Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 2, 2012.

Update #30

Ti Project is LIVE!


Good news; The Ultimate Titanium Clicky Pen project is finally live!

It's true, this took a little longer than we anticipated but as always we wanted to get everything just right (seriously, who would think that a guy who does precision manufactured pens is a little O.C.D right?).

A big thanks to Mike at Stay Safe Media who did a great job filming and editing our video and even made me look a bit taller on camera (we paid extra for that CGI).

So now here's the big question... we have a handful of amazing pre-production prototypes pens that were hand machined out of 6AL4V Grade 5 Ti and hand finished. Normally we don't release prototypes but anybody think we should make these as premium rewards and have them available to send out immediately at project close?

Update #29

Ti Project Update Deux...


So here's the scoop. The video has been shot and is now being edited by Stay Safe Media. As soon as it's ready and we have a final cut the project will launch. Since our budget for CGI and celebrity cameos is pretty much nil, this shouldn't be too long (how long does it take to edit a 3 minute video anyway?).

Current rewards as we have them planned are:

  • Polished (hand polished, shinny)
  • Brushed (hand brushed finish, time consuming but wonderful)
  • Tumbled (standard ceramic media tumble, looks cool)
  • Blasted (smooth, satin finish)

We've also been experimenting with some more exotic finishes and will consider making them available as long as it doesn't affect the project delivery timeline (does anyone really need a cryogenically treated pen with a compressive surface finish? probably not).

Update #28

Ti Project Update...


Ok, so here's the deal. We have filming for the Titanium Ultimate Clicky Pen project video scheduled for April 6th. That's right, out friend Mike Rigg from Stay Safe Media is coming out to film the video (I tried to book Michael Bay but he wouldn't return my phone calls). Figure another few days for editing and we should have the project launched by the second week in April.

Project launch checklist:

  • Video filming - scheduled
  • Tooling quotes - done
  • Material quotes - done
  • Functioning prototypes - completed
  • Sharks with lazers - on backorder

Am I forgetting anything?

Update #27

Countdown to Titanium launch...

I know, I know you're thinking, "Jack, aren't you supposed to be figuring out how to make us some titanium clicky pens? Have you forgotten about us?" Right, sorry about that. I have not forgotten. More to the point, I wasn't planning on launching the titanium pen project until all the design and production bugs were sorted. Like the postman, our Ultimate Clicky Pen project delivered. Seeing how many other titanium projects had production issues and delays (understandably so, this stuff isn't nearly as forgiving to machine as aluminum) I wanted to make darned sure that if we launched another project we could once again deliver as promised.

So how is that working out you're wondering? Well, all the hard work is finally about to pay off... again. I bring you -drum roll please- the final assembled pre-production proofs of the Ultimate Titanium Clicky Pen. 

Machined finish:

Blasted Satin finish:

And the annoyingly difficult to achieve on a consistent basis... High-Polished finish:

So what does all this mean? It means that we now believe that we can manufacture these to the ridiculously high standards you've come to expect from us. Sure, sure it's not all sunshine and daisies; we need raw materials (quite a bit actually), a fresh supply of tungsten-carbide drill bits (we go through these like faster than Lindsey Lohan goes through defense attorneys) and machine time. 

Bottom line is, give me a few weeks to get the logistics worked out (I am still testing a tumbled finish and looking into some other coating options) on what exactly we'd need to make this happen and we'll be launching the Ultimate Titanium Clicky Pen project on Kickstarter. 

And yes... they really are that awesome.

Update #26

The ABCs of PVD and DLC...


Ok, since a few people have inquired and I see these terms being used interchangeably so often, I thought I'd post an informational update on surface coatings we are considering for the upcoming "Titanium Clicky" project (clearly a working title, not exactly poetry but for the moment it'll do).

First of all, PVD stands for physical vapor deposition, not a coating but rather a method of applying a coating. DLC on the other hand is diamond like carbon, this is a specific type of coating. DLC is often applied by... wait for it... physical vapor deposition. It should be noted that DLC can also be applied by IBD (ion beam deposition) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition). PVD is often used due to it being both practical and economical in production environments.

Now back to DLC. As the name implies, diamond-like carbon has some of the valuable properties of diamond (sorry, bling-bling isn't one of them), specifically hardness and durability. It can be applied as a coating on almost any material that is compatible with the vacuum in which it is usually produced and is often coated onto metals. In fact, the harder the metal (such as steel or titanium) the better as softer materials (such as aluminum) will be prone to the “eggshell effect”. This is when the underlying material below the surface is soft while the actual outer coating, the shell, is very hard. You may not break through the surface but you will be able to deform the structure underneath it. You can see this when you get a dent on a coated part but the surface doesn’t actually get scratched. When applied in pure form, DLC is as hard as natural diamond (and possibly even harder). In pure form these diamond coatings offer extraordinary protection against abrasive wear and attack from atmospheric moisture and chemical vapors.

Although smooth when seen with the naked eye, DLC coatings are actually textured at the microscopic level. In DLC the “cobbles” are not crystalline; they are amorphous because they are made from random alternations between cubic and hexagonal lattices. The cobbles have no long-range order and so they have no fracture planes along which to break. The result is a very, very strong surface coating which is not prone to chipping or flaking and has excellent wear resistance.

The biggest downside to DLC? It's limited in color to dark gray and black and it is very, very expensive. Prepping the surface underneath will allow some variance in finishes (polished then coated will be shinny, blasted then coated will be matte) but the basic color of carbon is... well, black.

If you want pretty, you may also consider TiN or titanium nitride but that my friends is a story for another update.

Long story short, these are both optional coatings we are considering adding to the upcoming "Titanium Clicky" pen project. What does everyone think?

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