For Most 3D Pens
Looking for a case that they can keep their pen, charging cable, and filaments in to create on the go? They’ll be able to corral all the pieces of their pen set with this
hard-sided craft case that comes in five colors and prints. The interior has a netted pocket and three velcro-closure pockets to keep things organized. The manufacturer suggests using this case with several popular 3D pens, including the 3Doodler Create, Dikale 07A, Tecboss 3D Pen, Soyan 3D Printing Pen, and 7TECH 3D, but it may also work for others. Helpful Review: “The colors are amazing and it is a great size and quality.” 07 Also Great: A Silicone Mat To Protect Work Surfaces
heat-resistant silicone mat protects work surfaces and provides kids with a level spot to build their latest creations. One side of the mat is grooved and the other is smooth, which is helpful depending on what they’re making. It also features guidelines in a grid, concentric circles, and a few longer diagonal lines to help kids guide their shapes, and draw straighter lines and neater corners. While this is SCRIB3D branded, it will work with any 3-D pen. Helpful Review: “Bought for my pre-teen to use with his 3D pen. He’s super pleased.” 08 Nice To Have: A Refill Kit For Making More Creations
Let's face it: No matter how many colors your 3D pen comes with, your kids will blow through it as they gleefully create everything they can dream up. Luckily,
3D pen filament refills aren’t terribly expensive and they come in a dizzying array of colors, letting children make even more complicated and beautiful masterpieces. This highly rated filament refill kit is standard 1.75mm gauge and comes with 10 feet of filament in 15 colors. It’s recommended for use melting between 383 and 437 degrees Fahrenheit. Note this will only work in pens that take PLA filament that’s 1.75 millimeters. Helpful Review: “These came with a good amount for the money!! they worked great with my daughters 3d pen.” Material: PLA | Colors Included: 15