Fountain Pen Holder

Made by Olivia Xu

Created: October 13th, 2017

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Intention

I've always been drawn to Chinese Shan Shui (山水; "Mountains and Water")'s ideology and painting style. Here's a short Shan Shui style animation that conveys it (without any dialogue). 

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經典古琴水墨動畫片《山水情》 Feeling from Mountain and Water
Zhan Hu - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EeDtiIc0A4
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I own a lot of fountain pens that I love dearly and I want something that serves more as a display case than an organizer. And the linearity of the scenes of mountains and water can be nicely integrated with an desk-organizer-type plate. Here's my sketch. The half-circle cuts are for pens.

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Context

One of my favorite pieces of art is A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (千里江山图) by Wang Ximeng. A notable style choice in this painting is that the mountains are colored in vibrant green and blue.

Here's a section of A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains

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I came across this organizer on the web shop of Suzhou Museum and fell in love. It's inspired by the museum's exhibition, "Sheet" Shan Shui (sheets of rocks to represent mountains; the background in this pic), designed by the lead architect Ieoh Ming Pei. But I wasn't impressed by the idea of having pre-cut holes that wouldn't fit each customer's needs, and it seems like a bad idea to have fountain pens (relatively expensive) to be jammed in like that.

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My project is able to integrate characteristics of usual fountain pen display cases and tiny mountains.

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Process

My project's goal is to integrate "pieces" of mountains with a pen display. I made shapes out of straight lines to give them a rocky look. I thought simple singular sheets in the shape of a mountain would be too boring for this display, so I made more layers for each "mountain" to give it a bit of 3D feel. One design challenge was that these mountain pieces do block the view of some pens, so they are spread out and kept at a reasonable height.

Here's my fusion model.

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My 3D printed fountain pen display and its base.

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Product

Software: Fusion360

Website: Sendery.com

Tools: 3D Printer

I used Fusion to make the 3D body, exported as STL, and sent that to the 3D printer queue (5% infill, with support base).

Here's a video of the print.

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My pen display from different angels

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Reflection

The end product is even better than I expected. I might continue to do a series of mountain-themed organizers. 

From this project I got to learn hands-on knowledge about the creation of a 3D printer project. Some issues were slots being just a little too small or too big for a pen, and the texture of the print made it impossible to add color gracefully. Next time I will make slots of different diameters, and I might try to find ways to make a print at higher resolution (or find good tools to sand it).

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