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An Artisan Production of Engineered Concrete Pens, Buttons, & Cases. Read more

Vista, CA Product Design
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$11,281
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 10, 2012.

An Artisan Production of Engineered Concrete Pens, Buttons, & Cases.

Vista, CA Product Design
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About this project

Seen Here: 

East, West, Everywhere - "What I look in a pen is not limited to its functionality, but also its design...The ethos of the pen reminded me of a show piece from MoMA."

swissmiss 

From the Pen Cup - "The Contribute Pen takes a variety of refills, including my favorites…the Pilot Hi-Tec-C and Uni-ball Signo DX...Concrete? Yes, concrete. Intrigued."

Core77

Gourmet Pens -  "I'm fascinated that this pen includes magnets. Magnetic caps are one of my favorite things ever."  

Pen & Design - "The Contribute Pen is, then, a splendid example of an interesting writing instrument, and one that's deserving of your attention."

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Hello Kickstarter's, 

Please help The Contribute Project extend value beyond innovative concrete products. Contribute is a surprisingly comfortable and versatile ink pen housing made entirely of concrete, neodymium magnets, and a spring plunger. Perhaps the thinest concrete pen in the world, it boasts the first unified concrete design. Compatible with many of the most appreciated ink refills.  The Contribute Case is a unique design in itself. 

As a Pen enthusiast, I was motivated to design a pen that showcases the advancements in concrete functionality and one that makes a versatile and unique addition to ones pen collection.   

In addition to pushing the bounds of what concrete can do, successful funding of the Contribute Project will also help to pass on some great opportunities!  The experience of incredible concrete objects is just the beginning of what I hope will contribute to others. 

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Rewards:

I've been experimenting, researching, and testing concrete mix design for five years.  This last year, I've devoted all my time, heart, and financial resources producing this project.  I'm literally "all in".  I'm excited to offer these rewards and confident that they will add value to you beyond their initial cost!   These products are offered to you at discounts as a thank you and invitation to join me in creating something bigger than what I could achieve on my own. 

                                        + OPTIONS +

  • Concrete Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Red, White Yellow
  • Button: Square or Circle Concrete Center (Magnet Included!)
  • Plating: Clear Anodize or 24k Gold
  • Hardwood Case: Alder or Birch
  • Exotic Hardwood Case: Black Palm or Zebra 
The Contribute Pen with Black Palm Exotic Hardwood Case
The Contribute Pen with Black Palm Exotic Hardwood Case

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The Contribute Pen

Point of Excellence:

  • Engineered Concrete (ultra-high performance)
  • Threaded Concrete Core (Magnets & Spring Plunger are the only metals)
  • Ink Refill Variety Friendly
  • Neodymium Magnets (Magnetic Forever)
  • Spring Plunger (Joins Pen Body to Back Cap + Firmly Holds Refill)
  • Mix & Match Colors (Body, Back Cap, & Pen Cap Colors)
  • Smooth & High Polish
  • Light-weight 
  • Hand-cast & Finished — USA (excluding Magnets & Spring plunger)
Contribute featured in Grey with G2 Gel Rollerball Refill
Contribute featured in Grey with G2 Gel Rollerball Refill

Dimensions:

Total Length without Cap: 5.625" (This is about a fingernail thickness over 5-1/2 inches) 

Total Length Overall: 6" 

Total Length with Pen Cap off: 5.625" 

Pen Body: 4.75" L x .5" d

Back Cap: .875" L x .5" d

Pen Cap: .375" L x .5" d

Weight: 1.6 oz with ink refill

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Engineered for Excellence

The most impressive feature of the Contribute Pen is the structural integrity which determines its aesthetics.   Because I've created with technological materials and developed innovate manufacturing, I've engineered a concrete mix that enables me to produce a sleek, durable, and versatile concrete pen. 

Contribute products are made with extraordinary concrete. As you can see, it's exceptionally beautiful.  This concrete is way beyond the strength of common construction concrete.  In fact, this pen would not be possible without using the precise recipe and manufacturing techniques I've developed.  No other concrete pen compares to this!

Unlike other concrete pens, the Contribute Pen is structurally supported with engineered concrete and neodymium magnets.  The Pen body and back cap are joined together with a spring-plunger.  Ink refills are changed by unscrewing the back cap and spring plunger.

Writes How You Like

Like some of my personal favorite pen housings, the Contribute Pen accommodates several different ink refills making it the perfect fit for any job you have in mind.  

Contribute has a very balanced feel.  You will find it surprisingly light as it weighs 1.6 oz when housing the Signo-DX.  Although smooth and polished, the concrete grips your hand, but feels soft.  If you've touched a highly polished piece of marble, this would be a similar feel.  Contribute takes on the ambient room temperature and will warm with your touch.  

This Growing List of Compatible Refills:

  • Cross Switch-it #8780 (manual adjust pencil height)
  • Cross Ball-Point #8101-2
  • Fisher Cross Type ** (needs to be tested but looks like a fit)
  • Pentel EnerGel #72512 (also fine: 24375 6) **
  • Pilot High Tec-C Cavalier 
  • Pilot High Tec-C 
  • Pilot G2 Gel Rollerball #77240
  • Pilot Q7 #77245 **
  • Pilot V-Ball #77285 **
  • Uni-Ball Gel #207 
  • Uni-Ball Signo (DX)

** to accommodate a wider variety of ink refills a spacer will be provided with your pen. The refills without asterisks do not need a spacer.  The spacer will likely be a spring.

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The Contribute Button

Features:

  • Precision Machining & Handmade — USA (excluding magnet)
  • Neodymium Magnet
  • Engineered Concrete
  • Aircraft Grade Aluminium
  • Clear Anodize or 24k Gold Plating
  • Reversible (Showcase either Metal or Concrete)
Contribute Buttons can be sewn to a bag, garment, or notebook
Contribute Buttons can be sewn to a bag, garment, or notebook

Dimensions:

.5" L x .5" W x .25" H

The Contribute Button was developed as a companion to the Contribute Pen.  I was considering the option to help hold the pen in my shirt pocket or prevent it from rolling out of a notebook.  If the button is placed near either end of the pen (where the magnets are) the two will join.  Although the holding strength is about 1lbs., the button does a great job of holding the pen cap if you prefer the shorter pen length while in use. 

I'm excited to see how others will use the button.  I think it could make a great addition to a notebook or bag next to where you will store the pen.  Or, it can be a decorative button with secret powers.  Maybe a handy paper clip holder for your administrative friends?   

Top Center Button features circle and black concrete option
Top Center Button features circle and black concrete option

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The Contribute Case

Contribute Case in Black Palm (bio-based natural finish)
Contribute Case in Black Palm (bio-based natural finish)

Points of Excellence:

  • Hardwood
  • Handmade & Finished — USA (excluding magnet)
  • Concrete Cover + Neodymium Magnet
  • Perfect Fit for the Contribute Pen
  • Cover & Pen create a Latch effect
  • Eco-Friendly - Bio-Manufactured & Human Safe Sealant
  • Subs as a Gum Case?
Case in Birch with bio-based natural finish (natural saturated color)
Case in Birch with bio-based natural finish (natural saturated color)

Dimensions:

  • 6.75" L x 1" W x 1" H

The Contribute Case is a joy to open and close.  It is designed to provide extra protection and to ensure that your pen lasts for legacies of use!  My studio neighbor calls them "fun little toys".  I call them awesome.

Case in Alder (bio-based sealant with beeswax finish)
Case in Alder (bio-based sealant with beeswax finish)
Case in Zebrawood (bio-based sealant with beeswax finish)
Case in Zebrawood (bio-based sealant with beeswax finish)

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Your Pledge My Promise

The Contribute Pen & accessories are not machined like common mass production methods. Although machining will be used to obtain the forms to hand-cast a centered and precision-fit pen. Their lasting beauty is found in the extra required human touch. Every Contribute product is custom and unique—I guarantee all Contribute products to meet or exceed your expectations. 

Your pledge helps to obtain forms, polishing equipment, magnets & spring plungers to produce at least 200 pens, cases, and buttons. The greater the funding, the greater the bulk order can be. I believe in the Kickstarter mission because I value collective vision & work that extends value beyond commerce. 

In addition to making heirloom quality products, we will provide jobs to at least 6 different companies who employ multiple people. I look for your help in obtaining these objectives.

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Project CheckPoints

  • Determine Pen Quantity Demand
  • Submit Form Design to Machinist
  • Machine Forms & Button Housings
  • Order Polishing Equipment
  • Calibrate Polishing Process to make ready for production
  • Order Magnets
  • Finalize Color Options & Submit Photographs to Backers
  • Order Wood for Hardwood Cases
  • Finalize Package Designs
  • Order Packaging
  • Complete Curing Test Comparison (Confirm Maximum Durability)
  • Formulate Production Steps
  • Make Products & Ship!

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Next Steps

Depending on your monitor color settings, the concrete color pictured is my Grey concrete.  The color options listed may be obtained with a soy-based stain which is eco-friendly.  

To provide you confidence that you picked your preferred color(s), I will submit finalized pictures with plenty of deciding-time before emailing you the rewards survey.  

The pen body is big enough to allow a nice range of pen refill widths.  I've listed the one's that I've tested and found they fit.  I will be testing more refills to find more that work.  

After fulfilling Your KickStarter Rewards, I will continue production of the Contribute Products.  I'm Looking forward to the unique opportunities to benefit others as I vision my partnership with Traveling Stories

____________________________________

Special Thanks To:

Chris Duerkopp & Alan Certeza for the awesome video!

Lullatone for their Awesome Music!

JFO Productions for their Rental Equipment Help!

KickStarter for this Awesome Opportunity!

____________________________________

Targeted MSRP

A Contribute Button 24k plating: $25

A Contribute Pen with Color Options: $100

A Contribute Pen + Hardwood Case: $150

A Contribute Pen + Button + Exotic Hardwood Case: $175

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Risks and challenges

As the grandson of a Navy vet, diversified craftsman, real estate broker, and housing developer, I obtained an appreciation for integration and a job well done. As a man who has built upon the values he led by, I've completed both college and graduate level programs. I diligently complete projects. With the need to build on what I've learned and do what I love, I established Faddis Design.

The challenge I'm ready to face is integrating the tooling and bulk materials into my production. When funding is obtained, I will place bulk orders for the spring plungers and magnets. Waiting for these parts and the machining will be challenging.

Although I've established a baseline, aligning the curing & polishing stages to meet reward quantities will be needed. Concrete needs time and an optimized environment to develop strength. The curing variables are just as important as the recipe. When the tooling quantities are determined, I will finalize the curing duration to confirm that I've obtained the greatest possible strength & durability.

So, other than common challenges of developing a new system, I've already achieved great milestones. I've made and presented working prototypes, perfected my concrete mix, selected the magnets, and perfected the details of my casting process. I've also established some baselines associated with de-molding and curing.

I've experienced receiving rewards several months beyond estimated delivery dates. However, I've backed projects that have fulfilled rewards before the estimated delivery date. This added a sense of delight to my experience with supporting them. To maximize my ability as a project Creator to provide you with similar delight, I've set an estimated delivery date that I think is reasonable to allow me to meet the quantity demand and to hopefully stay ahead of schedule.

Thus far, I've organized and prepared an incredible foundation. I love sharing my process with others and communicating; so, I will keep you informed along the way! I prefer good vibes, blessings, and high5s.

Cheers,

Dustin

All brands, logos, and trademarks displayed and/or mentioned are used for informational purposes only and are sole property of each respected company and owner. No endorsement or ownership implied.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Thanks to Per for this clarifying question. The refill is changed by simply unscrewing the back cap and spring plunger; or, unscrewing the pen body and back cap and then unscrewing the spring plunger. Both the Pen Body and Back Cap have inner threads which are completely concrete! (This is innovative)

    The spring plunger is screwed into these threads. One can screw the spring plunger into the back cap first then screw them both into the pen body—or vice versa. I prefer screwing the plunger to body first so I can gauge the spring tension that holds the refill securely in place. This is somewhat of a hidden feature.

    Depending on the length of the refill, the tension can be slightly controlled to adjust the ink-refill movement; or, used to provide a slight spring-tension (much like shocks on a vehicle). If you've used Hi-Tec C Cavalier, such movement is similar. However, I do not list it as a feature because this will vary on the type of ink-refill used. The standard to expect is that the ink refill is held firmly inside by way of the spring plunger.

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  • In some refills, I've noticed the magnets to have an influence on "holding" the refill. Most of the refills slide out of the pen with ease. Some refills stick to the magnet. Some slide out with a flick and others need a little prodding with a paper clip or toothpick. I'd like to compile a list, which highlights the unique ways in which they interact in the pen. This will likely be published later down the road.

    However, the sole purpose of the magnets is to securely hold the Pen Cap. They are also used to attract the Contribute Button and Contribute Case Cover. They are fun to play with as well!

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  • My Estimated Delivery can be summed up by this principal: Delight not delay. A single batch of pens will take approximately 20 days to complete. Kickstarter support will determine the number of forms I'll be able to make. Multiple batches will be produced in unison to maximize time efficiency. Concrete production is like making a fine wine, there are many stages and each deserves it's special time and attention.

    If you want to understand more details of everything that goes into setting my estimated delivery here it goes:

    1) I'm depending on my machinist to manufacture my forms. He writes his own tooling programs and he has consistent workflow. I technically have 4 different forms that I'm asking him to program and manufacture. He's already created the program for the button housings and those will only take a day or two to cut.

    Although my goal is to produce 250 pens, determining the exact demand is necessary in calculating the remainder of my production variables.

    2) Every pen needs, at the very least, 2 days in the form before they are able to be safely de-molded. This is another factor that makes determining the pen quantity-demand crucial before being able to specifically select a ship date.

    If a single form only supports 12 pen castings and I can only pour 12 every 2 days, you can see how this will take too much time.

    3) Another curing test comparison is needed to determine how long the pens need to cure in order to have a fully optimized strength and ductility. The prototypes have provided me with a baseline; however, until I manufacture the forms to obtain a consistent sample, I can not calculate the specific number of days in the curing process.

    The pens will continue to harden beyond the time I designate for curing, but I want to make sure they are very well equipped to maintain their structural integrity during extreme use conditions and that they will be dry enough to complete the polishing and sealing stage.

    The concrete curing test durations are 3, 7, 14, & 28 days. The baseline schedule I have calculated is 14 days.

    The curing factor is what has demanded most of my patience. That's why it has taken me a full year to perfect this mix design. Now that I've established some known variables about these production variables, I set the the ship date appropriately.

    I could have set a date sooner and that may be a greater incentive for you, but I rather not make decisions that are based on un-known variables and variables out of my control. In this light, you and I are in a similar predicament :-)

    Based on my experiences working with tool manufactures, they need at least a month, more like 2 or 3 to complete the work order.

    Although standard, the spring plungers and magnets will need to be manufactured. The magnets are made in China because the U.S. is not mining for neodymium right now and only one company in the U.S. that makes my magnets, is not in production right now. My magnet supplier is not working with the U.S. company.

    Spring plungers are manufactured in China as well, but my supplier is in the midwest. So, I wanted to provide enough time for everyone else to ship those pieces of the puzzle.

    Lately, it seems like every new product I've backed on Kickstarter has gone several months beyond their estimated ship date. Twine, Titanium Pen, Genie, Scanbox all estimated dates went several months beyond the estimates. But, that's why Kickstarter calls this "estimated". It is difficult to create new systems on a pre-determined timeline, which is dependent upon variables that need to flex with real time circumstances.

    I could have set a faster date to incentivize backer support because a lot of people want instant gratification. I'm actually the opposite as a backer on Kickstarter. I like not knowing when my rewards are going to ship. And, I don't care if the estimate is 2 years down the road. I like supporting projects from their start and I like to be surprised.

    Essentially, given the current Holiday season, I set my delivery date 9 months from funding. In my backer experience, most projects I've supported have shipped 10+ months after funding.

    My estimated date provides me with a confident plan to have your pen in hand by then. My effort is based on my goal to ship them much sooner than estimated.

    I'm thankful for your trust that I will produce concrete products of the most exceptional and rare quality. Prepare to own something special.

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  • Your pledge amount includes Worldwide shipping. However, it does not include customs or duties cost your country might charge. From what I researched, duty cost is about 5% of the price paid for goods. In order to streamline the shipping and delivery process, I can not pay for any duty tax your country may require.

    As the "importer" you are responsible for all customs, tax, brokerage, and/or duties imposed by your respective government. Please contact your local customs office for further information.

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  • Maybe for an ant, but the pen is relatively light. It weighs about 1.6 oz which is equivalent to 3.5 contractor type pencils, you know the rectangle ones. The Contribute Pen is approximately .80 oz lighter than some stainless steel pens on the market. It is a very comfortable weight—not too light & not too heavy.

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  • As you know, concrete is rigid. Traditionally, it has not been able to be very ductile or flexible. With the development of high tech raw materials, concrete is able to be made to obtain greater flexibility. Each concrete mix is designed to meet the particular demands it's being asked to perform. All concrete is designed specifically for the conditions which are unique to the given project cost, environment, and structural design.

    I've designed a special concrete to withstand common forces associated with the wear and tear the pen sees everyday. I've made the concrete very strong and increased its ductility to prevent shattering and breaking. (Also Innovative) As far as I know, the Contribute Pen is the first of its kind.

    For those rough and tumble world travelers and hallway brawlers, I've designed the Contribute Case to ensure that your Contribute Pen ages gracefully and can be passed on for generations to come.

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  • The Contribute Pen is extremely durable & will hold up to its intended use. Dropping the pen on the floor will not be a problem. I posted this question in light of the belief that everything can "break". In the context of extreme scenarios, the following applies:

    Unlike aluminum and steel, concrete is easily repairable. Normal wear and tear are not a problem for your Contribute Pen. You may find over time and use that your Contribute Pen has a very tiny crack or two. These would be "micro-cracks" caused from the shrinkage and expansion of concrete when exposed to moist, dry, hot, and cold conditions. Or, they may be caused from sudden high-impact forces like, dropping a 50 pound bag of books on it.

    Micro-cracks should not effect the performance of your pen, but are marks which show the experiences you have introduced the pen to. Using engineered materials I've minimized such possible cracking. If high-impact forces like dropping it from a two story building or stomping on it like a toddler throwing a tantrum, the pen will likely break or crack. Under those type of severe scenarios a little epoxy can mend the fracture.

    If you are concerned that cracks have weakened the structural performance of you pen, you may ship it to me and I will repair the cracks for a small cost. The repair will strengthen that area of your pen, but it will also change the appearance of your pen, which I tend to like.

    Each pen will take on unique patina and will respond differently to the conditions you put it through. The vulnerability of concrete is its tensile and flexural strength. Playing pencil war with it is not recommended; although, it could withstand a several battle rounds.

    The making of the Contribute Pen involves a very technical and precise process. It undergoes such a process in order to withstand breaking from typical dropping forces. To give you an idea of the strength and durability of my concrete, Chris, Alan, & I created this video: http://www.faddisdesign.com/persevere-vase

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  • Like other magnetized products, if the Contribute Pen rolls next to the edge of your Macbook, it can cause the laptop to sleep. When the pen touches the edge, I've experienced both causing and not-causing the Macbook to sleep. Causing your device to sleep will depend on where it is placed next to the laptop.

    Because magnets are used in your monitor to tell the computer to sleep, the magnets in the pen are strong enough to trick your laptop into thinking you closed the monitor. The magnets pull force is not very strong and should not harm your electronic devices.

    However, I state this belief with limited knowledge and experience. I have not completed numerous tests with every electronic device which exists. I encourage you to use these products at your own risk and with caution. I am not responsible for how you use these products.

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  • As with all magnets, you should use Caution. If you have or are near someone who has electronic health care devices you should use caution and follow the instructions of your health care provider.

    I believe that the pull force of the magnets in Faddis Design products are much less than the pull force doctors use to work with heart monitors and other personal health devices.

    However, I have no expertise as to the validity or credibility of my belief-statement. They may or may not effect such devices. I do not know or presume to know how these products will effect such devices and suggest you use caution.

    Thus, you use these magnetized products at your own risk and should use Caution. I am not responsible for how you use Faddis Design products which are magnetized and/or not magnetized.

    Prior to the use of these products, you ought to determine the "safety, suitability, and fitness" of the products for their intended use. As Faddis Design, the manufacture, or seller assume no liability arising from the misuse of the products.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    [ HIGH FIVER ]Name Recognition
    on permanent Faddis Design Page

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    3 backers

    [ LUXE CONTRIBUTOR ]
    1 magnetized Contribute Button

    24K Gold Plated + Color / Center Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $55 or more

    52 backers Limited (103 left of 155)

    [ EARLY ADVOCATE ]

    1 Contribute Pen in GREY (as pictured) + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    [ EARLY ADVOCATE ] 1 Contribute Pen: Color Options + Button: Plating / Color / Center Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    1 backer

    [ COLOR LOVER ] 1 Contribute Pen: Color Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers

    [ COLOR LOVER PLUS ]

    1 Contribute Pen: Color Options
    +
    1 Contribute Button: Plating / Color / Center Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    7 backers

    [ THE ESSENTIAL PACKAGE ] 1 Contribute Pen: Color Options +

    1 Contribute Hard Wood Case: Hardwood Options + 1 Contribute Button: Plating / Color / Center Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    20 backers

    [ THE EXOTIC PACKAGE ] 1 Contribute Pen: Color Options

    +

    1 Exotic Hardwood Case: Exotic Hardwood Options
    +

    1 Contribute Button: Plating / Color / Center Options + FREE SHIPPING Worldwide

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)