This video makes me want to play on the lathe! Alexandre Chappel’s video shows him milling his own ball-point pen out of steel, brass, and aluminum.

John Baichtal

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

  • Joseph D. Klemm


  • terre

    I’m thankful to Make for showing the craft in art and the art in craft, and to Makers for making it all so cool…and to all the teachers that are looking outside the common , for the core.

  • ANders

    YEah. This is so Awesome

  • john


  • Ulises R

    Would you be interested in making a custom pen for me ….. ?

  • Ahmet

    I thought porn is not allowed on Makezine/Vimeo :)

  • Eric

    I love the special effects, but did he REALLY do all that rough turning using the carbide parting tool?

    Not to say it didn’t turn out beautifully(it DOES look good) but with the quick change tool post, multiple insert tool holders, and everything else…

  • trkemp

    Nice, but I have to say I’m disappointed. I’d rather see someone making a ballpoint ink cartridge. In particular, making the tiny tungsten carbide ball and extruding the plastic tube would be impressive.

  • Jerry

    While the engineering was amazing, I was impressed with the production of the film and sound. Well done! Thank you.

  • The Professor

    Beautiful film about making a pen. And maybe a pretty pen, too, although there’s never a shot of the whole thing finished.

    But a useless film about how to make a pen. Which part of the pen was stainless and which aluminum? Is the brass insert threaded onto the base? How is the cartridge fitted? Usually springs are used to take up manufacturing slack, are there any in there? No, don’t give me that info. Instead remind me that 0.00mm = parted off, and take a whole scene to show how to screw it together. Thanks, very helpful.