3D Pen Filament: The Ultimate Guide

Hey there, fellow 3D pen enthusiasts! Ever been overwhelmed with all the filament choices out there? Don’t worry; I’ve been there. Let’s dive into the colorful world of the 3D pen filament, shall we?

1. Introduction to 3D Pen Filaments

3D pen filaments are essentially the lifeblood of 3D pens, turning your creative ideas into tangible, three-dimensional objects. Like the ink to a pen or the lead to a pencil, these filaments are indispensable for anyone delving into the world of 3D drawing. But what exactly are they? In simple terms, a 3D pen filament is a thermoplastic material. When fed into a 3D pen, it’s heated and then extruded through the pen’s nozzle, cooling down to form solid, 3D structures as you draw.

Understanding these filaments is more than just knowing they exist. It’s about grasping their composition, properties, and how they interact with your 3D pen to bring your artistic visions to life. Whether you’re a hobbyist, an artist, or an educator, knowing the ins and outs of these filaments can greatly enhance your 3D drawing experience.

2. Types of 3D Pen Filament: Exploring Your Options

The world of 3D pen filaments is diverse, offering a variety of materials to suit different needs and preferences. Each type has unique properties that make it suitable for specific projects, environments, and user levels. Let’s dive into some of the most popular types:

PLA Filament: The Eco-Friendly Choice

  • Origin: PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugarcane. Its eco-friendly nature makes it a favorite among environmentally conscious users.
  • Properties: PLA melts at a relatively low temperature compared to other filaments, making it easier to work with. It’s known for its glossy finish and offers a variety of vibrant colors.
  • Aroma: One of the charming characteristics of PLA is its sweet scent when heated, which is often likened to cooked corn or maple syrup.
  • Applications: Given its user-friendly nature, PLA is perfect for indoor projects, educational settings, and crafting intricate designs or decorative items.

ABS Filament: The Sturdy Companion

  • Composition: ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a petroleum-based filament. It’s the same material used in LEGO bricks!
  • Durability: This filament is renowned for its strength and toughness. It’s a bit more temperature-resistant than PLA, making it suitable for objects that might experience higher stress or need to withstand heat.
  • Usage Tips: ABS requires a slightly higher melting point. It’s advisable to use it in well-ventilated areas as it can emit a mild, somewhat unpleasant odor when heated.
  • Ideal For: If you’re working on more robust projects or functional objects like smartphone cases, ABS is your go-to choice.

PCL Filament: The Kid-Friendly Option

  • Characteristics: Polycaprolactone (PCL) is a biodegradable polyester with a very low melting point. This makes it one of the safest options, especially for younger users.
  • Ease of Use: Its low melting temperature means it can be manipulated post-extrusion, allowing for corrections and adjustments in your designs.
  • Applications: PCL is ideal for beginners, kids, or anyone involved in smaller, less intricate projects. It’s also a great choice for educational environments where safety is paramount.

3. Choosing the Right 3D Pen Filament

Choosing the Right 3D Pen Filament

Selecting the appropriate 3D pen filament is a crucial step in your 3D drawing journey. Just like finding the perfect wand in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the right filament can make all the difference in bringing your magical creations to life. To ensure that you choose the best filament for your needs, consider several key factors:

Consider Your Project’s Purpose

  • Artistic and Decorative Projects: If your project is more about aesthetics and less about functionality, PLA filament is your ideal choice. Its wide range of vibrant colors and glossy finish can bring a pop of life to decorative pieces. Whether you’re creating intricate models, decorative ornaments, or educational tools, PLA’s ease of use and pleasant scent make it a favorite.
  • Functional and Robust Creations: For projects that require durability and strength, such as tools, mechanical parts, or protective cases, ABS filament is the go-to material. Its resilience to stress and higher temperatures makes it suitable for objects that need to withstand wear and tear.

Assess the Work Environment

  • Indoor Projects: PLA is particularly well-suited for indoor use due to its lower melting point and sweet-smelling aroma. It’s ideal for classrooms, homes, and studios where ventilation might be limited.
  • Outdoor or Rough Environments: For projects that might be exposed to outdoor elements or rough handling, ABS or PCL filaments are better choices. These materials offer greater durability and resistance to environmental factors, making them suitable for garden decorations, outdoor art projects, or any creation that needs to withstand the elements.

Safety First!

  • Ventilation is Key: When working with any type of filament, especially ABS, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. ABS can emit fumes that are best not inhaled in confined spaces.
  • Pet-Friendly Considerations: If you have pets around, it’s crucial to keep them away from your 3D pen and filaments. Some filaments, when heated, might release fumes that are harmful to animals. Additionally, the physical material can be a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage if ingested.
  • PCL for Kid-Friendly Projects: If children are involved in your projects, PCL is a safer option due to its low melting point and non-toxic nature. This makes it a fantastic choice for educational settings or family crafting sessions.

4. Different Brands and Manufacturers

3D pen filaments are an essential part of 3D drawing, offering a wide range of colors and materials to enhance your creative experience. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at five popular 3D pen filament products, examining their pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Review of 3D Pen Filament Products

1. TTYT3D 3D Pen Filament PLA Refills 20 Colors

The TTYT3D filament set includes 20 unique colors, providing a broad spectrum for creative projects.


  • A diverse range of 20 colors, including 5 transparent and 15 solid colors, for creative versatility.
  • Made from 100% eco-friendly material, ensuring safety and environmental responsibility.
  • Compatible with most 3D pens and printers, offering wide usability.
  • Comes with 2 silicone finger protective caps, enhancing user comfort.


  • Not compatible with 3Doodler pen, limiting its universal appeal.
  • Some users might find the 16ft length per color to be insufficient for larger projects.

2. DO3D 15 Bright Colors 1.75mm 3D Pen PLA Filament Refill

DO3D offers a pack of 15 solid mixed colors, each 10 feet long, catering to various artistic needs.


  • 15 popular solid colors, providing a good range for different projects.
  • High-quality PLA filament with precise diameter tolerance, ensuring smooth printing.
  • Compatible with many 3D pens, including MYNT3D and SCRIB3D.
  • Eco-friendly material with vacuum packaging for quality preservation.


  • Limited to 10 feet per color, which may not be sufficient for extensive projects.
  • Not suitable for 3Doodler pen, restricting its compatibility.

3. MIKA3D 32 Colors 3D Pen PLA Filament Refills

MIKA3D’s set stands out with 32 colors, including metallic and transparent shades.


  • A wide variety of 32 colors, offering extensive creative options.
  • Includes 4 metallic and 10 transparent colors for unique project designs.
  • High-quality, eco-friendly PLA with smooth printing capabilities.
  • Package includes 4 silicone finger caps for user comfort.


  • Not compatible with 3.0mm 3Doodler pen, limiting its use for some users.
  • The 10 feet length per color might be insufficient for larger projects.

4. 16-Color 320ft PLA 3D Pen Filament Refills by dikale

This dikale filament pack provides 16 colors, each with a length of 20 feet.


  • A variety of 16 vibrant colors for diverse project needs.
  • Compatible with MYNT3D and SCRIB3D pens, offering wide usability.
  • Made from high-quality, updated PLA materials for smooth printing.
  • Comes with a bonus of 250 stencil eBooks for project inspiration.


  • Not suitable for 3Doodler pen, which might disappoint users of that brand.
  • Each color length may be limited for more extensive projects.

5. 3Doodler Start 3D Printing Filament Refill Bag

This 3Doodler filament pack is designed specifically for the 3Doodler Start 3D Pen, offering a variety of primary colors.


  • Specifically designed for the 3Doodler Start 3D Pen, ensuring perfect compatibility.
  • Safe for children aged 6+, making it an excellent choice for young artists.
  • Offers a significant quantity with 250 strands, each creating 35 inches of doodles.
  • Comes with bonus stencils and templates on the app for interactive experiences.


  • Limited to being compatible only with the 3Doodler Start 3D Pen.
  • Color variety is more basic, focusing on primary colors, which might limit creative options.

Review of 3D Pen Filament and Accessory Products

The realm of 3D pen drawing is exciting and ever-expanding, with various accessories and filament options available to enhance the experience. In this review, we focus on three products designed to complement and elevate your 3D drawing projects.

1. 3D Pen Filament with Silicon Design Mat and Compatible Stencils Book by 3Dmate

This set from 3Dmate offers a comprehensive package, including 36 filament colors and additional drawing aids.


  • Extensive Color Range: 36 colors, including metallic, transparent, fluorescent, and glow-in-the-dark options, offer creative flexibility.
  • High-Quality Filament: Filaments are crafted for smooth printing without jamming or clogging.
  • Versatile Use: Compatible with most 3D pens and printers due to its 1.75mm diameter.
  • Additional Accessories: Includes a silicone mat and stencil book with 12 templates, enhancing the overall 3D drawing experience.


  • 3D Pen Not Included: Requires the purchase of a 3D pen separately.
  • Packaging: Compact plastic bag packaging may not be as durable for long-term storage.

2. iArtker Transparent 3D Pen Mat

iArtker’s large, transparent 3D pen mat is designed for both beginners and seasoned artists, with a variety of patterns.


  • Universal Compatibility: Works with nearly any 3D filament and pen nozzle.
  • Creative Aid: The grooved front side features various shapes, aiding in project creation.
  • Stability: Non-slip back side ensures the mat and project stay in place.
  • Quality Material: Heat-resistant up to 260°C and non-stick for easy filament removal.


  • Limited to Mat Functionality: This product is specifically a mat and does not include filaments or a pen.
  • Size: The large size might be cumbersome for smaller workspaces.

3. 3Dmate Base – Transparent 3D Pen Mat

The 3Dmate Base is a versatile, two-sided silicone mat, suitable for a range of 3D pen projects.


  • Unique Design: Features a Fuse & Join area for precise 3D creation.
  • Versatility: Double-sided with options for tracing stencils or freehand drawing.
  • Ease of Use: Heat-resistant and non-stick silicone for straightforward maintenance.
  • Large Size: Offers ample space for larger projects and protects the work surface.


  • Accessory Focused: As with the iArtker mat, this product is solely a mat and doesn’t include filaments or a pen.
  • Thickness: At only 3mm thick, it may not be as durable as thicker mats.

5. Filament Colors and Patterns: Elevating Your 3D Creations

Filament Colors and Patterns: Elevating Your 3D Creations

The world of 3D pen filaments offers an exhilarating palette of colors and patterns, allowing artists, hobbyists, and educators to elevate their creations from mere objects to pieces of art. Understanding the range of available options can inspire your next project and bring a new dimension to your 3D drawing experience.

Exploring the Color Spectrum

  • Vibrant Colors: The array of colors available in 3D pen filaments is vast. From the brightest neon greens to the deepest blues, there’s a hue to match every mood, theme, and project idea. Whether you’re working on a model, a piece of art, or educational tools, these colors can bring your project to life.
  • Metallics: Metallic filaments add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your creations. With their shimmering and sheen finishes, they are perfect for crafting jewelry, decorative items, or any piece that requires a chic metallic look.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark: These filaments absorb light and then glow in the dark, making them ideal for creating playful items for kids’ rooms, unique nighttime accessories, or innovative art installations.
  • Translucent Shades: Filaments with translucent properties offer a unique aesthetic by allowing light to pass through them. This characteristic is perfect for creating lampshades, artistic installations, or any piece where you want to play with light and shadow.

6. Environmental Impact: Choosing Filaments Responsibly

In today’s eco-conscious society, it’s increasingly important to consider the environmental impact of our crafting materials. The 3D pen filament industry offers various options, each with its ecological implications.

PLA: The Environmentally Friendly Option

  • Source: PLA (Polylactic Acid) filaments are derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugarcane, making them a more sustainable choice.
  • Biodegradability: PLA is biodegradable and compostable under industrial conditions. This means that it can break down into natural elements in a commercial composting facility, reducing landfill waste.
  • Use: Ideal for eco-conscious users and educational settings, PLA offers a responsible choice without compromising on quality or color variety.

ABS: The Sturdier, Yet Less Eco-Friendly Alternative

  • Composition: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a petroleum-based plastic. Its production involves non-renewable fossil fuels, contributing to a higher carbon footprint.
  • Disposal: ABS is not biodegradable and can contribute to plastic waste if not recycled properly. Its disposal must be handled with consideration to minimize environmental impact.

PCL: A Safe and Eco-Friendly Choice

  • Eco-Friendly and Safe: PCL (Polycaprolactone) is another biodegradable option. It has a low melting point, making it energy-efficient and safe, especially for use around children.
  • Application: Suitable for eco-conscious users who are also looking for a safe and user-friendly material, especially in educational or family settings.

7. Mastering Your 3D Pen: Tips for Using 3D Pen Filaments Effectively

Mastering Your 3D Pen: Tips for Using 3D Pen Filaments Effectively

Using a 3D pen is an art form, and like any art, it requires skill, understanding, and a bit of practice. To help you get the most out of your 3D pen and filaments, here are some essential tips and best practices. These will not only improve your 3D drawing experience but also ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your materials and equipment.

Understanding Temperature Settings

  • Filament-Specific Temperatures: Each type of filament has its optimal temperature range. For instance, ABS filaments require a higher temperature setting compared to PLA or PCL. This is due to their different melting points.
  • Adjusting the Pen: Most 3D pens allow you to adjust the temperature. It’s crucial to set the correct temperature for the specific filament you are using. Too hot, and you might burn the filament; too cool, and it won’t extrude properly.
  • Temperature Guidelines: Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the recommended temperature settings for each filament type.

Managing Speed and Flow

  • Consistent Movement: When drawing with a 3D pen, move at a steady pace. If you move too fast, the filament might not adhere properly. Moving too slowly can cause the filament to pool, creating uneven lines.
  • Flow Control: Many 3D pens have adjustable flow speeds. Start with a slower setting to get a feel for the pen and gradually increase as you become more comfortable.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Experiment with different speeds and movements on a scrap piece of paper or surface before starting your actual project.

Maintenance and Storage: Ensuring Longevity

  • Dry Storage: Filaments can absorb moisture from the air, which can affect their performance. Store your filaments in a dry place, preferably with silica gel packs, to keep them dry.
  • Proper Storage Bags: Use airtight bags or containers for storing your filaments. This not only keeps them dry but also prevents them from tangling.
  • Regular Pen Cleaning: Clean your 3D pen nozzle after every use. This prevents clogging and ensures a smooth flow for future projects. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance.
  • Avoiding Filament Wastage: When changing filaments, try to use up as much of the existing filament as possible before switching. This reduces waste and keeps your pen clean.

8. Advanced Techniques and Projects: Elevating Your 3D Pen Artistry

Once you’ve got a handle on the basics of using a 3D pen, the door opens to a world of more complex and intricate projects. These advanced techniques not only enhance your skill set but also expand the creative possibilities of your 3D pen. Here, we delve into some sophisticated methods and project ideas that can transform your 3D art from simple to stunning.

Layering: Creating Depth and Intricacy

  • Technique Overview: Layering involves using different filament colors or types to build up layers in your design. This adds depth, texture, and complexity to your creations.
  • Step-by-Step Approach: Start with a base layer and gradually build upon it. Ensure each layer is cool and stable before adding the next.
  • Design Ideas: Consider layering for creating landscapes, architectural models, or intricate flower designs. Each layer can represent different elements of your design, adding a realistic or fantastical depth.

Blending: Achieving Seamless Color Transitions

  • Blending Basics: Blending is the art of seamlessly transitioning from one color to another within the same creation. This technique can create a gradient or ombre effect.
  • How to Blend: While your pen is still hot, switch to a different color filament and continue drawing. The colors will naturally blend where they meet.
  • Applications: Blending is perfect for creating natural scenes, like sunsets, or adding a more dynamic, fluid quality to objects like fantasy creatures or flames.

3D Calligraphy: Personalized Artistry

  • 3D Calligraphy Explained: This involves using your 3D pen to create script or signature-like designs in three dimensions.
  • Practice and Precision: Start with simple letters and gradually progress to more complex scripts. A steady hand and consistent flow are key.
  • Unique Gift Ideas: 3D calligraphy is excellent for personalized gifts, such as nameplates, monograms, or custom messages.

Tips for Advanced 3D Pen Projects

  • Practice Patience: Advanced techniques require time and patience. Don’t rush the process; enjoy the learning curve.
  • Regular Breaks: Given the intricate nature of advanced projects, take regular breaks to avoid hand fatigue.
  • Experiment with Materials: Don’t hesitate to experiment with different types of filaments to discover unique textures and effects.
  • Sketch Your Design: Plan your projects by sketching them out first. This can serve as a guide and help you visualize the end product.

9. My Personal Experiences and Recommendations

I’ve had my fair share of oops moments. Once, I used ABS indoors without proper ventilation – a sneeze fest! PLA, with its variety, is my personal favorite. But when I’m crafting with my niece, PCL is the safe and fun choice.

10. The Do’s and Don’ts of Using a 3D Pen

The Do's and Don'ts of Using a 3D Pen

When diving into the world of 3D pen art, it’s essential to keep in mind some key do’s and don’ts. These guidelines not only ensure a more enjoyable and successful crafting experience but also prioritize your safety. Let’s explore some of the fundamental rules to follow:


  • Experiment With Colors and Types: Feel free to explore the wide range of filament colors and types. Experimentation can lead to unique and exciting creations.
  • Practice Regularly: Like any skill, proficiency with a 3D pen comes with practice. Spend time honing your technique and trying out new ideas.
  • Maintain Your Equipment: Regularly clean and maintain your 3D pen to ensure it operates effectively and lasts longer.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest 3D pen techniques, materials, and technologies to enhance your crafting experience.


  • Compromise on Safety: Always use your 3D pen in a well-ventilated area, especially when using ABS filaments. Keep the pen away from young children and pets.
  • Ignore Manufacturer Instructions: Each 3D pen and filament type may have specific operating instructions. Ignoring these can lead to damage or ineffective use.
  • Rush Your Projects: Take your time with each creation. Rushing can lead to mistakes or unsatisfactory results.
  • Use Incompatible Filaments: Not all filaments are suitable for every 3D pen. Using the wrong type can damage your pen or lead to poor results.

11. Troubleshooting Common 3D Pen Issues

Even experienced artists can encounter issues while using a 3D pen. Here are some common problems and their solutions:


  • Cause: Jamming often occurs due to using mixed filament types or inserting a new filament before the previous one is completely cleared out.
  • Solution: Always clean your pen thoroughly when changing filaments and ensure that the new filament type is compatible with your pen.

Uneven Flow

  • Cause: An uneven flow can result from inconsistent hand speed or improper flow settings on your pen.
  • Solution: Practice steady hand movements and experiment with different flow settings to find what works best for your style.

Filament Not Sticking

  • Cause: This issue can occur if the working surface is not clean or the filament isn’t adhering properly.
  • Solution: Ensure your working surface is clean and free of oils or debris. For some materials, a slight pre-heating of the surface can help the filament adhere better.

12. Safety Precautions

Your safety, and especially that of younger users, is paramount. Always supervise children when they’re crafting. For added peace of mind, consider opting for a 3D pen for kids, designed with extra safety features and easy-to-use functions.

  • Work Area: Ensure a well-ventilated area, especially when working with filaments like ABS.
  • Handling the Pen: Always grip the pen from its insulated parts. Avoid touching the nozzle directly after use.
  • Children: Always supervise children. Opt for lower temperature filaments like PCL for added safety.

13. Conclusion and Parting Thoughts

The world of 3D pen filaments is vast and vibrant. It’s all about matching your needs with the right filament. Trust your instincts, learn from each project, and above all, enjoy the process!

14. FAQs

  1. Is ABS safe for children?
    While ABS is durable, it emits fumes. Use it with caution around kids.
  2. How long does PLA last?
    Stored properly, it can last for years. But once crafted, it’s biodegradable over time.
  3. Why is my filament snapping?
    It might be too dry. Ensure proper storage to maintain filament flexibility.
  4. Can I mix filament types in one project?
    Yes, but transition smoothly to prevent jamming your 3D pen.
  5. How often should I clean my 3D pen?
    After every use, especially when switching between filament types.


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Catherine Reed

Hello! I'm Catherine, a passionate explorer of the innovative world of 3D printing. Over the years, I've delved deep into the intricacies of additive manufacturing, understanding both its vast potential and the nuances that come with it. On this website, I aim to share my experiences, insights, and the latest advancements in the field. Whether you're a fellow enthusiast or someone just starting your journey, I hope my work sparks your curiosity and inspires you to push the boundaries of what's possible!

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