Cosmic shear is one of the primary probes to test gravity with current and future surveys. There are two main techniques to analyse a cosmic shear survey: a tomographic method, where correlations between the lensing signals in different redshift bins are used to recover redshift information, and a 3D approach, where the full redshift information is carried through the entire analysis. Here we compare the twomethods, by forecasting cosmological constraints for future surveys like Euclid. We extend the 3D formalism for the first time to theories beyond the standard model, belonging to the Horndeski class. This includes the majority of universally coupled extensions to ΛCDM with one scalar degree of freedom in addition to the metric, still in agreement with current observations. Given a fixed background, the evolution of linear perturbations in Horndeski gravity is described by a set of four functions of time only. We model their time evolution assuming proportionality to the dark energy density fraction and place Fisher matrix constraints on the proportionality coefficients. We find that a 3D analysis can constrain Horndeski theories better than a tomographic one, in particular with a decrease in the errors of the order of 20 per cent. This paper shows for the first time a quantitative comparison on an equal footing between Fisher matrix forecasts for both a fully 3D and a tomographic analysis of cosmic shear surveys. The increased sensitivity of the 3D formalism comes from its ability to retain information on the source redshifts along the entire analysis.