Fraser Ross

DIY Pens

Creative Writing

Plenty of us have taken apart pens and fiddled with the tubes and springs that make them work, but have you ever built a pen from scratch? Designer Fraser Ross is giving tinkerers that experience -- the opportunity to make an operable pen from a flat kit of parts.

Fraser’s vision is to create playful projects that open our imaginations and encourage human interaction. It took more than 100 prototypes before his design studio in Glasgow, Scotland, came up with a way to fit all the components of a pen onto a single
sheet of plywood the size of a postcard. The 22 structural pieces can be punched out of the plywood and assembled into a DIY writing instrument. The pen maker fits all the pieces together, and then shrink wraps the entire assembly in rubber to keep it intact (you need a hairdryer for this step).

Building the pen is a fun, creative exercise. When it’s finished, an object we usually take for granted becomes more meaningful. The mighty pen is even mightier when you build it yourself.
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Fraser Ross - DIY Pen
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Aaron

    Hey everyone, my name is Aaron and I am here with The Grommet. Unfortunately, Fraser is unable to join us from Glasgow today, but I am happy to answer any and all questions you may have!

  • J
    5/14/2013 12:50 PM

    Can one purchase ink refills for this pen when the ink supply runs out?

  • Aaron
    Aaron – Special Guest
    5/14/2013 1:22 PM

    @J Hi J, the pen utilizes standard ink cartridges (inkjet rollerball) which can be purchased at most office supply stores.

  • Roger
    5/14/2013 1:01 PM

    For me a good deal of a pen's quality resides in the ink refill. Does this pen accept Parker refills?

  • Aaron
    Aaron – Special Guest
    5/14/2013 1:26 PM

    @Roger Hi Roger, great point regarding a pen's utility. The pen uses standard ink cartridges (inkjet rollerball) which can be purchased at office supply stores. Refilling is simple and easy.

  • Corey
    5/14/2013 1:58 PM

    Is it possible to customize the color "shrink wrap" component (i.e. put a company logo on it)?

  • Aaron
    Aaron – Special Guest
    5/14/2013 2:10 PM

    @Corey Hi Corey, unfortunately, Fraser does not currently offer a customized option. Searching online, it does look like you can find companies that will custom print shrink wrap tubing, though.

  • Linda
    5/14/2013 5:12 PM

    I am a woman, and like boys, have always loved taking things apart and putting them back together.. Pens are definitely one of them. However, I have small hands and those ridges look deep and fairly far apart. How comfortable are these pens, especially when writing more than a few lines? 'Thanks, Linda

  • Aaron
    Aaron – Special Guest
    5/14/2013 8:40 PM

    @Linda Hi Linda, thrilled to hear of your tinkerer enthusiasm! The ridges are set approximately 1cm apart, but the shrink wrap provides a firm coating so the pen feels solid throughout.

    At its widest, the pen has a circumference comparable to a quarter. But, it narrows significantly near the tip of the pen and is about twice as thick as a typical Bic pen.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.