This project and resources were kindly shared with the CREATE Education Project by Ben Kaggwa at STEAMPOWER Ltd.

In this project students design and 3D print a custom barrel to fit a BiC Cristal biro refill within a set of dimensional constraints. A tolerance tool can be printed in advance and used to help students to size the barrel opening and understand how small dimensional changes could impact snugness of fit.

The resources include a Project Brief and Specification Handout, the STL model file for the tolerance tool and a selection of STL model files produced by the students that can be printed as examples to demonstrate potential project outcomes.

Please note: When trying to print the pens upright they can be quite unstable due to their slenderness and the lack of buildplate adhesion resulting in some failed prints. We recommend when slicing the models that a brim or a raft is added to provide additional buildplate adhesion and you wish to consider adding extra physical adhesion to the buildplate such as glue or Dimafix.

The CREATE Education Project would like to thank Ben Kaggwa and STEAMPOWER Ltd for developing and sharing this project. You can see this project in action in the STEAMPOWER Blog.

design, a, pen, 3d printing, 3d design project
design, a, pen, 3d printing, 3d design project

In The Classroom

This project can be used for introducing 3D printing to students in Upper KS2 and Lower KS3 using Tinkercad free online 3D modelling software.

This was run as an “Introduction to 3D printing” holiday club project by STEAMPOWER who also produced other resources to support delivery of this project including:

This project could be used to engage and encourage students to develop their handwriting skills in English, so that they can perhaps design and 3D print their own pen as a reward for reaching their handwriting targets.