About this project
You're probably asking yourself, "another pocket pen? seriously?!" Yes, another pen is being brought to market. We saw a few deficiencies in current machined pens and thought that it could be done better, so we set out to accomplish just that.
United Machining LLC is a full time machine shop making products for outside customers by day and churning out unique product designs by night. We aim to bring out the best in our CNC Swiss Lathe and in doing so, bring the best possible machined products to market. This is not our first product to have that mindset applied. You can check out our spinning top here: http://www.unitedmachiningllc.com/Small-Brass-Spinning-Top-p/umhgbtb1001.htm
Our design was based on these principles:
- Intentionally small so as to be carried around for everyday use.
- A clean, elegant design that features a body uninhabited by threads or other means to affix the cap.
- A machined grip that wasn't intrusive to the touch (such as knurling or other metal deformation techniques).
- Utilize a common D-1 refill.
- Be unique! We wouldn't set out to make a pen if we were only replicating what's already been done.
The body design captures a clean, elegant look. Instead of using falsified gripping methods, we chose to machine an intentional arc feature into the body. This enhances the ability to hold the intentionally small pen.
The body is machined out of solid aircraft grade 6061 aluminum bar stock. It is then hard-coated black, an extremely durable finish that does not scratch easily and will hold up to abuse for years to come.
The body features matching recessed grooves at the front and rear of the pen that the cap slide into. These grooves are precisely machined to hold the cap in such a fashion that the cap doesn't easily slide off but also doesn't get stuck on. The relationship between the body and cap is so close that if it's off .0001" (one ten thousand of an inch) it will not properly work. Is it the easiest way to manufacture a pen? Of course not but easy isn't our style.
The pen body seen in pictures is a touch larger than 2.75". With the cap affixed to the back, the portion of the pen that can be gripped is 3.5".
Keep in mind this is not a full sized pen, we don't anticipate any essays being written with this pen. This is for those notes you need to jot down throughout the day or when you're in a pinch for a pen. It's small enough to be carried everyday and durable enough to take the abuse.
The cap is machined out of solid 17-4 stainless steel bar stock. This is one of the highest revered stainless steels in existence. Known for it's ability to produce stunning surface finishes when machined, enhanced corrosion resistance and overall hardness leading to extreme durability. You could call it overkill because well, it is.
We used the finest materials available (factored against cost) to produce a pen that is timeless in design and durability. The cap only further enhances that ideology.
Why in the world is there a hole in the cap?!
The hole was never an intentional part of the design but ended up being needed. The relationship between the cap and the body is so close that it's air tight. Without a place for the air to escape to, the cap would never even go onto the body, let alone stay on.
When affixed to the pen, the cap measures in slightly under 3/4" in length.
The rear of the pen features a 17-4 stainless cap that is press fit into a hole drilled for production purposes (to clean out the long, slender hole drilled for the pen cartridge).
This completes the overall design of the pen and ties in nicely with the cap.
Our pen utilizes the incredibly common D-1 refill. D-1 refills tend to vary about .001" in diameter which doesn't sound like much but it very much matters in regards to fitment.
For instance the Fisher pressurized refill is larger than a Schmidt refill.
Factoring this into the design, the hole will be large enough to house a Fisher cartridge snugly meaning other cartridges may need to be slightly bent before being inserted into the body. This does not affect how the pen writes.
The cartridge can be simply removed with pliers.
Improvements for the Production Run:
After living with our pen for a couple of months and hearing outside opinions we will be making the following improvements to the pen:
- The length of the body will be increased 1/4" and the overall diameter will increase .060" **Updated 2/8/14**
- Smaller hole in the cap. A smaller hole will be drilled in the cap making it more difficult for something to physically get into the cap.
- Making the press fit cap in the rear of the pen even with the pen body so it can stand on end. The current prototype version features a cap that protrudes past the pen body, this will be addressed.
- Better body contour machining for a perfect blend of the radii.
Watch Rhiannon Williams Draw Our Logo:
Risks and challenges
The largest challenge has already been accomplished, that being figuring out how to machine the pen so it properly works.
United Machining LLC is now a fully operating machine shop capable of handling mass quantities with quick turn around.
We fully anticipate a ship date of all orders in early April, 2015 no matter how many are ordered.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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