This summer, Formlabs hosted The Digital Factory, a conference about digital manufacturing, at the MIT Media Lab. We expected hundreds of guests, and a mass-produced 3D printed part seemed like an appropriate souvenir.
Since the digital factory of the future promises mass customization at no extra cost, we decided to parametrically generate a few hundred design options so each attendee could leave with a one-of-a-kind pen. The pens were designed with an eye toward a future where everyday objects are customized for individual users.
We've included 8 of our favorite parametrically generated designs as well as the Grasshopper definition so that you can customize and print one for yourself. These are made to use the cartridges from a standard Bic Ballpoint Pen. To learn more about the design and printing process, read Formlabs' Blog '7 Days, 700 Pens: Parametric Design for Customized Conference Swag'.
The pens were generated using the Grasshopper plugin for Rhino. The following steps outline a way to access this definition:
1. Download a free trial of Rhino.
2. Install Grasshopper (free).
3. Open the definition.
4. Use the built-in sliders to drag and preview the settings you want to change.
5. Right click and Bake.
6. Select Model.
7. File > Export Selected in STL format.
8. Print with your favorite 3D printer.
9. Share your model on Pinshape!