Project 2: Apple Pencil Holder


Create a custom holder to fit my Pencil with an additional grip

Created: March 4th, 2018



In creating something that would be hold or contain, I started thinking about what I could really use in my everyday life. My initial brainstorming resulted in a couple different ideas (first image below).

From a banana holder (my bananas always go bad before I eat them because I always tuck them away into a corner of my shelf), a bedside table holder (my devices, wallet, and keys are often very hard to find in the morning), and a new Apple pencil holder.

I went with the Apple pencil holder because of my new Apple pencil grip. I had put on a grip because my hand had begun to hurt after hours of using the smooth and slick pencil each day, but with the grip the pencil no longer fit in the holder that came with my iPad case. I came up with a fix that consisted of a hair tie looped around the original magnetic holder (second image below).

Yep, could use some improvement.


Research & Context

I looked into other commercial Apple pencil holders on the market, noting how some of them were around the pencil holders and slide in holders.

All designs are relatively small, sleek, and minimally intrusive (unlike my current hair tie fix). My research into existing products also showed me what I didn’t want in my design - the last pencil holder on the bottom right actually is embedded into the back of the case. I feel that this would interfere with my current iPad usage - I often like to lay it flat against a table for me to take notes on. 

I additionally looked into flexible printing patterns.

I took inspiration from minimalistic designs (shown below) as well.


Process & Procedure

I began with sketches of the look I wanted, and proceeded to make cardboard cutouts to assemble prototypes. 

A side note - I'm actually terrible at math, and it took me way longer than it should have to figure out the right circumference of the holder. I took the diameter of the pencil as a measurement, and messed up twice - once because I cut out the calculated circumference in terms of inches (thinking they were centimeters) and once because I measured from the outside edge, not inside, of the cardboard. These were good mistakes to make during cheap cardboard prototyping.

I additionally played around with the attachment style and thumbing piece to see how it would fit relative to size of my own fingers and the pencil.


[two renderings]



My final product was an attachable Apple Pencil holder custom made to fit around my pencil and the grip I put onto it. It is a product to replace my old Apple Pencil holder that no longer fit my new pencil + grip combination (I had originally come up with a temporary fix that consisted of a hair tie wrapped around the holder that would still be weakly magnetically attached to the iPad case). 

The final piece is small but very functional. It also no longer gets in the way of propping my iPad up into different viewing angles, and no longer falls off every time I put my iPad into my backpack. It is tight enough that the pencil does not fall out, and loose enough that it is easy enough to put back in. The gray of the 3D print also conveniently goes well with the light blue of my case! :)



This was an interesting process in that I actually did a lot of cardboard prototyping prior to committing to the final product. I enjoyed this (very) rapid prototyping style, as it allowed me to play around with a tangible model of the final product before committing to printing. 

I was worried that the cardboard would not mimic the strength and rigidity of the print, and this would result in a final print that would not be flexible enough to fit the pencil. While this was true, I was happy to find that the pencil did securely fit in and come out of the final product given that I gave it a little more wiggle room.

My print was a little more messy - I would be interested to see how the new Ultimaker could fix this, considering the supports would be water soluble. That would be perhaps a better choice for this print, since it is relatively small, so blemishes stand out a lot more.

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Create a custom holder to fit my Pencil with an additional grip