3D Pen Connectors : Consumable product life-extension

I think this is a fantastic idea


3D printed joints that turn old pens into lego-esque constructor kits… there are all sorts – from ball and socket, to side-by-side wall building to geodesic dome building.

I think eventually these would be better mass-produced via some sort of injection moulding, but as a basic concept they’re spot on – especially as old pens are tubes, which offers scope for mechanisation, wiring etc.

This is not an entirely new idea – I had a set of connectors for drinking straws a bit like this when I was a kid – and Look and Learn Magazine had “build things out of old pens” competitions back in the 70s. This particular project takes this to a whole new level though… and as so many people are now making robot, it potentially has a much wider relevance.

As an aside, the site that this comes from is also a classic case of a breach of Emergent Morality #3 – which is concerned with naming and addressing content. They’ve wrapped everything up in a flash file which means that the people who love the idea enough to evangelise about it (and work on their behalf for free) are effectively hobbled. I actually had to sit there and take screen grabs of the flash animation to create the image above. I couldn’t be bothered re-typing their text for them. This is still effectively neutered. You can’t search it, and it’s difficult to cite.

But the image above is a now a linkable resource. I’ve spent about 1/2 an hour working for them for free to increase the visibility of their project – and allow others who also think this is an inspiring project to propagate the idea.

This is illegal, and according to the old-economy morality, evil.

But the entire old-economy is itself evil, and I think this idea is brilliant, so I’m doing what I know is morally right. I’m sharing it.

This is what we do.

1 Comment » for 3D Pen Connectors : Consumable product life-extension
  1. Absolutely, correct you are. This is the new economy, only only a few understand the power of it so far.

    Now, here’s something remarkable. I have an acute need for encapsulated and/or ball and socket joints! What are the chances I would find them through you? Ah, new economy at work.

    In any case, I agree with your critique of their site. Obviously it was built to show off their work for academic reasons vs. legitimately being interested in the project result being used. What they’ve done could revolutionize the armature market for Stop Motion animation but an I reach them to find out more? no. Booo.

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  1. […] ideas for repurposing old consumables – they feature (and seem to have the same logos as) the Pen-Connectors in the last post – which is a genius idea if you ask me, especially if you could thread wires […]