Can You Use 3D Printer Filament in a 3D Pen?

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: March 16, 2022

Rolls Of 3D Filament

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Yes, you can use the same filament for a 3D Pen as you use in a 3D printer. Consider the project you are working on. With the issue of varying plastic options to pick from, the amount of plastic you can afford, temperature requirements, eco-friendliness, and smells are important in making an informed choice.

Are you a user of 3D pens exposed to the 3D printers? Both can use similar filaments naturally. The filament used in 3D printing is thermoplastic.  It means that they are plastics that melt instead of burning when subjected to heating. Thus, it allows you to mold shapes that solidify when the temperatures cool.

Here is a comprehensive guide on 3D pens and the type of filament you need.

Can You Use 3D Printer’s Filament in a 3D Pen?

3D pens use similar filaments as 3D printers. The raw material used to manufacture the filament is identical—both functions by heating the thermoplastic to the melting temperature. Please have in mind that each filament type has a different melting point.

Most 3D pens require the same 1.75mm of Polylactic Acid (PLA) or  Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) filament as some printers. PLA and ABS are most commonly used by many people. this is because PLA, ABS filament type contains a melting plastic that is environmentally friendly.

Filaments Contain Same Material

The Filament types used for the pens and the printers contain similar material. However, something that differs is the marketing aspect. While 3D printing filament comes in a pool and is more extensive in quantities, the 3Dpen filament comes with less weight. It is also cheaper thann3D printing filament.

3D pen filaments are manufactured in different colors. You can also buy smaller quantities depending on your purchasing power. Even though they are manufactured in different colors and quantities, the size doesn’t change. Filaments range between a height of 10 cm to 15 cm.

3D printing filament on the other hand is packed in 1kg units. This means that you cannot buy smaller packs of 3D printer plastics since they are ordered on account of their quantity.

The overlapping impact of using the pen and printer filament can help you save cost in some ways. Still, if you don’t have lots of print to work on,  the 3D pen filament is sold in packages, just like in food packaging, and is less in quantity.

Should You Be Using Abs or Pla for Your 3D Pen?

The quality of the 3D figure you are making dictates the type of filament you need. Your environment also matters when choosing between ABS and PLA plastic. Are there any children around? Is your 3D printing pen designed to use PLA or ABS plastic filament? What type of printing surface are you using? These are the kind of questions you need to have in mind when making this important choice.

The print materials are more important; for example, ABS plastic is conducive for use by ABS filament. Other printing surface materials known for their adhesion include paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic.

Having said so, let us dive into the differences between ABS and PLA plastic filaments. Once your understanding of these differences is perfect, you will be able to choose the most appropriate filament for your 3Doodlers start pen or 3D pen.

Temperature use is a way of determining the type of filament to purchase. Remember,  the two plastics are suitable but differ in melting points. Children work best with plastics that have low melting points while adults can use either.

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) works at a higher temperature of 2100C. PLA plastic filament on the other hand has a low melting temperature of 175o C. 3D pens use a lower temperature setting. In most cases, you may prefer the PLA filament, especially if you will leave kids with the pen.

Alternatively, set the cell with the requisite temperature amounts.

ABS filaments are oil-based. This means that oil products and items are vital in manufacturing ABS plastic. Therefore, corn starch is useful because of its oil. On the contrary, PLA manufacturing needs plant-based material.

As an environment-conscious person, you may pick the PLA often since it is both eco-friendly and biodegradable.

Since it is an oil-based plastic, ABS produces a lot of chemical odors when used. It needs a well-ventilated workstation. The alternative is always wearing a gas mask for protection.

On the other hand, PLA plastic is a product of plant material content and has a sweet smell.

Related: Does 3D Printing Smell?

ABS is a recyclable filament that means re-using with 3D pens extending its life span. You cannot say so of the PLA filament, which is plant-based and biodegradable. It decomposes like a living organism and, as such, helps avoid environmental pollution. PLA plastic, therefore, becomes the best filament to use for its eco-friendliness.

One of the most exciting issues with  PLA and ABS  is that they produce distinct colors when heated to melting temperatures. The ABS flame is red, while the PLA flame is blue.

The ABS filament extrudes thicker, making projects faster to complete. In the meantime, PLA extrudes thinner, and this means spending more time with the plastics on paper. When working on pen stencils, for instance, ABS works faster. However, PLA is the preferred plastic choice of 3D pen users for making jewelry and other wearable models.

ABS filament is the stronger of the two but can warp and shrink. Although PLA plastic is less robust than ABS plastic, it comes with more brittle quality.

How Much Is 3D Pen Filament

3D pen filament is available in the market at affordable prices. The prices vary according to the sellers, but shipping costs have a significant impact on the final price.

Here are some of the 3D pens sold by Amazon.

Check at Amazon

Check at Amazon

Check at Amazon

Check at Amazon


It is crucial to keep in mind that you have a lot of options for packs of filaments in the market. You are now well informed that 3D filament overlaps in pen and printing irrespective of people’s comments. I have enumerated the features of the two most used filaments, the ABS and PLA, for you.

The range of prices for the 3D pen and print plastic varies according to the specific plastic features and packs. From the few I have sampled for you, it is evident the 3D pen filament is affordable.

Michael Brooks is the founder of He sees a very bright future for 3D printing that's why his mission is to try and make this easy for everyone. Discover your hidden talent and creativity. You can follow here: Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.