Do you spend a lot of time in meetings and conference calls? So do we! As American and European Expats living in Brazil, we spend a lot of time on conference calls. During meetings, you need to take notes but we often found the need to keep our hands occupied without getting too distracted. A Totem Pen facilitates both of these goals. The Totem Pen combines a high-quality writing tool with a spinning top. Just unscrew the cap and spin the top.
It started with the idea that we needed something to do with our hands during teleconferences. A spinning top was the whimsical side; a pen was the practical side. From there, the idea of joining them was born.
Once we came up with the idea, we started investigating what it would take to bring it to reality. We investigated suppliers in China, Brazil, Europe, and the US. What we found was that the US suppliers had the best combination of Price, Delivery, and Quality.
The Totem Pen features a spinning top suitable for detecting if you’re dreaming or not. According to modern mythology: If the top continues to spin, you’re dreaming. If it stops, you’re not.
If you are spinning it in the direction opposite of the threading, it will assemble itself. A great trick for any meeting. Break the ice, create an informal atmosphere - and conduct better meetings!
The Totem pen can sit next to your other pens on your desk...
...or the Totem Pen can proudly stand on its own as shown here.
Our manufacturing partner in Utah will mill the Totem Pen and Top out of aluminum alloy using state-of-the-art machines and highly skilled workers.
The Totem Pens features a Pilot G2 refill cartridge for optimal writing comfort and easy replacement. These cartridges are available at nearly any office supply store in a variety of ink colors and tip thicknesses.
The Design Process
We sketched out the basics, and used those sketches to create 3D models. After some searching, we found a great supplier in Georgia to cut out the prototype based on the 3D model. This is the example you can see in the video. Based on these prototypes, we've refined the design for better fit for the cartridges.
The Totem Pen has a diameter of 10mm and the Top has an impressive diameter of 50mm (close to 2 inches for those in the US).
The overall length of the Totem Pen is 144mm assembled (a little more than 5½ inches).
The Pen is entirely made in 6061 aluminum alloy with an AA10 anodized coating so that the parts will keep their metallic surface finish for many years. The Pen and Top will be offered in two colors: Black and Natural ('Silver'). The Black anodized version is slightly more expensive to manufacture.
The prototype shown was manufactured in Atlanta, Georgia. All production pens will be manufactured in Utah by Jess who has a lot of experience in manufacturing high-quality writing tools.
All rewards will be shipped at no additional cost to our backers in the USA, Canada, and within the EU (no extra fees or tariffs) from locations in US and Germany. For all other backers please add $15 for international shipping (all taxes and duties are responsibility of receiver)
Note to the reader: This is a slimmed down version of our original spinning pen trilogy project previously featured here on Kickstarter. We originally made three different tops. However, the complexity made it very expensive to manufacture the pens so we have revised the campaign to a single version that the vast majority of previous backers preferred. Next step, hopefully, is the successful completion of the Kickstarter campaign and a move to production.
Risks and challenges
We have already designed and manufactured the first prototypes - and have successfully tested their 'spinnability'. Minor details need to be optimized before going into real production. We work with an excellent American manufacturer of high precision CNC milled parts. We believe that all elements of the project are manageable. If we get many more backers than expected, of course there may be bottle necks in delivery and distribution, but we’ll serve our backers on a first backed, first served basis.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)