3D Printing ProcessesConsumer 3D PrintingMetal Additive Manufacturing

Pjotr Presents Spica Virginis, the Titanium 3D Printed Fountain Pen and Nib

Dutch designer and technologist Pjotr (aka Rein van der Mast) is about to disrupt how fountain pens are made. Instead of relying on proven technology like turning, a couple of years ago he started 3D printing titanium fountain pens and now he also 3D prints  its fully functional nib. This enables him to create complex design features and even mechanical assemblies in a single 3D print.

Early in 2013 the first 3D printed fountain pen was revealed by Pjotr, the artist name of Rein van der Mast. After more than three years, required to overcome various technological challenges, there is now the Spica Virginis, resembling an ear of wheat and named after the brightest star in the constellation Virgo, where the virgin holds a bunch of spikes.

pjotr_spicavirginis_side1_690w
Property of SOLide/Pjotr – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016

Aerospace and automotive
Shortly after Van der Mast had introduced the first 3D printed fountain pen ever made he became the Manager Design & Engineering of a Dutch start-up called Additive Industries. Today this company has sold several of its impressive machines. Its clients are well known firms in aerospace and automotive. There he was able to extend his skills in additive manufacturing, another term for 3D printing. Van der Mast: “In case of the Spica Virginis design has priority over technology. Back in 2013 it was the other way around.” To demonstrate the potential of 3D printing in customization he started with one of a kind designs. Van der Mast: “Having only one piece to carry the design effort results in a pricey object.” So today his goal is to create small series. Each piece however has its unique serial number included in the 3D print.

Printed nib

Property of SOLide/Pjotr - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2016
Property of SOLide/Pjotr – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2016

Van der Mast also 3D printed the pen’s nib. “It is amazing what one can create by 3D printing. The nib is printed in titanium with the slit included. The current model is rather straight forward. This way however I can create very complex ink channels and precisely affect the way the nib interacts with the paper as well as the pen’s user. And of course, this way one can also create very complex shapes for esthetic reasons.” The results stimulated him to convert his effort into a patent application.

Also the pen case is extraordinary. Its structure is very complex and called a ‘lattice’. Structures like this are only feasible by 3D printing. Common benefits are in better stiffness-to-weight ratio. “And it is only getting better as more machines enter the marked for fabricating smaller objects more precisely.”

Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as both a technology journalist and communications consultant. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he received his undergraduate degree. Specializing in covering the AM industry, he founded London-based 3D Printing Business Media Ltd. (now 3dpbm) which operates in marketing, editorial and market analysys&consultancy services for the additive manufacturing industry. 3dpbm publishes 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies related to 3DP, as well as several editorial websites, including 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore. Since 2016 he is also a Senior Analyst for leading US-based firm SmarTech Analysis focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets.

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