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My first 3d printed pen (kinda)-Golden Gate/SF Pen


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I have always wanted to 3d print a fountain pen, but my attempts proved unsuccessful. It has/is a long term project for me that I have been working off/on for around 7 months. Its been a HUGE learning experience with not only 3d modeling but 3d printing. I knew that the concept was possible and could be done well as shown by @practial_pens on instagram. 

The early times 

In the start I was trying to make a pen fit a pilot MR/kakuno housing which was a pain. I also have basic 3d modeling skills, I am self taught. Figuring out the correct threading was a process but was rewarding when I got it correct. Once I got the threading correct I was stuck on the body of the pen and never went anywhere :/ In the end it was a good way learn how to make complex threads using the coil function in fusion360.

The true start or so I thought...

Later I got a JoWo #6 section which was a start as I now had full control over the shape of the pen! Finding the threads for the section was a breeze, but then again I got stuck trying to find a shape I like for the pen. I also limited myself greatly as I thought that an appropriate girth for a pen was 12mm which is a skinny legend but it was a pain to model. Most of the pen had a wall of 1mm which was fine until the housing section where more was needed for the cap threading. When all was said and done I had a half pen but not a worthy pen for me.I tried to taper the ends to give it a cigar shape but failed badly, I had a half cylinder half cigar pen body which was even worse. Oh yes I forgot to mention the worst pain which was the cap threads, eventually I just gave up on the cap as it got too confusing. 

Inspiration struck and it was a good idea for once

I finally got an idea for a pen body, it was going to be an embossed cherry pen. I went as usual with the pen but instead this time made it more girthier. Threading for the housing was fine! Then came the embossing which was a simple cherry pattern. Printed it out but the main problem was with the embossing that it would be quite sharp around the edges and feel uncomfortable. I then went on to the cap which was quite plain as I wanted to get the concept down. It was a struggle but I got it done. In the end I had a pen I felt okay with but much could be improved.

I then would change the embossing pattern to a Golden Gate Bridge for the body which went as usual and remedied the cherry pen problems with another embossing within the embossing if that makes sense. I wasn't sure what to do with the cap so still left it plain. Its an okay pen but an odd problem is that sometimes when I want to take the cap off the body comes off, I am sure a change of the threads should fix this.

Next steps for me

I would want to refine the shape of the pen a bit


-I have the odd idea to make pens inspired by rockets/skyscrapers

Get better at SVGs/art stuff for embossing

Do some more unique nib sections

Pilot Parallel, vintage Easterbrook nibs, ect 

Tips for 3d printing pens and other stuffs

-find the correct off-sets for your pen when doing threading

-use good filament and make sure its dry

   -I used Printed Solid Jessie filament and have little problems 

-#6 threading is 7.5 diameter, 9 revolutions, .5mm pitch  

-Use the coil function for threads, don't be lazy and use the thread function

-Start off simple and don't go crazy 

-have many step downs for the cap section

-I use fusion 360

-I do this all on a Prusa mini, which I love to death 


Closing thoughts 

Its a fun trying to 3d print pens. I see lots of opportunities of this tech of this in the future but I really wish there was more information on this as its was really hard to find anything on the process. I had to make things up as I was going which is something I am not used to. I hope I can help some otthers who would like to 3d print pens in the future. I have a newfound respect for pen makers as they balance the line between art and function quite well. 


PS, Sorry for the long life story post. I am just very excited for the SF pen show.


I also am a newbie to fountain pens and 3d printing




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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey, nice pen! I really like the Golden Gate design on the body. It showcases beautifully what can be done with 3D printing.


I've been 3D printing pens with some of the spectacularly shiny Polyalchemy Elixir PLA filaments. You might enjoy them too. Playing around with different filaments is to 3D printing what playing around with different inks is to fountain pens.


I have a few blog posts about the pros and cons of 3D printing for fountain pens that you might like to read. https://platypuspens.com/blog/



Michael Lew, Platypus 3D printed fountain pens https://platypuspens.com/


Michael Lew

Maker of 3D printed fountain pens


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how interesting. I think 3d modeling could take you anywhere once you master the design work. As in other CAD design, mastering the software takes a lot of hard work but then provides huge skill. The evolution of programs themself will make this simpler in time, as developers refine the programs and add features that will address specific tasks with less difficulty (I bet a threading add on will eventually be built by someone...). The evolution of printers and materials for printing (as mentioned above by Michael) is also bound to revolutionize 3d printing. It sounds like the beginning of an interesting adventure.

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  • 2 months later...

I remember this from the pen show! It was really great work in person and I was amazed at the detail for an FDM printer. I had been printing for a while at the time and I remember having a good conversation with you at the table. I just recently decided to revisit the ideas of 3d printed pens and got the inspiration to come check out your post. Anyway I hope you're doing well and that your printing and pen journey has also been good and I definitely look forward to what progress you have been making all these months later.

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My 3D printed pen has really fine detail that is beyond the capability of current FDM printers. I turned to the FormLabs Form2, which is a SLA printer capable of 25 micron resolution. It prints using a laser to harden liquid acrylic resin. It is slower, naturally, than FDM printing, but the results are very good.


I call my pen The Moonwalk Pen, as it is commemorative of the Apollo lunar landings.


If you are interested, you can see more at www.moonwalkpen.com



The Moonwalk Pen - honoring Apollo lunar landings

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it is awesome. So what are your new designs?

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar

Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016

Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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On 1/7/2022 at 9:19 AM, BamaPen said:

My 3D printed pen has really fine detail that is beyond the capability of current FDM printers. I turned to the FormLabs Form2, which is a SLA printer capable of 25 micron resolution. It prints using a laser to harden liquid acrylic resin. It is slower, naturally, than FDM printing, but the results are very good.


I call my pen The Moonwalk Pen, as it is commemorative of the Apollo lunar landings.


If you are interested, you can see more at www.moonwalkpen.com



Oh wooooooow....that's AMAZING!!!
HaH!!! Look at the bootprint!!! That's awesome!!! ☺️

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