Create a contemporary stationery item based upon the style of a traditional quill. The design needed to be stylish, made from modern materials and ideally contain a unique mechanism to differentiate it from other solutions in the market. It was intended to be based around a standard rollerball refill cartridge.
Initially, a concept development stage was carried out to exploring the functionality and the style of the pen. The intention was to create a strong visual identity for the product by creating a interaction between the functional aspects of the design, and the body of the pen.
This led to a concept that split the design into a tapering body that created a modern interpretation of a quill, with the back section cut away to expose the functional part of the design. The back section was intended to be coloured to create a unique aesthetic to the design which would also allow it to be reproduced in a range of colours.
A CAD for prototype stage was then carried out to develop the style, shape and functionality of the design. A unique mechanism was developed that allowed the entire back section to be pressed downwards to turn the pen on. As the barrel is pressed downwards, a feature locks into the body of the pen, ensuring that it stays locked downwards. To release the barrel, a discreet button on the front of the pen is pressed inwards.
The CAD was then used to create an initial SLA development prototype to test the overall size and shape of the product as well as the mechanism.
This prototype proved that the intended mechanism would work as intended but also highlighted some areas that needed refinement, in particular the barrel was moving out of alignment slightly at the top due to the force of the spring inside it. This was addressed by carrying out some further CAD work that focused on refining this mechanism. At this point, further refinement on the styling of the product was also undertaken.
Following this, further prototypes were created, this time using CNC machined methods to create high quality aluminium, and stainless steel prototypes. Certain parts of the product were then coloured using an anodising process on the aluminium to demonstrate the potential colourway of the product. The stainless steel prototype was tested with a black oxide finish to demonstrate an alternative colourway.
These prototype were very successful, and the result was a high quality, beautifully engineered and well balanced design that was a pleasure to write with.
The product is now undergoing final refinements with a view to soon being launched on kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. Watch this space for more information and developments on this project.