What Is a 3D Pen?

by Mike Brooks | Last Updated: February 13, 2021

Blue 3D Pen

Do you want to create extraordinary art or 3D models? If you are interested in making realistic structures people will love, a 3D pen is your solution. Through the technology applied by this state of the art tool, you can design an object and produce a three-dimensional product.

So, what is a 3D pen? Let’s discuss this in detail.

A 3D pen is a tool that has been designed to resemble the normal pen but it is bulkier. The difference with the normal pen is that instead of ink, a 3D pen produces melted plastic filament through its extruder tip. The filament is heated up to its melting point to form a 3D drawing as a result. 

If you can draw an image in your brain, using a 3D pen will help you develop a tangible reflection of the image.

Understanding the 3D Printing Pen

This pen doesn’t require ink or lead plus paper to function. When you have a project, you will not need paper or any other kind of writing surface material. No, all you need is a plastic filament that will be heated to produce melted plastic. You will then use this melted plastic to create a design of your choice. With these 3D pens, you are free to draw any image in the air.

Some artists go to the extent of viewing the pen as a mini-3D printer. The advantage is that 3D pens are easier to work with than understanding the process of using a 3D printer. Devices such as a desktop or laptop to help you print out a design are needed in 3D printers instead of 3D pens.

3D Pen Filament

Once you have selected filaments with your preferred colors, insert them in the 3D drawing device. The temperature settings allow the softening of the filament. Once it’s soft, it gets flexy and will start to drip from the pen’s nozzle as you guide it to form the 3D object you want. You don’t have to wait for long since it solidifies fast, nearly instantly.

What Does a 3D Pen Do?

A 3D printing pen helps you create a three-dimensional object with ease. How your pen will work depends on whether you are using a cold or hot pen. What is the difference between the two?

If you go for the hot pen, you will need plastic ABS filament content like the one used in 3D printers. Place the ABS filament in the pen. Once it begins melting, it will be extruded through the tip.

The air around the pen’s nozzle cools the plastic ABS filament fast to make sure it does not spill off to form undesired designs. Through this technique, you are in a position to draw as many shapes as you please in thin air.

3Doodler and scribble duo are examples of three-dimensional pens that work similarly to a hot glue gun. A 3Doodler employs the same technology in a hot glue gun to create 3D objects in simple terms.

On the other hand, cold pens use chemical processes to turn liquids into solids. These processes are made possible by the ink being a photosensitive resin. As soon as the ink leaves your cold pen, it uses UV light to form a solid. Creopop3 and ido3d vertical are examples of three dimensional cold pens at your disposal.

You can use these pens to build emphasis on specific elements on an existing 3D printed object. For instance, if you have a figurine that you want to personalize, these pens will help you do it. Use the 3Doodler to add a personal touch to the figurine without damaging it. Be sure to adjust a few things such as speed settings and temperature settings.

What Are 3D Pens Used For?

3D printing pens are used in most, if not all, object making industries. Here are some of the fields you can use your 3D pens.

At the top of our list is prototyping. Experts in different fields create prototypes using 3D pens because they give realistic images of the subjects studied or designed. If you design jewelry or automobiles, you need to have 3D pens. Any shape you have in mind can be created with this tool. All you have to do is visualize the object’s shape and draw it.

Use your pens together with three-dimensional printers to do minor repairs in damaged 3D structures. You can also use the pens in the post-processing stage of 3D object creation. The upside of repairing objects with these modern pens can reach even the most problematic spots. With its ease in use, even a lot of kids can use 3D pens to make different things in a unique way without using paper as a drawing surface.

3D Printed Decoration

For people who make sculptures for decoration, a 3D pen is a vital tool. The 3D pens come in handy when you are dealing with fine art and craft. The raised decorative designs that you want to make are easy to pull off when you have one of these pens.

If you are a mathematician or an architect, a 3D pen will ease your understanding of different concepts. In mathematics learning, the pen comes in handy when you are drawing a geometric shape. Modeling in architecture also uses 3D pens to create a quality structure.

Scientists are not left out. If you have a physical model you want to visualize, there is no better tool to use than these 3D pens.

Is a 3D Pen Worth It?

The worth of using a 3D pen depends on you. If you buy a high-quality one, you will have models that are better and more detailed. Make sure you review the model of the pen you buy and see if it fits your requirements.

Go for a brand that is highly praised in your area of specialization. You will draw on surfaces with ease if you use the appropriate 3D pen for your needs. That being said, your wants and preferences determine the worth of the 3D pen you pick.

What Do You Need for a 3D Pen?

To start making models, you need the 3D pen itself, filaments, and templates. There are different types of filaments for use in these pens, including PLA plastic filaments and ABS plastic filaments. If you can get the PLA ones, they are better.

This is because the ABS plastic filaments, on one hand, emit strong odors compared to PLA plastic filament putting your health at risk if inhaled in excess.

It will be easier for you to draw if you have templates since you have something to trace the PLA plastic filament on.


A 3D pen is becoming an essential tool to have in many fields. Architects, scientists, mathematicians, and other professionals need the pen to come up with models. Use the information in this article to kickstart your journey in the 3D drawings industry.

Michael Brooks is the founder of M3DZone.com. 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.