About the Pen

Watch the video about The Moonwalk Pen. Just click this link: https://youtu.be/3YjLgs1oSOs

How we Made It

First, the generic pen components were defined

The basic components of the Moonwalk Pen were designed using SolidWorks 3D computer modeling software. These parts include: barrel, cap, section, and threaded inserts.

Next, the fit and finish of the parts was checked by printing

These components were printed on a FormLabs Form 2 3D printer. This is an advanced system that uses Stereolithography (SLA) to print to a resolution of 25 microns for a very smooth, very detailed result. The printing material is liquid acrylic resin, which is hardened by a precise laser.

At this point, the fit of parts could be checked to ensure that threads engaged properly, that the cap to barrel fit was correct, etc.

—–Printed Parts —————- Form 2 SLA Printer———-

Now we move from mechanical design to artwork

Digital sculpting, using zBrush software, was used to add the artistic elements:

  • Applying texture to the surfaces of the pen to represent the dusty, graveled lunar ground
  • Transforming the famous photo of the Apollo footprint into 3D, then stamping it into the barrel
  • Creating lunar craters on the cap
  • Imprinting the text “We came in peace for all mankind” on the reverse of the barrel

Finally, painting the pen with a variety of subtle colors to better represent the lunar surface.

50 years ago, the technology I worked on propelled the spacecraft to the neighborhood of the moon, but the last few feet to landing required the hands-on piloting skills of the humans on board. Likewise, the digital design, sculpting, and printing produced a detailed, functional pen, but the hands-on skills of an artist with a brush were required to bring out its beauty.

To protect the hand-painted finish, a 50 micron thick Cerakote ceramic coating is applied by a factory-certified applicator. This coating is used in a variety of industries including automotive, defense, outdoors, and sports. Cerakote has been tested and rated at the highest levels of hardness, corrosion resistance, flexibility, and heat.

The Writing Parts

After all that work, I have a pen with a truly unique design, commemorative of one of humankind’s greatest achievements, attractive to the eye, comfortable in the hand. At this point, though, the feel of the writing tip on paper becomes a subject of opinion. Steel, 14K gold, firm, flexible, narrow, or broad…which shall it be? I had to make a choice that has a chance of satisfying many people.

I have chosen to use the JoWo screw-in nib assembly. Why? Because JoWo is a very high quality German nib, and is very popular currently, and because you, the end user, can easily change it for any other JoWo nib, with many options readily available.

For those who may prefer a rollerball, that option is available. The fountain pen section can be swapped out for a rollerball section which uses a Schmidt rollerball refill.

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