A 3-D pen can be a fun and creative way for your child to explore spatial reasoning. The best 3-D pens for kids on the younger side should have simple controls and a shape that’s easy for small hands to hold. Teens will find more to love in slimmer 3-D pens that offer a smoother writing experience and adjustable speeds. While cold 3-D pens might seem like the safer option for kids, they require extra dexterity and patience, which children could find frustrating. Instead, opt for hot pens that are designed to keep uncomfortable heat away from the user's hands — and always supervise your child during use.
Age truly is the deciding factor when choosing the right pen for your child, so be sure to consult the recommended age range provided by each pen's manufacturer. Some 3-D pens are incredibly straightforward and basic, making them a great fit for children as young as 6 years old. These pens typically offer only one speed, remain cool to the touch, and are designed to be easy for younger hands to hold. If your child is 14 or older, they’ll likely have more fun with a 3-D pen designed for adults that boasts multiple speed settings and a variety of refill filament options for more control and customization.
3Doodler released the first-ever 3-D pen in 2013 and they’ve since continued to dominate the field, particularly when it comes to 3-D pens for kids. 3Doodler is a reliable brand, but their pens are only compatible with 3Doodler refills, which can become costly over time. If budget or access to 3Doodler-brand refills are concerns for you, it’s also possible to find a pen that can be used with cheaper filament (albeit without that name recognition).
Without further ado, here are three of the best 3-D pens for kids — all available on Amazon.
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1. The Best 3-D Pen For Young Kids
Recommended age range: 6-13
If you're looking for a pen for a young child, the 3Doodler Start Essentials 3-D pen is the way to go. It's specifically designed for small hands to hold, and it keeps things simple with just one speed setting. It's battery-powered, which means there aren't any cords to get in the way as your child draws. Any 3-D pen for children under 14 should remain cool with use and have plastic filament that’s safe to touch immediately after writing — which is why it's a relief that neither the the 3Doodler Start's external parts nor the filament get too hot to handle.
This 3Doodler Start set comes with the pen, a micro-USB cable to charge it, two packs of Eco-Plastic filament, and an activity guide to get kids started. You can also check out the companion app, which offers fun project ideas, complete with stencils. The 3Doodler Start is only compatible with 3Doodler Start refill rods (like these), and since Amazon reviewers report that kids can go through them quickly, it's worth grabbing some extra rods right off the bat.
The 3Doodler Start is covered by a 1-year warranty.
Positive Amazon review: “I got my 7 & 10 year old boys these for Christmas. these are awesome. the adults have used them as much as the kids. well worth the money.”
2. The Best Budget 3-D Pen For Kids
Recommended age range: 6+
The MYNT3D Junior 3D Pen is a lot like the 3Doodler Start, except that it’s slightly cheaper up front and compatible with any brand of 1.75-millimeter PCL filament. It has a low-temperature nozzle design that ensures it's safely cool to the touch, and it's battery operated.
This set comes with the MYNT3D Junior 3D pen, three rolls of MYNT3D PCL plastic filament, starter stencils, and a micro-USB charging cable. The manufacturer recommends that you use MYNT3D-brand filament, of course, but they also say that any 1.75-millimeter PCL refill will work. With that in mind, this pen could be cheaper to use in the long run than the 3Doodler Start, especially if you can source cost-friendly filament refills, such as this 1.75-millimeter PCL.
The MYNT3D Junior pen comes with 1-year warranty.
Positive Amazon review: “Very well made. Easy to use and heats quickly. Fun and fits well in my kids hand. Great quality for the price. Good toy for creative minds.”
3. The Best 3-D Pen For Teens
Recommended age range: 14+
The 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen is a great choice for teens. It has a longer and narrower design than the Start pen and an adjustable speed so that kids can draw quickly or slowly. It also features a dual drive system, which feeds the filament into the pen more evenly, helps prevents clogs, and makes the overall drawing experience smoother.
3Doodler recommends letting the plastic cool for five seconds when using the Create+ pen, which is one of the main reasons why only older kids should be allowed to operate it. Unlike the Start, the Create+ uses a power adapter, rather than a battery, and it offers different refill options for kids to experiment with, including ABS, PLA, Flexy, and Wood filament. (Just make sure the filaments you buy are specifically labeled as "3Doodler Create" refills, as 3Doodler's pens use a variety of filament sizes.)
The 3Doodler Create+ pen comes with plastic refills in 15 colors, a power adapter, maintenance tools, and a stencil book. It also comes with a 1-year warranty. Like the 3Doodler Start, the Create+ pen also works with a companion app packed with project ideas and stencils.
Positive Amazon review: “I purchased this item for my 14 year old for his birthday. By the end of the first day he was creating like he had been born with it. Very user friendly, easy to manipulate and control. Recommend this one (we own two other brands) to anyone just starting out.”