A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Introducing DARTER, a micro pen with a secret hidden sewing kit. DARTER is beautifully machined from aluminium and brass in our East London workshop.
Why did we put a sewing kit in a pen? Our answer is: because we can.
Our cutting-edge "Swiss Turn" machinery and team can cut parts smaller and with more precision than most CNC workshops.
At first, our intention was to make the world's smallest refillable pen. Early on, however, we noticed that our designs had wasted space between the refill and the outer sleeve.
Our passion is making small, useful tools. At the design stage, every line and every detail are considered as we try and maximise functionality. Our speciality is in adding useful features into everyday miniature objects. Only when the design is complemented do we add these features, but never at the expense of beautiful simple lines. After much research, we felt that the perfect addition to the empty space in our pen would be a small selection of thread and sewing needles.
At first, we thought it impossible to machine a sewing kit so small that it would fit within this space. Any additional thickness to the pen would have been a deal breaker. Finally, following an intensive month of machining and testing (and the breaking of a few of our tiniest drills), the world's smallest sewing kit was born.
The Design Brief
1. The DARTER pen had to be small - really small. So small, in fact, that it could be added to your keychain and go unnoticed. It needed to be no larger than a door key.
It was crucial that the DARTER was not uncomfortable in your pocket, and so we set the diameter of the pen to 7.5mm and its length to 58mm.
2. The DARTER is made in-house in our East London workshop. If a feature in the design needed to be outsourced locally or overseas, we got rid of it. For us, it was essential that every part of this pen could be made using our own machinery and our own expertise.
We learnt a lot from 3Coil, our sister company, who launched a successful Kickstarter campaign. Working with factories that have 40 years of experience means we have a wealth of expertise and capabilities to tap into. This said, since these companies are such huge businesses, they have many departments and customers. Making a change or tweaking a design can take over a month for a simple revision.
But waiting around was no good for this project. At Ornisi, we are just as impatient as you. We don’t want to wait around. We want changes to happen in a few hours, not a few days or weeks. If we do have to make a revision, we want a shiny part in our hands by the end of the day.
To achieve this rapid prototyping solution, a different strategy to normal was needed. From Day 1, our creatives worked closely with our engineer. This meant that at the end of the design stage, this daily collaboration gave birth to an awesome product that not only looked and worked great, it could also be made on our machine by our engineer the very next day.
Incredibly, our time for prototyping has reduced from one month to less than one day. Our in-house manufacturing is up to 1000 parts per day. Our machines run 24/7.
3. It was important that our pen was refillable with a quality refill. Many pens on the market are either sealed and not refillable, or else use cheap refills that dry out quickly. A non-refillable pen is very wasteful. We wanted a pen which could both write well, and which would last a lifetime.
Therefore, because of their quality and size, we decided to use Cross matrix ballpoint refills. All our pens ship with black ink.
4. The DARTER pen doesn’t need to carry metres of thread – just enough for emergency wardrobe malfunctions. Our kit carries the right amount needed for ‘on the go’ repairs.
This said, sometimes a job may require an extra-long piece of thread for a larger emergency repair. The DARTER can also be used in this situation.
Why do we manufacture in-house?
We produce beautiful turned parts in rapid time. Our expert team, from designers to our engineer and machinist, produce amazing results. Believe us when we say we can turn an idea or a sketch into a production part within 48 hours.
It can be frustrating for both our team and our backers to have to wait weeks, even months, for things to happen in our manufacturing partners’ factories. But by making this ourselves, the momentum never diminishes. Plus, we can share this amazing journey with you – you can even see your pen being made through a webcam inside our machine. Should we need to make any changes or overcome any obstacles you can watch us fix the problem in real time.
Maximum size needles 27mm x 0.75mm diameter
Length of thread on a bobbin - 100cm (39")
Max length of thread on Darter Sew 2x 59cm (23") - 118cm total
Number of needles in Darter Sew - 4
Compatible Ink Refill - Cross Matrix Ballpoint Only
Ink Colour - Only Black supplied
Silver Material - 2011 Aluminium
Gold Material - CZ121 Brass
Colours available in the Cross Matrix range - Blue, Black, Red
We need your support
Our sliding head CNC machines require extremely precise material to be fed into them. This is not the usual ‘off the shelf’ lengths of aluminium or brass, but precision prepared material which is ground down to the exact same diameter along its 3-metre length. Since our machines run unattended, the slightest deviation in the diameter could jam the machine.
In our test run of 100 parts, a lot of time was spent cleaning each piece from the cutting oil. The funding we raise will help us buy toleranced diameter material and an ultrasonic cleaning machine, which will speed up the assembly and shipping stage. In return for supporting us, not only will you receive the first DARTER pen in the world at half the retail price, we will also share with you every step of your pen’s journey, from precision metal to precision product. We hope you are as excited as us about this journey.
If you choose to buy 2 or more pens, all you need to do is select the main colour of the pen - either silver or gold. At the end of the campaign we will email you a survey and you can customise each pen by selecting the button colour and band colour.
Risks and challenges
Our team has been growing year-on-year, and we have some truly amazing people working for us. To minimise any problems and lengthy delays, this project was designed to be made totally in-house, using our tech and know-how. Indeed, our attention to detail and quality means we are probably control freaks. Although we could have achieved this level of detail with our manufacturing partners, the process would have been painfully slow. By making everything ourselves, the designers, engineer and machinist can work together and solve problems in rapid time. We have yet to encounter an engineering problem we couldn’t solve within 48 hours.
Shipping will take place in mid-June 2019. The aluminium and brass bar will be ordered in February, with each bar being individually ground down to H9 tolerance. By March, we will begin cutting each of the 9 parts, with each part being reviewed and tested along the way. April will see the start of the ultrasonic cleaning and assembly process. Packaging and distribution to our warehouse will come in May. In case of any unforeseen problems, we have ensured there is a lot of flexibility in each stage, meaning that we anticipate there being no reason that the DARTER will not be in your hands by mid-June. However, should anything unexpected happen, we promise to keep you informed, both during the campaign and afterwards.
We will send a survey at end of campaign to choose your colour combinations
Get yourself one of each by mixing and matching across all four designs and be one of the first to back our stylish Darter Pen and Darter Sew. Made from Aluminium and Brass. Retail Price £164. Half price!
Silver colour DARTER PEN choose detail colour in survey
Gold colour DARTER PEN choose detail colour in survey