We've been dreaming about this and it's something many of you have asked for. With your help, we'll make it happen...
We're launching Pen Type-B, our super minimal fine-tipped pocketable pen in titanium! Making Type-B in titanium has been the top request ever since we launched our first Pen Type-A Kickstarter campaign. And for good reason! Titanium is in many ways the ultimate material. it's super strong and super light. It practically shows no wear over time because it's so hard. And it's magically lightweight.
- Pen Type-B is precision machined out of solid metal.
- The body of the pen and the sleeve are made out of Titanium.
- The dime screw and the tip piece are made out of ferrous stainless steel.
- A magnet at the base of the sleeve holds the pen in place when writing or in your pocket.
- The ultra-high machining tolerances between the pen and sleeve create a piston-like effect.
- The pen falls slowly into its sleeve and makes a nice popping sound when you pull it out quickly.
- Pen Type-B has no visible logo.
- The rounded satin Titanium sleeve is gentle on your hands and pockets.
- This is precision machined magic to pass down multiple generations.
- Made in Vermont, USA.
This forever pen is magically lightweight and ridiculously strong.
Hands on with Titanium Pen Type-B ...
In 2011 we introduced Pen Type-A on Kickstarter. Since then, we've expanded the line and continued to improve the engineering, quality and precision of the machined parts. If you've handled a Pen Type-A from 6 years ago, you'll notice the difference immediately.
Our expanded line of Pen Type-As include metric and imperial versions of the pen that has architect's scales engraved on all 4 sides (perfect for architect's and engineers) and a Cerakote Black Pen Type-A.
We've been fortunate enough to be selected to be part of Kickstarter Gold. It's been 6 years of being on Kickstarter and this is our 6th campaign.
For this special campaign, we're thrilled to re-introduce our entire Pen Type-A line at a deep discount as a way to say thank you. Thank you for supporting our work! It means a lot to us.
7 years ago we designed an ultra durable, over-engineered pen and ruler sleeve as an homage to an ink cartridge we loved. It was something we made for ourselves, and never imagined others would want it too.
For fun, we put Pen Type-A on Kickstarter hoping to convince 50 of our friends to support us, cover tooling costs and maybe make some more to sell on our site. 30 days later 4,048 backers wanted a Pen Type-A.
If you were one of those beloved 4,048 original backers, you joined us for quite a transformative journey. We quickly learned making 50 of something is way easier than making 6,000. And after many wrinkles and lost hair, we eventually it got done!
Looking back at Pen Type-A updates puts a lump in our throats. To be honest, lots of what happened was so stressful it is hard even now to talk about.
We went through two manufacturers in China, fought some legal battles and learned some serious life lessons. All of this was shared with this incredibly supportive community.
Reading through old threads in the comment section, we are reminded of how important this community is. You keep us on our toes and make all of it worthwhile.
Below are some lovely photos of Pen Type-A + Pen Type-B from many of our backers over the years. This brings us loads and loads of happy :)
more happy ...
Over the past 6 years, we've tweaked and refined Pen Type-A + B to make it what it is today. We want to share some behind the scenes cool stuff about both pens, stuff that makes these pens what they are today.
Back in 2011 we began working with an overseas manufacturer. Today we work with a multi-generation family run machine shop in Vermont, and we really wouldn't have it any other way. Making these pens is really not trivial. It requires multiple specialized tools, manufacturing tricks and lots of manual finishing and assembly work. Read on for some details.
Evolution of the sleeve inside
When we first made Pen Type-A. We specified a simple smaller hole to be machined at the base of the main machined cylinder so the tip would not bottom out. It worked, and it was relatively easy to machine.
In the second version of Pen Type-A (2012-2013), we incorporated a rubber pad to hug the ink cartridge tip at the base of the sleeve along with a rubber gasket to keep the pen in it's sleeve.
Eventually we decided it would be cool to get a magnet into the sleeve instead of a gasket. Our thinking was a gasket could potentially wear out over time (even though we haven't seen this happen yet). In our original Pen Type-B campaign (2015) we glued our magnets in place with epoxy. We ended up with lots of failed epoxy adhesions and replaced lots of pens! Fortunately that problem is fixed now by mechanically fixing the magnet in place.
Below is a diagram of the plug assembly of Pen Type-B and Type-A today. It has a magnet, a rubber cap, and a precision machined plug assembly with a rollover to mechanically fasten the magnet into place (phew...+fancy!).
The "roll over" feature which mechanically fixtures the magnet in place is a pretty sweet trick where you precisely bend a thin piece of metal back over the magnet to hug it in place. This mechanical solution is much more secure and is now in place for all our pens.
With Pen Type-B, this plug is added to the pen sleeve by heating the sleeve so it expands and allows the whole part to fit together. With Pen Type-A, the plug is nitrogen cooled so it shrinks and then it is inserted into the ruler sleeve. The seams for both are then blended. It's pretty fancy.
Other small modifications have been made over the years to improve the ink flow. Hi-Tec-C ink cartridges (especially the .3mm and .25mm tips) draw beautifully with deep dark blacks and fine lines, but they are notoriously a bit hard to get up and running. We've made improvements to the way air equalize pressure across the ink cartridge to keep the ink where it wants to be (at the tip of the pen). A neutralized ink cartridge is a much happier cartridge.
Below is an image of the tiny broach holes cut to allow more air to flow around the ink cartridge. These things are barely visible on the pen itself, but are a nice functional detail.
Here's a small animation made with Fusion 360 to show the entire Pen Type-B assembly...
We're offering 3 reward tiers for this campaign.
Reward Tier #1 : Titanium Sleeve only ($90)
This pledge tier is meant for previous Pen Type-B backers who want an alternative sleeve for their pen.
Reward Tier #2 : Pen Type-A - 1 of 4 variants ($110)
We'll send you a Backerkit survey ~2 weeks after the campaign ends and you'll be able to select the version of Pen Type-A you'd like to receive as a reward. (This line normally retails for $160-180).
Reward Tier #3 : Titanium Pen Type-B ($140)
This pledge tier is for a complete, brand spanking new Titanium Pen Type-B. Complete Titanium Pen Type-Bs will ship slightly earlier than the sleeves. (Estimated retail $180-$200).
If you'd like to add multiple rewards to your tier, simply pledge an additional:
- $90 (Titanium sleeve only)
- $110 (Pen Type-A, Architect's Scale)
- $140 (Titanium Pen Type-B)
- June 20 Kickstarter Gold campaign launch.
- July 21 Kickstarter Gold campaign ends.
- August 3 Kickstarter Funds Transfer
- August 3 send Backerkit surveys.
- August 4 lock-in Backerkit surveys.
- Place PO for Titanium Pen Type-B
- September 2017 (estimated ship date of rewards containing Pen Type-A)
- November 2017 (estimated ship date of rewards containing Titanium Pen Type-B)
Kickstarter makes CW&T possible. It lets us put weird things into the world. It keeps us honest, agile and constantly making. It helps us be us! We are among many creators who have grown up with Kickstarter. It is integral to our creative process. We are forever grateful.
!!! THANK YOU !!!
This is an amazing chance to celebrate with the Kickstarter community, be a bit nostalgic, and showcase some of the nitty gritty behind the evolution of what we make.
CW&T is Che-Wei + Taylor, a two-person art and design practice.
We live in a world of our own making. It's a world where every object has its purpose, although not always purposeful, and where common objects receive uncommon consideration.
Thank you for supporting our work!
Risks and challenges
This isn't our first rodeo. That's not to say we're going to pull this off without a hiccup. What I mean is that we've done this enough times that we know something at some point will go wrong. We've done everything in our power to mitigate potential hurdles, but we'll be the first to admit, we can't predict the future.
We'll be working with Preci Manufacturing in Vermont, whom we've worked with for the past 5 years. They're maybe the only shop we've worked with that understands how picky we are with quality and they've been nice enough to work through all the ups and downs over the years. We're confident in their work and we'll be on the phone with them everyday to check in (as we have been for the last 5 years).
We've machined prototypes of Pen Type-B Titanium with Preci and the entire Pen Type-A line has been in production at Preci for a few years, so we're ready to hit the ground running when this campaign ends.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)