Following on from the 3D printed chair model blog post where I printed a chair model I created for a client, this post focuses on a 3D printed pen holder which was designed by myself and printed by 3D Print UK. The main purpose behind creating this model was to create something functional, unique, fun and intricate.




The pens sit neatly behind the angular polygonal front panel. Extruded and embossed text was added to give the panel depth and to also experiment with the tolerances of the 3D printer.


The initial design used hollow cylinders to hold the pens, but the design was quickly modified with unusual geometric circles. One of the advantages of 3D printing is the freedom to create these intricate details without worrying how these parts could be constructed.


The translucent effect from the nylon material always looks good in natural sunshine. It seemed a shame to paint this, however I really wanted to see how well the intricate parts would come out.


Black aerosol spray paint was used first. Several thin coats were applied to avoid any paint runs. The extruded text was then finished with white Humbrol air fix paint.



This 3D printed pen holder has impressed myself with the level of detail achievable. The finishing of print is perhaps the downside as even after numerous layers of spray paint the print layers are still very visible. Perhaps a thick primer would give a smoother finish, however in this instance I didn't want to lose the text detail on the front.

I think this piece really outlines what 3D printing is currently all about, the ability to quickly turn and idea from a basic concept, to a physical item you can use. It might not be a "polished" piece, but as a tool to explain or demonstrate ideas or design quickly, 3D printing is absolutely brilliant!

If you would like to know more about 3D printing or rapid prototyping please feel free to get in touch!