Introducing the InTuition Pencil… the follow-on project to my successful InTuition Pen/Stylus project. Check out the InTuition Pen/Stylus here:
The InTuition Pencil is assembled using a high quality mechanical pencil mechanism surrounded by a housing made from custom machined stainless steel end pieces together with a centerless ground twill carbon fiber tube. This combination assures that the feeding of the lead through the pencil will be smooth and reliable, while the outer parts provide for a very distinctive look and feel.
Here's what some of our backers are saying:
"... the pen/stylus has been a quality product so I decided to back the mechanical pencil. Keep up the good work."
"The unique look of the carbon fiber really appeals to me, and having multiple widths available will make my work much easier!"
"I love the look of the carbon fiber on my InTuition Stylus/Pen ... having this in a set of mechanical pencils will be awesome. Can't wait to get my rewards!"
The Design Process
I have always liked the look and engineering qualities of carbon fiber, and after using it in the InTuition Pen, I wanted to have a follow up companion project based upon a mechanical pencil. Starting with a standard Pentel style pencil insert, I began to conceptualize how I could accommodate the dimensional requirements of the insert, and create a pencil that was light weight and showed off the inherent characteristics of the carbon fiber. I utilized Solidworks 3D modeling software throughout the design process, and arrived at the solid model shown here:
The advantage of using the Pentel style insert allowed me to design a standard housing that could accommodate a variety of lead widths from 0.5mm, 0.7mm and even 0.9mm. Each of these lead widths is available in a variety of hardnesses according to your individual preference.
The centerless ground and polished carbon fiber twill has a distinctive look, taking on a sheen and character of its own over time. As you can see from the photo below, the pencil has a three dimensional look and varies depending upon the angle you view it from.
The centerless grinding process takes a normally rough cello wrapped twill fiber finish and turns it into a completely smooth surface which provides for a comfortable feel while writing. The carbon tube is a full thickness carbon fiber layup, not simply a thin layer of fiber over a metal shell like many commercially available products.
One of the biggest requests I had in during my pen project was to add a clip to both prevent the pen from rolling off a table and to allow it to be clipped to a pocket or notebook. With this in mind, I was able to locate a standard clip for incorporation into the design. As a result, the InTuition Pencil has a handy clip for attaching it to a pocket or the cover of a notebook.
Just like in a standard Pentel pencil, there is an eraser under the cap that utilizes Pentel replacement erasers which are available at most office and stationery supply stores.
In order to establish the minimum quantities needed for a successful project, I created detailed and fully dimensioned part drawings (as shown in the background of the photos above) and sent these out for competitive quotes to a small list of qualified Swiss Screw Machine houses that I have used for other engineering projects. After reviewing the quotes, and estimating shipping charges and other expenses from my past InTuition Pen Kickstarter project, I felt that I needed a minimum commitment of 300 units to be able have a fully funded project.
Your pledge of $39 allows you to select whatever lead width you enjoy the most, and I'm also offering a set of three pencils with one each of the 0.5 mm, 0.7 mm and 0.9 mm lead widths for those backers at the $110 level. These backer levels include US domestic shipping, and for those international backers, we'll ship via US Postal Service International First Class for an additional $9. All backer rewards should be able to ship approximately two months after the project closes.
How I'll Get Things Built...
Once the project closes, I'll be sending out a project survey, where you can specify the lead width you'd like to receive, as well as confirming your shipping address. I’ll be placing purchase orders for the parts within a few days, and expect delivery of all of the required parts within six weeks. As with the InTuition Pen, I’ll be hand assembling each pencil and inspecting them carefully to ensure that only the highest quality product is produced. Final finishing is done by using a hand rubbed paste wax finish that seals the pores of the carbon tube and produces a pleasant sheen that brings out the twill pattern within.
I usually send out project updates on at least a weekly basis, and as I receive piece parts and start assembling, the updates will include photos as well as shipment status once deliveries begin.
How I'll Get The Rewards Shipped...
I developed a very robust shipping technique for the InTuition Pen that incorporated a heavy wall plastic tube and padded envelope that ensured that every backer received their rewards in excellent condition. Shipping will be via US First Class Mail, and International First Class Mail so that US backers will generally receive their rewards within five days, and most international backers receive their rewards two to three weeks after shipment. Some international shipments take longer than others, but two to three weeks is a fair average for most international backers. We get tracking with domestic orders, but unfortunately not with international orders due to the prohibitively high cost of doing so.
Many of my pen backers have written to tell me how unique their pens are and how others around them admire their pens. I am sure that the InTuition Pencil will be just as unique, and will provide a lifetime of enjoyable writing experiences.
I have created a map of where all of the backers are located around the world. Check it out here on Google Maps:
Thanks for checking out the InTuition Pencil!!
From my family to yours, have a happy holiday season!
Risks and challenges
The major challenge encountered with the pen project was due to poor machining and late delivery of the initial piece parts. While the vendor for the Pen project was affordable, the issues with quality were unbearable and forced the remaking and hand finishing of several of the piece parts. For this project, I have chosen a different machine shop that specializes in the Swiss machining of parts for the medical and aerospace industries. While this vendor is substantially more expensive than the previous one, I am confident that the quality and delivery promises will be kept.
As with the Pen project, periodic updates and emails will be sent to all of my backers describing progress each step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)