A fascinating and quite beautiful consumer-facing business model that uses metal 3D printing in a fundamental way to produce bespoke products is Pjotr. The company has been established by the Dutch designer and technologist Rein van der Mast to create and build one of a kind fountain pens using state-of-the-art 3D printing techniques.
According to van der Mast, the pen industry, particularly at the luxury end of the market, remains a traditional one that has resisted new developments in design and production techniques. This is something that the Dutch designer is looking to change as he seeks to work with clients to develop unique themes for each and every pen and produce them faithfully using high-end 3D printing technologies that can process materials that include gold and technical ceramics amongst others.
Two of the dominant forces behind this project that are not available from traditional methods of manufacture are customization and complexity. This is what the 3D printing processes bring to Pjotr. As van der Mast explains: “I can make very small series with extremely complex shapes to ensure that every single pen of Pjotr is different.”
Van der Mast’s longevity in the world of 3D printing is significant, he studied Industrial Design Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where he was first introduced to “Rapid Prototyping” technology in the early 1990’s. Since then he has gone on to found SOLide (1998) a consultancy business that offers SOLutions in design engineering. Van der Mast’s accrued experience with additive technology is vast, as is his contact network, with companies such as Materialise, Layer Wise and Innplante all having informed the development of the Pjotr pens. As he continues his journey, van der Mast’s passion for his work is hard to dispute: ‘I dreamt of creating precious objects, using some of the latest technologies. I found a perfect product, one that is luxurious, especially when personalized. A product that truly combines art and technology: the fountain pen.’ Take a look at the gallery of images, which testify to exactly that![nggallery id=77]
Pjotr also works with Evgeny Bazurov, a talented 3D animator sculptor from Moscow.
All images courtesy of SOLide