Making a Pen Blank with a 3D Printer

Skip, as a wood turner, stores a number of items that can be made into pens. He likes to keep a little stash of acrylic and wooden blanks of various colors and species, so that he can make a pen when the urge strikes. But, he also thinks up ideas for pen blanks that are anything but traditional: fire ants encased in acrylic, unsalted-in-the-shell peanuts, cigars from the Dominican Republic or Cuba, and other things.

Having been a recent recipient of a contest prize from Zac at NV Woodwerks, a package of Alumalite, an awesome pen blank material, Skip has been wondering what his next project might be.

Since getting the Dremel 3D printer, we’ve gotten it to print out a little stormtrooper action figure, a spaghetti measuring tool, buttons, earrings, a bow-shaped cookie cutter, a hockey puck with someone’s name on it in 3D lettering, and parts for a small sword. And we’ve also had our share of epic fails, too.

The Internet is packed with .stl files, which the printer needs to read to do a project.  Some of them that we’ve used didn’t pan out well. We made the cookie cutter using a Thingiverse Customizer. We’ve called upon our artistic family members to come up with some cool .stl files for us to try out. But we realize it is hard to just sit around and make things, when you’ve got a job and a family and grass to mow and laundry to fold, etc.

Was Skip’s first attempt at a 3D printed pen blank a success or a failure? Take a look….


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