A Means to Express your Thoughts
The almighty pen. To ink your thoughts on paper is a direct connection between you and your ideas. Even in this digital world, it is impossible to ignore the need for a pen. Whether it's taking notes, signing a check, or addressing an envelope, you cannot escape the requirement to use a pen. Many of us embrace this refreshingly analog need as special. There is something irreplaceably tactile about putting your thoughts in a notebook, sketching a diagram, or simply documenting an idea without the need of a power plug or battery. There are numerous pen designs in existence, and there are literally billions of pens in use all around the world. There are no barriers, everyone knows what a pen looks like and we all use them. It is the most natural, intuitive way to communicate in writing.
At TEC Accessories, we use pens. A lot. We carry journals for documenting our daily actions, we make sketches in Field Notes booklets to jot down a concept when a thought flashes through our minds. We adore the pen and paper medium. So when we chose to develop a completely new pen design, we abandoned our preconceived notions of what a pen is and what it isn't. We redesigned from the ground up. After many months of planning, development, prototyping, and testing, we are pleased to present you the result of our effort through this Kickstarter campaign.
Introducing the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen:
We've abandoned the cylindrical shape of a traditional pen. Instead, the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen leverages the benefits of a flat, wide, rectangular geometry for unparalleled writing comfort and low-profile carry. Rather than cramping your fingers around a thin cylindrical shaft, you can embrace your writing instrument in a more natural way that provides long term comfort with less tension on your fingers. The 4-1/2" length is optimized to deliver a fluid writing experience in your hand, yet be incredibly compact for convenient everyday carry. The magnetic twin-rail mechanism used to extend and retract the ink refill eliminates the need for a separate cap, ensuring you have nothing to lose. Combined with an instant, no-tool refill replacement method, the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen will always be your pen of choice. Its elegance, comfort, and simplicity will make you wonder why this never happened sooner.
- Flat geometry: The rectangular shape provides comfort during long writing sessions
- 6 mm low-profile body (less than 1/4" thick) for discrete storage when carried or clipped
- The perfect pen to accompany journals, notebooks, diaries, etc.
- The embedded micro socket provides an "Instant", no hassle refill replacement that does not require tools: pull-to-remove/push-to-insert
- Accepts a wide variety of commonly available D1 stylus refills, including Fisher pressurized refills (in case you want to write upside-down)
- Unique, twin-rail skeletonized body is strong, lightweight and will make heads turn
- Magnetic actuation and retention mechanism
- Balanced design for the ultimate writing experience
- No possibility of accidental ink retraction during use
- Flat, anti-roll design stays where you put it
- Symmetrical profile allows for identical writing comfort for both right and left hand usage
- Assembled from 24 individual, custom machined and critically selected components, to ensure a high quality, bulletproof pen that will last a lifetime
- The following dimensions are in millimeters [inches]:
- Weight (Aluminum Editions): 46 grams (1.6 oz)
- Weight (Titanium Editions): 56 grams [2 oz.]
- Size: 6 mm x 109 mm x 22 mm (.236" x 4.29" x 0.866")
- Height with clip: approximately 8.77 mm (0.35”)
- Materials: As stated above
- Refill Actuation: Magnetic Push/Pull
- Refill Replacement: Pull-to-remove, Push-to-insert
We've designed the Ko-Axis™ with a purpose-built, distinctive shape, sparing no detail. The comfort and ergonomics that were considered in the design phase are unparalleled, resulting in a truly unique writing experience. These features create an aesthetic that turns heads. All of these features have been packed into a pen so thin that it easily hides in any notebook. We have spent countless hours and fabricated over one hundred 3D printed prototypes with the sole purpose of selecting the perfect form factor for long term writing sessions. Be warned: once you write with the Ko-Axis™, you will never go back to a conventional pen.
Upon closer inspection of the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen, you will discover that the aluminum bronze grip slider contains the ink cartridge. By implementing this clever design, it is impossible for the pen to accidentally retract while writing. The ink refill is always present when you need it and never when you don't. We have painstakingly integrated eight ultra-strong neodymium magnets into the end stop positions to ensure perfect engagement, and eliminate any potential for movement of the mechanism while writing.
The Ko-axis™ isn’t just a beautiful writing instrument, it transforms the act of writing into a wonderful experience. From the first time you extend the ink refill, you’re hooked. The rectangular shape of the Ko-axis™ rests gently in the crease of your hand and lands comfortably in your thumb-and-finger pinch. The shallow divot in the finely polished aluminum bronze offers the perfect spot for your pointer to land every time. The weight distribution of the pen was carefully calculated to rest in your hand without applying any torque to your fingers that would tire your hand in a late-night writing session. The Aluminum Edition is the featherlight member of the Ko-Axis™ family. The aluminum body allows the pen to float effortlessly across page after page. The Titanium Edition has 25% more mass than its aluminum brother, providing a solid and comfortable resilience that will last a lifetime. Every titanium model affords a rock-solid, stable action and exudes confidence in every word it writes.
Although the materials and finishes will vary depending upon the reward you select, materials used in the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen include:
- Body materials - aircraft grade 6061-T6 aluminum or aerospace grade Ti-6Al-4V titanium
- The slider and refill guide are made from QAl 9-4 aluminum bronze, a durable bearing material known for its low coefficient of friction. This provides ultra smooth travel of the slider actuation mechanism as well as the perfect weight and balance
- The twin guide rails are solid stainless steel precision rod, with a highly polished finish for super-smooth acutation
- The refill cover tube is manufactured from stainless steel surgical tubing
- The integrated pocket clip is formed from 301 stainless spring steel
- N52 Neodymium magnets with the highest magnetic strength/size ratio available
We are also offering a very special version of the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen with the body components being manufactured from Titanium Damascus. This material is a high strength titanium composite formed by diffusion welding and offers an absolutely stunning, colorful grain pattern. Although we have not actually made any prototypes with this material due to the extremely high cost, we have placed an order for the raw material so we will be ready to begin machining the parts in parallel with the production run in order to fulfill this very unique reward. The image shown below is a CAD rendering of the Titanium Damascus Edition to give you an idea of it's final appearance. We should also point out that due to cost considerations of the material, there will only be 10 units available of this exclusive model.
- All aluminum body components are finished using TEC Accessories' micro polishing process, and anodized in a selection of beautiful, hyper-saturated colors
- All titanium body components are either semi-polished (bare titanium model) or micro-polished (anodized model) to a fine uniform finish that will stand up to abuse
- Our in-house titanium anodizing process has been refined over the years to consistently achieve an astonishing array of remarkable colors that takes style to the next level. Our Blue Raspberry tint is the absolute epitome of this color palette, and is our prime choice for this Special Edition of the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen
- TEC’s Black Diamond Finish is a proprietary, nano-composite microlayer, uniquely replicating diamond’s low friction, high hardness and superb corrosion resistance. Genuine TEC products with Black Diamond Finish provide an extremely durable, near-black coating that offers exceptional wear resistance and a stunning color contrast that is impossible to ignore
The Ko-Axis™ is built to last. The materials, fit, and finish are impressive and you will agree the instant you pick it up. No plastic to break, no cheap steel to rust, no plating to flake off, and no parts that will wear out. This pen will last a lifetime.
When determining which ink refill to include in the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen, it was an easy decision. Nothing but the best will do, so we selected the Monteverde D1/Multipen refill, which we think is the best refill on the planet. This medium point, black ink refill is the perfect way to experience everything the Ko-Axis™ has to offer. It features Soft Roll ink technology which is a low viscosity ink for the smoothest writing experience, with a high quality nickel silver tube and a Swiss tip.
However, any D1 style refill will work in the Ko-Axis™, including but not limited to the following:
- Schmidt 635 Mini D1
- Lamy Mini Ballpoint Refill M21
- Kaweco D1
- Monteverde D1/Multipen
- Parker D1
- Zebra Sharbo X Gel Ink Multi Pen/D1
- Zebra ESB-0.7 Emulsion Ink Ballpoint Pen Refill - D1
- Ohto R-4C7NP Needle-Point D1
- Rotring D1 Multi Pen
- Fisher mini ballpoint refill with adjustable lengths (shortest length)
This product is proudly made in the USA, at our Tucson Arizona facility. All parts are inspected, polished, finished, assembled, tested and packaged to our own internal set of rigorous standards. In order to provide the most uniform and consistent part finishes achievable, our polishing process can take upwards of 2 weeks, depending upon the material of the parts. In addition, we are already developing tooling and fixtures to maintain consistency and accuracy of the entire assembly process. We are addressing this now to mitigate any possible delays in the production schedule. All of this effort is to ensure you receive a product of uncompromising quality that you can be proud of for a lifetime.
We unconditionally warrant the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen for 90 days against defects in materials and workmanship, because we believe there should be zero risk in the purchasing process.
When developing a pen as unique as the Ko-Axis™ we looked at every aspect with excruciating detail, and this extends all the way down to the packaging. The Ko-Axis™ not only deserves to be protected in a way that is as unique as it's appearance, but also guarantees you will receive your reward safely, and also without passing down a high cost to the customer. So we came up with a novel approach using laser cut layered acrylic sheet, fabricated in-house, that is cost effective and just as amazing in appearance as the pen itself.
A BRIEF LOOK BACK - PROTOTYPING:
Prototyping a new design can be fun and exhilarating, but it takes obsessive commitment and unrelenting willpower to iterate all the way to your 103rd model. Sometimes that is what it takes to get a product refined to a point of perfection.
We have had three revisions of machined parts fabricated and spent countless man hours of engineering time to get to this milestone. Each iteration bringing us closer, but not all the way, to the final design. After months of brainstorming, obsessing, changing and improving, we are finally ready for prime time.
One thing we should mention here, is that the pocket clip you see in the pictures is not the final production version. We hand-formed a number of clips made from different material thicknesses to ensure we could get the correct tension when in use. However getting actual clips fabricated will require tooling. That is why we need your help, so that we can move into full production on these final details. The actual clip that will be included with your rewards will look very similar to the CAD model images shown above.
Download the Press Kit here.
For PR inquiries, please email email@example.com
The timeline below reflects our immediate release of parts procurement when the campaign is successfully funded. To ensure you receive your Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen as soon as humanly possible, we will not wait for receipt of Kickstarter funding (approximate 2 week delay) to initiate production.
Once the campaign has ended and we are successfully funded, we plan to have additional accessories available for purchase on our web site, at a special discount to Kickstarter backers. You will be able to purchase these items prior to your order being shipped, so you can receive everything in one package and avoid any additional shipping charges. These accessories will allow you to customize your Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen to reflect your personal style, with items such as Black Diamond coated rails and clips, hardware of anodized colors or different materials, and keychain attachments.
The following is a summary of all available rewards, at regular Kickstarter pricing (non-Early Bird prices). If you wish to order more than one version, choose one reward and simply total the price for all units desired and pledge that amount. We will confirm pricing and selection at the end of the campaign. Please refer to the Reward boxes for more details.
TEC Accessories has been developing personal accessories since 2004, and has established a reputation for high quality, value, and excellent customer service.
Our administrative office in Pleasanton California manages corporate operations and product development. Our facility in Tucson Arizona manages all production and order fulfillment. We process orders from our web site and our reseller network on a daily basis, typically within one working day. We have trained staff to accommodate this campaign. We will not hire short-term inexperienced workers to assemble and ship your order. You can be assured that your Kickstarter rewards will be packaged, processed and shipped using the same care and attention we have been performing at TEC Accessories every work day for the last 14 years.
This is not our first rodeo. We are proud to say we have already completed a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, in which we fulfilled all of our shipping commitments and held to our stringent quality standards. It is equally important to know that we've also run a Kickstarter campaign that did not reach our funding goal. Discouraged but not defeated, we went on to self-fund and launch the product anyway. At the announcement of the product launch, we allowed those who pledged during the campaign a discount to receive their product at the deeply discounted Kickstarter price to show our gratitude for supporting us.
We take our commitment to deliver your Kickstarter pledge gravely serious. Once we launch a campaign, we respect and honor the obligation to ship you your purchase and in the time frame we have promised. In addition, we guarantee that you will receive your purchase before the Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen is sold to anyone on the open market. The purpose of a crowdfunding campaign is to bring a product to market with the support and cooperation of an incredibly special group of investors. We are humbled by your faith in us and we hope to bring you many more products in the future.
Risks and challenges
TEC Accessories is very experienced in developing, manufacturing and delivering fine quality personal accessories. We are fully prepared to release production at the end of the campaign and are confident in our ability to deliver.
The Ko-Axis™ Rail Pen design is complete, prototypes have been fabricated and tested and packaging is in development. Although we handle most of the work in-house, there are some processes that are performed under contract with our outside vendors (who we have dealt with for many years). For example, although we now have the ability to anodize titanium in-house, we do not have the capability of performing the aluminum anodizing or the Black Diamond finishing in-house. Therefore, there is always the possibility that problems may arise that are out of our control. We do find this unlikely, however we will do our best to ensure adherence to schedule and advise backers immediately if there are any issues that may affect delivery. If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us.
- (30 days)