Thing of the week

3D Printed Pen

3d printed multi tool

Daniel Yu, a guitar teacher living in Hong Kong, was a 3D printer owner like many exist worldwide by now. He recently got some attention for one of his designs that is… actually, it is not only one thing. It’s a multitool like I’ve never seen before.

Yu could have ended like many other owners of a 3D printer. He was very enthusiastic about the whole 3D printing thing when he acquired his machine about two years ago. Like most freshly made 3d printer pioneers, he relied mostly on creations of others that are available online on platforms like Thingiverse and Shapeways. This entertained him for a while, but after a few months this process that involved no own work or creativity, Yu stopped actively using his printer for about half a year. As he became a bit frustrated with the machine just sitting around and not being used, he decided to enjoy using it, he would need to create his own 3d models and print them.

Creating a useful, printable multitool

You could expect Yu would let his profession as a guitar teacher influence this process and he’d design something music-related. But it seems he has had a creative inspiration to create one thing with many, relatively universal, uses. It is not like existing multitools and has nothing to do with swiss army knifes or Leatherman tools.

In an interview, Yu stated that he was first trying to make a few separate things: “a unique pen, a phone stand, and a hex key”. But he found that all this readily existed, available for free online. His motivation wouldn´t exactly increase if he fell back into the old pattern of just downloading and printing models. Models that all were designed to fulfill just a single purpose. Yu used 123D Design (read our review), a free 3D modeling software by Autodesk, to design all the things he needed – in an all in one tool.

Enough of making your mouths water. This is what this ingenious 3D printed multitool (available for free on Thingiverse) can do:


1. Ballpoint pen

The 3d printed multitool, ballpoint edition. (source: thingiverse)
The 3d printed multitool, ballpoint edition. (source: Thingiverse)

Take off the cover, and it becomes a ballpoint pen.

2. Smartphone stand (x2)

The 3d printed multitool, smartphone stand edition. (source: thingiverse)
The 3D printed multitool, smartphone stand edition. (source: Thingiverse)
The 3d printed multitool, smartphone stand edition number two. (source: thingiverse)
The 3D printed multitool, smartphone stand edition number two. (source: Thingiverse)

Bend it at its middle joint, and it becomes a smartphone stand.

Bend it at the middle joint and spread open the legs, and it becomes a second type of smartphone stand.

3. Hex key

The 3d printed multitool, hex key edition. (source: thingiverse)
The 3D printed multitool, hex key edition. (source: Thingiverse)
The 3d printed multitool, hex key edition number two. (source: thingiverse)
The 3D printed multitool, hex key edition number two. (source: Thingiverse)

Take off the cover of the pen as well as the internal pen structure, and it becomes a hex key, allowing you to insert virtually any hex tools you wish.

4. The fun stuff

The 3d printed multitool, silly edition. (source: thingiverse)
The 3d printed multitool, silly edition. (source: Thingiverse)

Bend one of the legs, and it becomes a toy gun.

This thing is one of the most intelligent and useful 3Sd models I have seen in a long time. This could be seen in every household for everyday tasks and minor maintenance.

Download the files at Thingiverse

Of course, if you put too much force on a home printed item, it will eventually break. It is not an industry-grade tool and won´t last forever. But a new one is just a few hours of printing and a pair of screws and nuts away.

License: The text of "3D Printed Pen" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.