Kip Dop and his son Bridger had an idea—to create a pen that is accessible whenever you need it. That is when the concept of Penbeddable was born. Penbeddable is a revision of a previous idea Dop had of a flat pencil that snapped out of a bookmark. “My son said most people use their cell phones now days so why don’t you have the pen snap out of the back of the phone case instead, said Dop. “I said that is a brilliant idea and we started building prototypes.”
In the past, prototyping was a long and relatively expensive process. Dop turned to 3D printing to do prototypes and revisions of his design. “3D printing brought the development cycle from literally a year to months, said Dop. “We were able to change and add concepts almost overnight and have a working prototype for proof of concept.”
The original idea of putting a pen on the back of cell phone case was conceived in June and the Kickstarter campaign for Pendbeddable launched in November. All with 3D printed parts. The father and son team used SolidWorks to design the pen which can also be clicked into the back of a journal or with a stand-alone Pocket System that will stick just about anywhere you might need a pen.
WhiteClouds, a 3D printing service, printed the prototypes for Dop on a ProJet 3500 HDMax. The printer uses UV-cured materials to produce ridged plastic parts. According to WhiteClouds, it is a preferred printer for prototyping. Because of the small layer resolution, the 3D printer can print fine details with exactness and produce working prototypes.
Dop formed a product and design company called Sea Invent and does not plan on Penbeddable being his last invention. Sea Invent already has other products in the works. He said he will continue to use 3D printing technology to create prototypes. “All this takes time,” said Dop, “but 3D printing has allowed us to make mistakes faster! That is part of the formula but the most important part is to keep trying. We want to develop products that people buy because they work and 3D printing has helped us do that.”