A laser cut flat packed pen

Is this a good idea or just silly?

Designer Fraser Ross has created the DIY pen, a laser cut, flat packed pen, making over 100 prototypes before finalizing the design. The user punches the pieces out of the sheet, assembles them using the slots, and finishes it by using a hair dryer to shrink the heat-shrink tubing around it.

To be honest, I’m conflicted about this project. My first reaction was positive but now I’m not sure about the point of this product. Should absolutely everything be laser cut and flat packed? This pen clearly uses far more materials than a traditionally manufactured pen and surely costs far more to produce. What is the advantage? But perhaps it is better to think of this and an idea, a conceptual project. But then what is the idea?

Keep reading past the jump for what the designer says about the project.

DIY Pen
The DIY pen is for mass production, a flat packed object, investigating what forms can be created from flat sheet manufacturing and by the combination of two conflicting materials – Heat Shrink Rubber and Plywood.

Most pens bought, borrowed or stolen are disassembled to see what’s inside…
Could this continuous curiosity be conquered by starting with a pen already apart?

His focus appears to be on the fact that the pen is user-assembled. Admittedly, this would be a fun project to put together, but I’m not convinced about the assembled nature of the pen as a concept. The most essential parts, the tip and ink tube, are still manufactured normally. The pen is completely dependent on traditional manufacturing, and the user only assembles a shell.

What do you think? Is it a good idea or just silly? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Via designboom

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5 Responses to “A laser cut flat packed pen”

  1. Angeli Says:

    I don’t think this is a question of need. It’s an experiment in packaging, imagination, and possibility. It’s a clever project that can help us think and reapply what we’ve learned. I certainly wouldn’t mind assembling/owning one.

  2. david Says:

    I would say it’s a good project! Though what I’d like to see the ability to configure the shell on demand with various design aspects, fat barrel, skinny barrel, non-circular center(s) so it doesn’t roll off a desk, use the handle design for other tools such as exacto knives, swivel cutters, etc. Make holes in the non writing end for storage of other items like extra ink barrels, extra blades (if the exacto route), etc. Its actually a very cool idea and one I could see adapting to fit my needs for various “tools” I use.

    -david

    http://www.dbclunie.com – My Electronics and Personal Career Blog.

  3. Renee Says:

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable that people take pens apart and play with them. So this is interesting in that you’re building your own pen.

    But that’s it really, I don’t think it’s suppose to be some super deep critical analysis of manufacturing or anything. Just playful.

    Which is refreshing to be honest, I’m getting kind of tired of self-important artists making ridiculous claims over poorly thought out conceptual work.

  4. Jay Wiese Says:

    To me this reads as a perhaps unintentionally ironic commentary on the nature of DIY culture, which tends to take simple, mass-produced commodities and turn them into expensive, exclusive fashion fetish items (e.g. the designer axe).

    Having said that, it’s a pretty cool pen.

  5. Glenn Says:

    I would agree with Jay – and I’ve certainly been subject to this, too – good project, skills learned, etc., but that’s one freaking expensive pen (100 prototypes!). I’m balking at paying $40 for my first design in a P1 sized piece of acrylic…

    You could of course stick it in a slab of [insert material of choice - beef, wood, old boot, bird's nest, etc., etc.,] and exhibit it in the Tate Gallery and sell it for an exhorbitant amount of money ;)