Share this project


Share this project

We love Hi-Tec-C pens!  Pen Type-A is a stainless steel replacement for the Hi-Tec-C's cheapo plastic housing.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Pen Type-A is the original stainless steel ruler sleeve and ultra minimal pen.
Created by
4,048 backers pledged $281,989 to help bring this project to life.

Pocket friendly sleeves

We designed a 3D printed pocket friendly sleeve for your Pen Type-As!

You can get them order them directly from Shapeways for 12$

The pocketable sleeves are available in 3 materials: 

Polished Alumide (grey)
Polished White Strong and Flexible
Black Strong and Flexible. 

Get one!

We like the black one the best! (it doesn't get dirty and makes the loudest pop sound)

More info on Shapeways materials: Alumide, Strong and Flexible Plastic

The sleeve is lightweight and rounded making it easy to carry. It has a subtle flat side so that it won't roll off tables. There's a ledge at the bottom of the sleeve to make sure the fragile tip of the pen doesn't get crushed when you shove it all the way in. You can put the sleeve on backwards and write with it. And last but not least, it is designed to grip the pen so that it won't fall out.  

We think these are pretty great features, but you are welcome to download the 3D file from shapeways and make your own modifications.

When you get your sleeves from shapeways be sure to dump any extra 3d printing powder from the inside of the tube. Sometimes they don't do the best job cleaning them out. If your pen gets stuck on its way in, keep dumping powder. Get all the powder out!

Thanks for reading all this.  We hope you find the sleeve useful!  

Again here is the link to get one :

Thanks for your patience and support with everything!


taylor + che-wei


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Raz Shafer on October 22, 2012

      My first sleeve (the black model) didn't fit and the new one (white model) didn't that they sent out as a replacement didn't work either. At this point I'm going for a refund. The idea is great and I'd love an option other than the aluminum block to make the pen more transportable for every-day carry. Right now, however, this print doesn't work.
      If y'all are going to endorse a product like this I think it's something you should get mass-printed and test in house. The refinement, quality and engineering of then Type-A are why I'm such a fan of the pen, and I wrongly assumed they would be present in the sleeve. I know that the tolerances are largely out of your control since it's a 3rd party printer but the end result is a bunch of egg on your faces and frustration among a very loyal consumer base.
      There may not be much you can do now but I'd appreciate y'all taking these ideas into account in the future.

    2. Missing avatar

      Eric on September 5, 2012

      surprise surprise - another CW+T failure.

    3. Missing avatar

      Charles on September 4, 2012

      I just received one black and one alumide sleeve and indeed the black did not fit. It's clear from the photos that CW&T tested the sleeves and they fit, so I'm guessing they weren't aware of the issue Mark brings up above - that Shapeways simply isn't accurate or consistent enough for this type of thing. A little sanding fixes the issue, but a new one arises. The rough texture of the black sleeve has begun to scratch the nice finish of my pen. I can buff it out, but I'll not be using the black sleeve.

      The alumide sleeve, however, is quite nice. It doesn't pop when removing the pen, but the pen fits nicely and the texture is surprisingly much smoother than the black and doesn't scratch the pen. Furthermore, I was delighted to find that it is conductive enough to work as a stylus when capacitive foam is attached to the end. I'll be slightly changing the 3D model to accept a bit of foam at the end and ordering my new, stylus + pen sleeve (hoping the entire time that Shapeways is able to replicate the nice fit of the sleeve I have now).

      So, while disappointed that the black sleeve didn't fit (though easily fixed) and rather annoyed that the black sleeve has scratched my pen, I'm happy that I will end up with a more useful product - an alumide sleeve / stylus.

    4. Mark Holland on September 4, 2012

      Unfortunately this seems to be a problem with a lot of shape ways products, they're just not quite accurate enough. Fine for everyday items, but for precision they're just not accurate enough. I've noticed the same comments about stuff not being accurate enough for articulated parts either. Can't really blame that on cw&t. They've just had shity luck with manufacturers yet again

    5. hypePG on August 31, 2012

      guys this really sucks! i just received my sleeve and it doesnt fit.... great testing -.-

    6. Matthew Morse on August 31, 2012

      I emailed Shapeways and they wanted me to send photographs of the fit so that they could open up some help ticket for me. I don't need a help ticket. I need a sleeve that fits. So, in my frustration, I busted out some automotive grit sandpaper and took out a few mm of material. The pen fits fine now, but every time I pull it from the plastic sleeve, it takes a minute to get the ink flowing again. I looked down in the tube and the pen tip is touching the bottom of the tube, leaving ink in there. I'm guessing that's what's mucking up the pen tip. I think this one will just go in the garbage and I'll take it as a lesson learned.

      I'm disappointed that CW&T pushed this thing without any extensive testing or anything. They obviously don't have a clue.

      Oh well, I've wasted a lot more money on a lot more stupid things than a shitty 3D-Printed pen sleeve.

      For anyone interested, stay away from this. Leave your PenTypeA on your desk at home and just take the el-cheapo Hi Tec C with you when you go out. Sure, it's not shiny and metal, but it's cheap and disposable and will write when needed.

    7. Missing avatar

      François Blavoet on August 31, 2012

      I received my sleeve this morning (thanks to the shitty ups service btw, it should have arrived a week ago) and it also does not fit.

    8. Ryan Tir on August 29, 2012

      Oh I'm not the only that is futile-ly trying to shove my pen in that sleeve.

      Also...does anyone else's Original Pen have trouble writing sometimes...? Or did mine just happen to get knocked during shipping...? I haven't tried replacing the ink cartridges yet...

    9. Earl Garcia Birch
      on August 29, 2012

      got the black sleeve today..... way to tight! pen doesn't fit

    10. Matthew Morse on August 28, 2012

      I received my sleeve in the mail yesterday evening. Like the rest of you, my pen doesn't go in the sleeve at all. I can get maybe 1/4 of an inch in the sleeve and then it locks up tight. I've messaged Shapeways as well, but this seems like something that was only thought through halfway. Kind of crappy, in my opinion. I know some of you said you sanded out the inside, but when I pay $25 for what is essentially a plastic tube, I don't want to have to do anything to make it work properly.

      Fortunately mine came in a 4x6x8 box with about $3 in packing material tucked inside so it got here without being squashed or destroyed. Just wish it worked.

      Looks like another disappointment surrounding the Pen Type-A. Avoid this thing like the plague until they get it right.

      CW&T, I know you won't respond (you never do), but I'd recommend letting your backers know that this product doesn't work as advertised and maybe steer them away from it until you and Shapeways can work out the bugs with the sizing.

    11. Steven Cavalieri on August 25, 2012

      Sorry to write this. Just received the Type A pen sleeve.
      It arrived compressed into an oval at the opening because it was shipped in an envelope instead of a box or tube. I worked it back into shape but I'm pretty sure it will develop a crack after some use.
      Part feels and looks very much like a discardable .49 cent shipping piece, not a premium $19 plus shipping finished part. Opening is rough/unfinished and the rounded end isn't rounded like the photos, it's a bit pointed. Did not meet my expectations and looks very different from what was shown on the website. Really need to reevaluate this offering. I'm also writing Shapeways. I can send you photos if you like.

    12. lisa mckinley on August 24, 2012

      My black sleeve is way too tight, I almost got my pen stuck.

    13. Brian Draghi
      on August 24, 2012

      The black sleeve seems to work for me. I wasn't expecting the sleeve to have such a rough texture but it gets the job done. Would have preferred a polished look for the black but at least now a have a portable Pen Type-A.

    14. Mark Holland on August 24, 2012

      Just had it sitting on the hob for a minute to heat up and it came straight out. 2 minutes with a round file and both the silver and black now work perfectly, and still POP.

      Sorted! They work perfectly now and I can finally make it a pocketable pen. Thanks cw&t... In all fairness you can't be held accountable for other people's manufacturing. A 2 minute fix and they're perfect.

    15. Seth Mitchell on August 24, 2012

      Sad, but I too had the same issue with the black!

    16. Mark Holland on August 24, 2012

      yep, my black doesn't fit either... but my silver fitted great and slid in easily... but now won't come out again!! Currently my precious type-a is well and trully wedged!

      Will try heating and see if that helps, if not I will have to resort to a saw! They look cool if they fitted properly though... nothing a file and a bit of tinkering won't fix I'm sure though.

    17. Missing avatar

      John Barnhardt on August 24, 2012

      I've just received a black sleeve from Shapeways and have exactly the same issue - it's literally impossible to put the pen in it. I can get it in at most 0.5 inches before it's very bound up. It's possible I could get it in farther with some very extreme pushing but it would certainly be forever encased at that point. Quite disappointing. I will contact Shapeways to see about getting the situation rectified. I may try sanding down the interior with sandpaper wrapped on a dowel but this is not what I would expect from a precisely and professionally printed object.

    18. Douglas Hardy on August 24, 2012

      I received my black sleeve and yes, my Pen was too large for the sleeve. I thought perhaps that the plastic was very slightly flexible and had to be 'broken in', but nope, it is stiff. When I tried to remove my pen the sleeve broke. Apparently the sleeve was designed without thinking of the fact that when the plastic cures from the 3D printing process, it actually shrinks slightly. Don't waste your money.

    19. Missing avatar

      Jeff Billimek on August 24, 2012

      For what it's worth, I contacted shapeways and they responded almost immediately with "thanks for your mail. I am sorry to hear that the pen sleeve does not fit. We have actually received a couple of complaints regarding this problem in the last couple of days but this is a new part which we have not had much experience yet. I do suspect that we have either produced a batch which have not come out in the correct dimensions or maybe even that the design might need adapting."

    20. Missing avatar

      Jeff Billimek on August 24, 2012

      I just received my matte black sleeve from shapeways and have to say that it is extremely disappointing! The pen will not fit! I got about 0.5 inches of the pen into it and then it just got stuck (VERY VERY hard to get back out). I can't believe I blew $20 on something that doesn't even work.

    21. Missing avatar

      anson chiu on August 23, 2012

      i just received my UPS confirmation from Shapeways... my case will arrive tomorrow.... yet im still at #699 on the waiting list for my pen... *sign*

    22. Missing avatar

      adam on August 23, 2012

      You are truly a fantastic apologist for cw&t, Charles. Keep up the good work. Your ability to defend and rationalize their chronic mismanagement of this endeavor is really, truly brilliant. Have you ever considered getting a job as part of the Chinese communist party?

    23. Missing avatar

      Charles on August 22, 2012

      @adam, Since you've clearly seen their contracts and been privy to all their legal discussions, perhaps you would care to elucidate on your (seemingly, from our perspective) completely baseless allegations?

      Also, what other projects? A 15 minute 3D model that they then uploaded to a 3D printing service from which people can order? You're worried that those 15 minutes which would have otherwise been spent waiting for shipments to come in would have made all the difference?

      Funny how everyone on the internet is an expert at everything. Please, continue to share with us your expertise. It's most helpful.

    24. Missing avatar

      adam on August 22, 2012

      @ Brian. My point — and I think the point that is pertinent in the context of a near identical Torr Pen — is that those commenters who seem willing to chalk up the egregious delays in the delivering of the Pen Type-A to routine industrial-manufacturing complications are either seriously deluded in their efforts to rationalize patently shitty business decisions, or are attempting some positive PR spin for cw&t.

      Granted, as a Kickstarter project, this was not meant to be a mere commercial exchange: we're backing the idea of a product, as well as the product itself. But I do believe that there is the logical expectation on the part of those who funded the project that the creators would learn from their mistakes, adapt and do so quickly. In continuing to mismanage the not-insignificant funds that we have bestowed upon them — and involve themselves with other projects, when they should be concentrating on fulfilling their obligations to their backers — cw&t have shown themselves to be not just inept, but unprincipled businesspeople.

      Give a hipster a fish and feed him for a day. Give a hipster a quarter of a million dollars and watch him starve to death.

    25. Missing avatar

      Brian May on August 22, 2012

      @Adam Chances are good since they have limited production experience and they are on their second Chinese manufacturer, that knock offs of the Pen Type-A will come abound. After all, two companies now have the design docs and tooling to manufacture the pen and with only slight modifications, they will be in the legal clear.

    26. Missing avatar

      Brian May on August 22, 2012

      @Adam Chances are good since they have limited production experience and they are on their second Chinese manufacturer, that knock offs of the Pen Type-A will come abound. After all, two companies now have the design docs and tooling to manufacture the pen and with only slight modifications, they will be in the legal clear.

    27. Missing avatar

      adam on August 22, 2012

      Actually, I'm now regretting posting the previous comment, as I'm sure that the months and months of intellectual-copyright litigation that are sure to follow — overseen by highly-skilled Chinese lawyers, no doubt — will only delay the delivery of my pen further.

    28. Missing avatar

      adam on August 22, 2012

      I wonder if the guys making this pen have had issues with their manufacturers and fabricators in China...

    29. Missing avatar

      gomez.jimmy1 on August 20, 2012

      @ Paul & Brian: I completely agree. Extremely disappointed with how this project has progressed. CW&T should really consider giving these sleeves for free along with the remaining pen shipments. After waiting waiting literally over a year, I think this is definitely reasonable.

    30. Missing avatar

      Brian May on August 20, 2012

      @Paul it is pointless to attempt to get feedback from them. The only time they give feedback is when they post up an update about how sorry they are.

      I asked about an update on the coin screws on the 8th, no response. Others have asked about whether or not pens have shipped out or are being shipped out per the last update. Since the update does say "If all goes according to plan, we will ship out another ~1474 pens by the end of next week (Aug 17)."

      But as we all know, nothing they have done so far has gone according to plan and honestly without any production background or experience bringing a product to market at this scale, how can we expect them to have a solid plan.

      Personally I feel that if they had no experience bringing a product to market on a large scale then they should have brought someone into the project that has that experience, but that is just MHO.

      Eventually the pen will arrive (theoretically within the next 2 weeks), and it will be a hybrid between Chinese/Vermont manufacturers.

    31. Paul Bradshaw on August 17, 2012

      You guys have a complete tin ear when it comes to customer relations. Seriously, I hope you survive your first foray into the world of commerce, but you could write a cautionary business manual about all the mistakes you've made.

      How do you think a person feels who has patiently waited for a year for your pen (and yes, until today I have never posted a complaint), and then you begin offering accessories for a pen you haven't even delivered? Here's how it makes me feel: You're screwing around on other projects when it is clear you need to dedicate all your bandwidth to solving the pen production and order fulfillment crisis in which you find yourselves.

    32. Missing avatar

      anson chiu on August 15, 2012

      I just ordered the black sleeve from shapeways. Curious- will this actually arrive before my Type-A pen?!?!?!
      I've been stuck on #699 forever :(

    33. Missing avatar

      jdiemz on August 12, 2012

      Moving on, these are actually a pretty nifty idea. Just ordered a black one too... these will definitely improve the pens pocketability.

    34. Rich Williams on August 10, 2012

      I asked, you delivered, fantastic! I just ordered one in black, can't wait to bring my pen everywhere! Thanks!

    35. Missing avatar

      Angustimus on August 10, 2012

      I'd be keen to get in on an Australian order if the shipping works out better.

    36. Nicole Bradshaw on August 10, 2012

      Hey Richard, I'm in Australia and I'd be up for an order :) If there are any other Aussie interested, holler and we can save on the shipping ;) Good suggestion aecob!

    37. Missing avatar

      aecob on August 10, 2012

      Richard – I think the Shapeways shipping is a flat rate, so if you find a few other Aussies who want to buy you could split the cost between you (+ onward shipping to everyone once in AUS) and it'd work out cheaper.

      Any UK backers interested in doing the same thing? I'd love the sleeve, but don't really want to spend £20 on a pen lid...

    38. Oliver Hofmann on August 10, 2012

      Kickstarter is really becoming a victim of its own success with backers treating projects as a one-click buy on Amazon. You are backing the development of a project and a creative team that has gone to great length to make sure everyone eventually gets a pen.

      Maybe time for a comment voting system...

    39. Brian Draghi
      on August 10, 2012

      Way to take the high road, everyone. Stay classy, kids...

    40. Matthew Morse on August 9, 2012

      Richard - Depending on where you are, someone (like myself) might be able to buy you one and ship it to you. I bought the sleeve today and it was $18.50 with shipping. First Class Mail to Aussieland would run roughly another $7 or so bringing your grand total up to $25.50. You might save a few bucks in the long run, but it might be faster to just pay the extra $7 and cut out the middle man. However, should you decide that's what you want to do, you can contact me through my profile and I'd be glad to pick up the middle man position for you. Just let me know. :)

    41. Garrett Smith on August 9, 2012

      I have a great idea, put on with my pen when it ships. A $12 gift to say sorry it took a year to ship the pen I paid for. You pick the color...

    42. Missing avatar

      Richard Crocker on August 9, 2012

      Guys, just wondering about the international shipping. It's $20 for me to ship a $12 product. Are there any cheaper shipping offers?

    43. Victor Carrano on August 9, 2012

      The T2 Pen funded on June 18th. I received mine on July 2. The guy promised only what he could deliver on. MANY Kickstarter people should take a lesson. This is not a case of 'normal' unforeseen problems cropping up. It's a case of rolling the dice with Chinese manufacturers. Go back and re-read all the updates. They tell the story. They say themselves that the second manufacturers looked great and delivery for the Holidays was a go! They got in WAY over their heads and learned during the project what should have been thoroughly researched before it started. It is what it is and there is not much to do but wait and hope for a quality final product, but I have had it with all these 'expert' apologists.

    44. Michel on August 9, 2012

      WOW, made in New York, NY! I'll receive it before my still not delivered Pen Type-A.

    45. Missing avatar

      John C on August 9, 2012

      I should also mention a couple of things as an addendum to my last post.

      - I haven't gotten my pen yet, either. I can't wait, in the sense that it'll be great, but I'll wait for a quality pen. They're in the home stretch, as far as I know, and if I need to write something down in the meantime, there are, again, interim solutions.

      - I've used Kickstarter for about two years and three hundred pledges. For a couple weeks shy of two years, I've been waiting for one guy to write a book, with seventeen updates. Most of those updates have been that he was finally ready to get moving and pissy "writing is hard" comments to anybody complaining that what was billed as a simple book all planned out turned out to be a vague idea (also not something uncommon to the business world, actually).

      - Yelling at people you need is never smart. I don't think cw&t are nearly as nasty as I am, but if it were my project, I'd bump you guys to the bottom of the list and might strongly consider something "extra special" in the box. But, then, I have waiters in the family...

    46. Missing avatar

      John C on August 9, 2012

      Guys, in the real industrial world, a manufactured product generally takes a year and a half when you have several engineers and someone on the factory floor every morning. Even then, there are enormous and consistent delays. That's the best case. We, on the other hand, pledged to allow/help these guys to take a design from start to finish, with the pen a reward for/a gift in return for your help.

      The differences between this and what I see on the job are (a) we all got involved with this at the beginning of the development cycle, not the end, and (b) big companies hide their stumbles and silently reschedule the release date so the people who are relying on it have no clue what's going on...or they sink the money and cancel the project.

      Here's the thing: If you just wanted to buy a pen, go buy one. There are plenty of companies that have gladly sacrificed quality and detail to make sure you can get one whenever you want.

      Compared to most of my employers, they've been doing a fine job of completing production without sacrificing quality and keeping us updated along the way.

      As for "work harder," I'm curious how you guys think manufacturing works that you think five minutes to upload a 3D model and take a picture is going to help. You've seen pictures of factories, right?

    47. David Hellmann on August 9, 2012

      Nice, i bought one! :)

    48. Missing avatar

      Charles on August 9, 2012

      @Jon DuCoin, that's quite the false dichotomy you've got there. I'm pretty sure CW&T didn't take too much time out of their busy schedule of waiting to model and upload this design.

      Also, that's quite the entitlement outlook you've got there. "My reward didn't show up in the time you initially mentioned but never guaranteed so give me one of these new things for free."

    49. Missing avatar

      Jon DuCoin on August 9, 2012

      How about concentrating on getting "us" the pens we ordered, A YEAR AGO! before working on some other item.

      For the excessive delays you caused through poor decisions, "WE" should get one of those sleeves FREE!

    50. Mark Holland on August 9, 2012

      I was expecting some form of metal pen cap just on the end, but these are even better and much more pocket friendly with the rounded edges and the fact they protect the whole body. Love it, black and alumide already ordered;-)