What’s in a pencil, they all work alike right? Wrong, especially when it comes to the mechanical variety. Then wood pencils start to look like an archeological find. Avid maker ‘Angry Monk’ took on the challenge of redesigning the mechanical pencil using a Stratasys Objet Eden 500V 3D printer.
While his mechanical pencil is the same size as the Dollar Store versions and accepts the same standard 0.9mm lead, that’s where the similarities end. He found trying to print out a pencil that functioned identical to traditional mech pencil was futile, as they use an internal spring and snug-fitting parts to push-out lead. Instead of a spring, Angry Monk’s pencil function using an internal mechanism that works much like a screw with users rotating the head to produce lead. The mechanism has 12 detents that click into place for each turn, which produces 1.2mm of lead for each turn. Three tiny ‘fingers’ grip the lead holding it securely in place, while retracting the lead is done by twisting the head in the opposite direction. There a four parts in all comprising his design and can be seen on Shapeways. However, it isn’t yet available for download or purchase as Angry Monk is looking to adapt it to other less-industrial sized printers for manufacturing.
How about we 3D print that in wood using a wood based filament? Wooden pencils can ride again!