They’ll never want to touch a real colouring set again once they get hold of a 3D pen, and we’re talking about both children and adults here. Using clever materials, these pens eject liquid plastic, allowing you to create awesome shapes and objects as it cools. Whether you attempt to ‘draw’ the Eiffel Tower or allow the kids to let their imagination roam freely, these pens are new, innovative, exciting and guaranteed to entertain.
- Gadget lovers - check out our guide to the best mini drones (opens in new tab)
- Adults too, can experience the excitement of a brand new pencil case
As with most gadgets, there are top of the range, high performance 3D pens, like the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 (opens in new tab) which boasts six speed modes and seven colour choices, then there are great value entry-level 3D pens, like the Polaroid Play 3D Pen (opens in new tab) which boasts plenty of clever features in it's own right and comes with the added bonus of being a bit more 'affordable', - but it's worthy of note that some 3D pens are not suitable for younger children.
Before you go ahead and purchase a 3D pen, consider whether you require your pen to have a screen. The LCD screen can let you know the temperature and the speed at which it ejects the plastic - if you are planning on taking 3D drawing seriously as opposed to engaging in it as a casual hobby, you may find the LCD screen is a must.
Also, make sure you research the age suitability. As mentioned above, some of the best 3D pens are not suitable for children under 8, while some are suitable for children over 14, worth keeping in mind if you are buying for a youngster.
If you’re someone who can’t settle for anything other than top of the range, and you plan on using your 3D drawing for work projects, the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 is for you. It’s one of the lightest pens on our list and it enables you to control the speed at which the plastic exits, the temperature and therefore consistency of the plastic, and experts can choose the filament they would like to use, too. The pen is compatible with five different types of plastic, and there’s seven colours to choose from so you really go to town when you create your new design. This is a high spec 3D pen, where the only limit is your creativity.
While it may not be compatible with as many plastics as our first choice, when it comes to purchasing a 3D pen that will predominantly be used by the kids, this one is a great buy. It’s suitable for use by children over 8 years old, just make sure you’re around to supervise, and it boasts a handy function that autoloads the filament when it runs out. With eight speed controls, scribbly sections and detailed sections of your creation are covered, and you can easily get hold of compatible refill packages with plenty of colours to choose from. The best 3D pen for kids over 8 on our list.
More advanced than the Aerb 3D pen but not as advanced as the Scribbler, this is the ideal pen if you like to play it safe with midrange. The pen is compatible with a range of plastics, allowing you to enjoy the effects of flexy, matte, gloss, clear and glow filaments, and there’s several speeds to choose from so you make sure you draw every part in a controlled manner. When you purchase the 3Doodler, you receive 50 free strands, so you can get started as soon as the pen is out of the box.
If you’re looking to learn the motions of using a 3D pen before investing in a more expensive one, this offering from Polaroid could be just the ticket. As the cheapest pen on our list, comparatively it’s not as techy as others but it’s perfect for some fun, with adhesive pads for drawing onto, and a screen protector for your iPad included. With the Trace app providing you with plenty of templates to get you started, you should be getting the hang of things in no time.
Although basic compared to other models on our list, this 3D pen has been designed with young children in mind and is the perfect starting point for future sculpturists. In addition to being super-fun, this pen helps children develop spatial understanding, design techniques and planning skills, making craft time way more than just doodling. If you are looking for a 3D pen for a child who loves to doodle, this is the one.
The best gifts for boys (opens in new tab)
The best gifts for girls (opens in new tab)