About this project
Nov 3 Update: All our pledge rewards are all gone! If you still really really want a Pen Type-B, you can pre-order one through our shop at shop.cwandt.com.
Pen Type-B is a super minimal everyday pen. It is the pocket friendly sibling of Pen Type-A, engineered to last generations.
- Pen Type-B is precision machined out of solid metal.
- The body of the pen is made out of stainless steel and the sleeve is made out of polished brass.
- 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 polished brass sleeve is gentle on your hands and pockets.
- The brass is purposely uncoated, so that it picks up your unique patina over time.
Pen Type-B is precision machined magic that fits in your pocket.
Pen Type-B embodies the material properties and sensation of machined metal that we don’t normally get to handle every day. Every time you take it out of your pocket, you get a little piece of that magic.
Design + Manufacturing : in depth
The pen body is made out of 3 types of stainless steel with varied ferritic properties. The tip is 400-series stainless (magnetic), the cylinder is made out of 300-series stainless (non-magnetic) and the dime screw is made out of cold-worked stainless (just the right amount of magnetism).
A tiny radial pattern of holes near the pen cylinder tip allows for just the right amount of air to flow into the pen to equalize the air pressure on the ink cartridge as you pull the pen out of its sleeve.
The brass sleeve is secretly made out of 2 parts: the barrel and the end cap assembly. The barrel is machined using a massive gun drill. This allows for super tight straightness tolerances and leaves a mirrored interior finish on the sleeve. We are super fortunate that our fabricator in Vermont has one of these machines in house, because it is really the only machine that can do the job properly. The end cap assembly is made out of machined brass, a rubber piece that gently hugs the tip and a donut shaped magnet with an interior chamfer.
The end cap and the sleeve are joined together by supercooling the end cap so it shrinks to be small enough to be slip fit into the barrel. Once the end cap assembly reaches room temperature, it expands so it’s permanently fixed and the seam between the two parts disappears.
A magnet at the bottom of the sleeve locks the pen in place, preventing it from falling out.
The flat edge on the sleeve stops the pen from rolling off your desk.
Pen Type-B ships with a black .3mm Hi-Tec-C ink cartridge to draw super fine lines. (other ink cartridges are compatible with Pen Type-B) If you’ve used a Hi-Tec-C pen you already know how amazingly this japanese gel-ink cartridge writes.
This is not a feature rich pen. It’s not a space pen or a tactical pen. It doesn’t even have a clip or a grippy surface. We eliminated everything we find unnecessary and focused on what this pen really wants to be...a contemporary design that can withstand the test of time.
Pen Type-B is the result of reducing the pen to its essence.
Over the last 4 years we tweaked every aspect of the design. Features were added, removed and adjusted to the thousandth of an inch. Numerous materials (titanium, aluminum, steel, brass) and finishes (glass bead blast, polish, black oxide) were tested to evaluate their feel and wear over time.
Made in USA
Pen Type-B (along with all of our other pens) are manufactured at a multi-generation machine shop in Vermont. We have worked very closely with them over the past 4 years and visit them frequently. They know us very well, and have equally high standards. A lot of care and effort goes into making these pens. From the numerous highly specialized CNC machines and tooling required to make the parts, to the assembly and finishing steps. Each pen is inspected before it goes out, and if there is ever a manufacturing defect we will happily take it back to repair or replace.
This is a really special project because we got to work so closely with our machine shop in Vermont. In more normal circumstances, we would have been sketching and prototyping in-house for months before getting to a production sample. But in this case, we prototyped with the final materials, tolerances, and finishes on the production machinery from the beginning and tested different versions over and over until we arrived at our perfect pen.
We are Che-Wei + Taylor. We run a tiny design studio in Brooklyn. It's just the two of us, our rambunctious 14 month old and an occasional summer intern.
Art and design is what we do for work and play. In a world of disposable things, we like to find, sketch, design, and build things that last. We want perfect objects that will last longer than a lifetime.
BackstoryIn 2011 we designed Pen Type-A as a side project. We launched the project on Kickstarter, hoping for 50 supporters and ended up with 4,048. We’re still not sure what happened, but something struck a chord with more people than we ever imagined. The following two years were spent overcoming manufacturing hurdles as we moved production three times from two Chinese factories to our current family-run machine shop in Vermont, USA. We learned a lot, to say the least. Those of you with a vintage Kickstarter Pen Type-A, thank you for believing in us!
Since then, we spent two years at MIT Media Lab, had a baby boy, and got older. We launched a few small hardware and software projects in the last few years, and have a few more that we’re looking forward to sharing soon. Stay tuned! Or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter to see what we're up to.
Pen Type-B is the pen that we carry and use everyday. It is a super finely tuned writing instrument and design object. We’ve been carrying it around in our pockets for the last 4 years, tweaking and adjusting every aspect of its design. It’s perfect. And it’s the last pen we’ll ever design.
Campaign + Production Plan
The following dates are safe estimates and are subject to change if we hit unforeseen challenges. If and when this happens you will be the first to know.
- Final production sample received (Sept. 23)
- Launch Campaign (Oct. 6)
- Submit PO for first production run + packaging (Once we hit our funding goal)
- Campaign Ends (Nov. 5)
- Post Update* (Nov. 6)
- Receive final packaging (Dec)
- Complete run of 100 pens (4 weeks after the purchase order is submitted)
- Fulfill production on an ongoing basis - we work with our superstar fulfillment service, Whiplash, to fulfill all of our products!
- Pen Type-B will be produced at an approximate rate of 75 units per week.
- If we have any significant changes to our manufacturing process we'll let you know.
* Backer updates will be posted on the 6th of every month until all of the pens have been fulfilled, whether or not we have something interesting to report. If something interesting comes up sooner, then we’ll post an update before the 6th.
Why we need support
We didn't compromise on any part of Pen Type-B. This is a pen to have for the rest of your life, and one to pass on to your kids, and to your kids' kids.
We make these pens at a multi-generation family machine shop in Vermont. We have been working together for the past 4 years on our pens as well as other metal fabrication projects. As with any manufacturing process, production runs are only cost effective if we place an order in large quantities. With your pledge, we'll be able to raise enough funds to place an order for our first production run. In return, you'll be amongst the first to get a Pen Type-B.
We want to make things properly. We want to make objects that last. This pen is for you and your kids and their kids. We have extremely high standards and we hope you do too.
- Length 137.32mm
- Diameter 12mm
- Brass Sleeve Weight 47.5g
- Stainless Steel Pen Weight 44.3g
Thank you friends for all of your feedback and support, for letting us shoot this video in your home, for watching our tiny human in the meantime and for your cameo (you all know who you are). We love you!
Risks and challenges
We are making Pen Type-B with a machine shop in Vermont. We have been working with this shop for the past 4 years on Pen Type-A. Over this time, they have made our current production of Pen Type-A the best it can possibly be, and have made numerous prototypes during the development of Pen Type-B. They know how picky we are, and they put up with us, tweaking our design down to the most minute details.
Even with all of our preparation and due diligence, there may be surprises in the production run of Pen Type-B that may cause delays.
We are as ready as we can possibly be. We have self funded the development of this project for the past 4 years and can't wait to see them out in the world.
We pledge to keep you updated with our progress over the course of this project. Each month, whether something exciting has happened or not, we'll post an update to keep everyone in the loop.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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