Nov 24, 2016 | By Julia

Dutch designer Rein van der Mast has just announced his newest effort in the world of luxury fountain pens: the Spica Virginis, a titanium 3D printed fountain pen and nib. Printed on 3D Systems’ ProX DMP 300, the silver-coloured Spica Virginis weighs in at 32 grams, with a length of 150 mm and diameter of 22 mm. Itself resembling an ear of wheat, the Spica Virginis is named after the brightest star in the Virgo constellation, translated from Latin as “the virgin’s ear of [wheat] grain”, or the Virgin’s Spike. 

An equally breathtaking 3D printed latticework case, a structure “only feasible by 3D printing” van der Mast tells us, accompanies the pen. Beyond the aesthetics of the design, technical benefits include a better stiffness-to-weight ratio than previously seen. Only 100 pens will be manufactured, available for purchase in the Netherlands and online for a whopping €2,490.  

Back in 2013, we saw van der Mast release the world’s first 3D printed fountain pen under his artist alias, Pjotr. Now, over three years later, advancements in 3D printing tech have afforded van der Mast new opportunities for more complex design features and mechanical assemblies, all in a single 3D print. Chief among them is a one-of-a-kind 3D printed nib made of titanium, slit included (patent pending).

Where the traditional model has always been straightforward, “it is amazing what one can create by 3D printing,” van der Mast explains in a press release. “I can create very complex ink channels and precisely affect the way the nib interacts with the paper as well as the pen's user. And of course, this way one can also create very complex shapes for esthetic reasons.” Artists and calligraphers with a taste for luxury will rejoice.

The 3D printing community will also recognize van der Mast as the founder of 3D printing consultancy agency SOLide, and the Manager of Design and Engineering at the Dutch start-up Additive Industries, a 3D printing company particularly well known in the aerospace and automotive fields. After the release of his first 3D printed fountain pen in 2013, the Cavalry, van der Mast joined the team at Additive Industries as a means to extend his technical skills in 3D printing. Today, he explains that “in case of the Spica Virginis design has priority over technology. Back in 2013 it was the other way around.”

Rein van der Mast

The Spica Virginis thus also stands as a demonstration of that shift, illuminating the potential of 3D printing in the growing landscape of customized design. "And it is only getting better,” the designer tell us, “as more machines enter the market for fabricating smaller objects more precisely." 



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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