- THE TITAN PEN - 3D printed titanium pen
- THE TITAN PEN - 3D printed titanium pen
3D printed titanium ball point pen, with unique internal bolt mechanism. Also available in nylon - only on kickstarter!
3D printed titanium ball point pen, with unique internal bolt mechanism. Also available in nylon - only on kickstarter! Read more
Thanks for taking a look at my latest kickstarter project: the TITAN pen - a 3D printed titanium ball pen, with a single piece titanium body. The design incorporates a unique concealed bolt mechanism, in addition to an ergonomic and sleek design, which would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to manufacture using traditional technologies...
SECTION 1 - WHY? -
I love 3D printing, it's a great technology which allows the creation of complex and beautiful products, combined with near limitless innovation opportunities. In fact, I've already used the technology in two successful kickstarter projects. However, these previous projects primarily used nylon, which is a great material for the process, but naturally doesn't have the same feel, strength, longlivity, status, or appeal as metal. So I've been working to create a design in metal which is a tough task to do viably, mainly due to the cost of production.
As my experience has grown, and technology developed, I've been working hard to deliver a design that was both suitable in design, cost, and feasibility. The design had to be without compromise; to create a metal pen which utilises the benefits of additive manufacture and the characteristics of titanium - and with that, the TITAN pen was born...
- WHY KICKSTARTER? -
One of the key factors in making the the TITAN pen viable, was to produce it in small batches; which is why ive set a funding goal which will enable production of the first batch. This is where you come in, and hopefully join this campaign in reaching the goal and getting your hands on one of the first ever pens produced!
SECTION 2 - WHAT'S DIFFERENT? -
Whilst I'm a big fan of the technology and materials, the pen is created in this way for more than just a novelty, so let me explain some of the benefits the pen has thanks to this method:
The TITAN pen incorporates a unique duel functioning internal bolt mechanism. Traditional bolt mechanisms are renowned for robust reliability and durability, but in my opinion can appear intrusive on a design, and become uncomfortable when writing. This is why the TITAN pen's mechanism is constructed internally; build directly into the titanium body of the pen, as a single component - this means the bolt of the mechanism and unsightly channels cannot be seen, or felt, but still benefit from the robust titanium construction and design. The mechanical strength of this can really be felt when using the mechanism.
The bolt is duel functioning as it not only allows the the refill to be extended, but also for it to be changed when empty. The bolt is inserted into the back of the pen where it holds the refill securely in place. To extend the mechanism the bolt is pushed in and twisted, where it locks into place. Alternatively, the bolt can be pushed in and twisted in the opposite direction which allows the bolt mechanism to be released, so the refill can be changed when empty.
- AESTHETICS & ERGONOMICS -
The TITAN pen also takes advantage of the technology to create a pen that is more than just a tube with ink in. The grip section of the pen being more triangular to fit comfortably between the fingers, while gradually melting into a circle before the hexagonal base of the pen which conceals the mechanism. This allows for a well balanced, ergonomic, and in my opinion aesthetically beautiful design - all in a single titanium component.
- COMPONENT CONSOLIDATION -
The design is primarily made from two feature rich components; the titanium body, and nylon bolt. As already mentioned the titanium body features an internal mechanism and is a single piece of metal. The nylon bolt also follows in suit, featuring a grip section to push and twist the mechanism, a protruding bolt, and a section to grip the refill all in one component. These two components fit together and mean that no threads, bolts, glue, press fits or other fasteners needed, which could become loose or damaged - just a solid titanium bolt mechanism. The only other components are a spring and the refill you choose!
Less parts simply means there's very little to go wrong!
- MATERIALS & ENVIRONMENT -
TI - Titanium is famous for being lightweight and strong, and is already regularly used in high end applications from aerospace to jewellery. However it is also a difficult material to work with, and often machined from solid blocks to create designs. Machining in this way is subtractive process and is extremely wasteful of material. The TITAN pen on the other hand is created from laser sintering, meaning it is built from layers of powder, using only what is needed to create the design before the unused powder is recycled into the next project.
PA - PA or polyamide is a nylon based material constructed in the same manner as titanium, layer by layer from powder. This material is incredibly lightweight, but durable and ever so slightly flexible. I have used this material on numerous occasions in the past and found it more than up to the task. This material was used to create the vast majority of prototypes, and exclusively to kickstarter I am releasing the prototype edition of the pen made from the nylon. I've decided to release to prototype edition as i realise the pen isn't cheap, and i dont want to exclude those of you who want to support the project but can't justify / or don't want to pledge for a titanium version at the moment. As such the prototype edition is made completely from nylon and functions in exactly the same way, but is significantly lighter, and offers a flavour of the real thing - all for a much lower pledge.
- TECHNOLOGY & MANUFACTURE -
Now ive explained why the TITAN pen used 3D printing or 'additive manufacture', but what does it actually mean?
Well 3D printing is a broad term covering several technologies, in this project specifically a process called Direct metal laser sintering (or DMLS) is used. Without getting too technical this means the pen is build layer by layer from titanium powder. The material and technology is generally used in applications such as aerospace, medical implants and formula one components - where only the best will do.
The process starts with a model created on the computer (called a CAD model), which is sliced into very thin layers. This is sent to the 'printer' which lays down a base of powder, which a high powered laser then 'draws' the first of these layers onto. The laser melts (or 'sinters') the powder together. Next, another really fine layer of powder is spread on top, and again the laser melts the next layer. This process is repeated again and again, building up layers, until the pen is completed.
SECTION 3 - OTHER FEATURES -
In addition to the features that the manufacturing process more exclusively provides, the TITAN pen also has a number of other attributes which make it otherwise highly functional.
- REFILLS -
The pen accepts the stardard sized. d1 refill. I've used this refill before in previous work and found it to be a reliable refill, with loads of options. Plenty of brands make this refill in all manner of ball point width, highlighter, stylus, colour and ink variations.
- PACKAGING -
The pen will be packaged with a 3D printed nylon gift box, which not only keeps the pen safe in transit, but can be personalised as well.
The box comes in your choice of two different styles, either plain or patterned, and can include a name / date / or message engraved into the side. This personalisation is included free for all those who back the first batch, and £6 additional for those thereafter.
- DIMENSIONS & PRACTICALITY -
The design is slim, robust and suitable to be carried around anywhere...
SECTION 4 - THE PLAN -
Now tha I've introduced you to the TITAN pen properly, let's take a look at the rewards and production plan.
- REWARDS -
Image 5 of each reward tier and what's included
- PRODUCTION PLAN -
This isn't my first project, and I've learnt a lot from previous ones which I believe will help to ensure an effective execution of this project. Below is a breakdown of the timescale, including contingency times. As the pens are to be Produced in batches it's likely to remain manageable.
SECTION 5 - THE JOURNEY -
A lot of work went I to the development of this project, and the following is just a small part of the numerous prototypes and development work that went into this project.
- DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT -
Here are just a small number of the prototypes. the design has been developed from sketches and prototypes testing all kinds of form, fit, and function. In this image, a few of the different tester materials can be seen, including PA, aluminium, stainless steel, and a powder blend of aluminium and PA. All were 3D printed.
THANKS FOR READING!
Risks and challenges
in my previous projects I've found the best method to keep on top of things is to plan well. That's why I've thought through the the project timescale realistically, and left plenty of contingency time just in case.
SHIPPING - I've tried two types of shipping in previous projects; premium recorded and more affordable but untracked. The premium was used in my first project and pens were delivered flawlessly, but it's significantly more expensive (abou 3 times the price). My second project used more affordable shipping, and the vast majority of pens (97%) arrived without issues, but a few had issues in transit and couldn't be traced. As such I wanted to strike a balance.... All pens include free shipping, with Titanium editions including premium shipping and the prototype options being economy so as to keep the price down. However If you wish to upgrade to premium for piece of mind then the option is there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)