Computer-aided design, or CAD, is a tool in which computers are used to aid in the creation and analysis of a design. As such, CAD is a powerful tool that enhances the traditional methodology of sketching and ideating on paper rather than acting as a replacement for it.
Emanuel utilizes a wide range of CAD software and combines it with his training in engineering school to iterate new products in a three-dimensional environment. Through the process of iteration, a wide range of design variants can be explored effectively through the use of algorithms that can quickly and efficiently display different parameters. Through this complex iterative process, the new technology in the form of CAD significantly elevates the level of intricacy and aesthetics as well as the functionality of the idea that was first formed with a traditional pen on paper.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process in which an object is built by stacking successive layers to form the final object. This new technology has brought manufacturing standards to a whole new level in terms of freedom of design, which enables the production of geometrically intricate formations.
Here at Hex Pens, 3D printing is used to make clear barrels as well as a wax models for the lost wax casting process. For the former, stereolithography (SLA) is used, in which clear resin is cured in consecutive layers to form the barrel. For the latter, the same SLA technology is used, but a wax resin is cured instead, in which the final wax model is used for lost wax casting the metal overlays.
Although innovative 3D printing technology is used, parts fabricated through additive manufacturing are extremely rough; for this reason, a traditional method of post-processing is still needed to bring the final product to a smooth final surface finish. Therefore, all of the 3D printed parts are painstakingly hand sanded and polished to give it its lustrous finish.
The nib unit used in Hex Pens’ fountain pens is made by either Jowo or Bock, which are both world-renowned manufacturers of fountain pen nibs based in Germany. Their nibs are made of steel, gold, or titanium, and are tipped with a hard osmiridium alloy. The Bock 380 nibs come with ebonite feeds whilst the rest of the nibs come with ABS plastic feeds; both of which provide consistent ink flow.
The unique hexagonal breather hole is expertly cut by Pablo of FPNibs who also utilizes cutting-edge laser technology to etch designs onto the nib.
The nibs are tested and carefully tuned before shipping to ensure a smooth writing experience.