Spiral Makes a Difference

Think about it, instead of having a straight tube ink refill, how about fashioning it as a spiral? Agreed it occupies a bit more space so the pen can’t be sleek and slim, but it holds double the amount of ink! There’s a reason why our DNA is structured in a double helix. I guess it will work like a charm for those disposable types, making them last longer. I won’t call this project 100% eco-esque but it’s a step towards it!

T&T Pen-ink Chamber is a 2011 iF concept design entry.

Designers: Han Chi-hoon, Kim Yeon-soo, Park Byong-gon & Kim Sung-geun

134 Comments

  • kimjaehyung says:

    gooooooooooood~

  • Mike Barnard says:

    Interesting, but why not just make the cartridge with a wider diameter? Lower manufacturing costs, less materials used, same result. The cartridge is hidden, so the aesthetics of the spiral aren't a value add. If there's a viscosity or adhesion question related to the property of the inks that makes the cartridge diameter a critical component, it would still probably be better to tackle that aspect of the problem rather than create a spiral insert.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    • R.D.Silva says:

      I agree with you mike.. totally agree. Quite obvious. Only one benefit. If the pen breaks in your pocket or anywhere for that matter, it is sure to make a “splash”. This might not happen with a spiral.

    • Dave says:

      cheers mike.

    • Rob says:

      Widening the pen would also be a solution but you'd loose the feel of the BIC sizing shown here.

    • Javier says:

      I think the diameter seems to be set by the diameter of the pen tip. The cartridge is just wide enough to fit over the tip of the pen. I'm assuming that this is to maximize the flow of ink to the ballpoint itself. I don't know they dynamics or how it would work if the cartridge were much bigger. Arguably a wider cartridge could just be tapered I guess.

      • Krotch says:

        You just widen the top part of the cartridge while keeping the narrow tip.

    • Ryan Ballantyne says:

      I suspect ink cartridges aren't wider because if they were, the ink would spill out the open top of the cartridge.

  • whoops says:

    ..and half of the ink will be stuck inside and won't come out of the spiral with all it's curves

  • elleryxo says:

    Can you extrude a sprial?

  • jrantaka says:

    Just thinking about the lifespan of an average BIC Ballpoint pen. For me, it's about 1 month tops before I lose it. Nice idea still.

  • A. P. Singh says:

    Idea is highly appreciable, but I think more ink was possible by increasing the diameter of the tube. After all to accommodate a spiral more diameter is required. More over to use all the ink ball of the point has to work more therefore it should be of better properties to reduce wear resulting in to more smudging. Once again Kudos to this concept.

  • A. P. Singh says:

    Idea is highly appreciable, but I think more ink was possible by increasing the diameter of the tube. After all to accommodate a spiral more diameter is required. More over to use all the ink ball of the point has to work more therefore it should be of better properties to reduce wear resulting in to more smudging. Once again Kudos to this concept.

  • A. P. Singh says:

    I am sorry, I overlooked similar comments, my comments is a repetition, I apologize it.

  • You spoke of the double helix of our DNA, well why don't the makers of this pen ad another cartridge pointing in the opposite direction? It also could be another color and it would double the ink again whilst adding no more volume.

  • R.D. Silva says:

    most pen cases are wide enough. It seems you are just utilizing the empty space. No matter how you break the math. at the end of the day (regardless of little differences here and there), This idea save more material, last longer, and is simple enough to be manufactured within 6 months to a year.

  • R.D. Silva says:

    Capillary action?

  • R.D.Silva says:

    I agree with you mike.. totally agree. Quite obvious. Only one benefit. If the pen breaks in your pocket or anywhere for that matter, it is sure to make a “splash”. This might not happen with a spiral.

  • Dave says:

    cheers mike.

  • wilson says:

    greaaaaaaat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • igor chak says:

    It took 4 designers to design this!?!?!?!?

    • anon says:

      Think about how many people it takes to make an advertisement, yet they only put the name of the “art director” in the award publication.

  • I always relish that I was born into the age of the pen. Now to look upon this spiral writing instrument is delightful and with added bonus that ecological benefit is conceived and integral to design. Makes me want to write something good… Bravo!

  • I always relish that I was born into the age of the pen. Now to look upon this spiral writing instrument is delightful and with added bonus that ecological benefit is conceived and integral to design. Makes me want to write something good… Bravo!

  • Spiral writing instrument is delightful and with added bonus that ecological benefit is conceived and integral to design. Makes me want to write something good… Bravo!

  • Spiral writing instrument is delightful and with added bonus that ecological benefit is conceived and integral to design. Makes me want to write something good… Bravo!

  • Rob says:

    Widening the pen would also be a solution but you'd loose the feel of the BIC sizing shown here.

  • Dan says:

    The last image is a fallacy. The point of having a replaceable cartridge is that you don't use *two* pens for two cartridges.

  • vwe says:

    cool idea… but not really “a step towards being more eco-friendly” there are already pens that exist that are much more eco-friendly than this. ex: just replacing the ink rather than the entire pen itself. ex: fountain pens.

  • vwe says:

    cool idea… but not really “a step towards being more eco-friendly” there are already pens that exist that are much more eco-friendly than this. ex: just replacing the ink rather than the entire pen itself. ex: fountain pens.

  • anon says:

    Interesting idea if it was with a see-through pen but the problem is that it would also greatly increase the cost of the refill. Straight refills are simply extruded and chopped while this would require an additional step in the manufacturing process that would require either the tube to be shaped into the form you show or shaped 3D directly during the extrustion process (it's conceivable but again, increases cost).

  • paul sandip says:

    useless 🙂

  • akshay khandalkar says:

    why most designers never think of ideas that are practical as well as wow…i know its difficult but thats wat the real challenge is …

  • I get the feeling that with this design, you'd could make the click mechanism on a pen much more efficient as well.

  • teto says:

    super idea!!!!!

  • Alaor says:

    Another solution to a problem that simply doesn't exist. I've seen thicker refills since my childhood. This is not a good idea, neither original. The difference is that the others scraped the useless idea instead of publishing.

  • Lee says:

    oh!!!!! good idea!!! i love it!!!

  • StevenBullen says:

    Erm… Is it just me that loses the pen before the ink runs out anyway? Also if it leaks in your pocket you will have a stain double the size ha ha!

  • StevenBullen says:

    Erm… Is it just me that loses the pen before the ink runs out anyway? Also if it leaks in your pocket you will have a stain double the size ha ha!

  • Taylor says:

    Four designers to come up with this idea? I did a pen somewhat similar for my model development class. It can be seen here: http://about.me/taylorlightfoot

    The idea is that the ink tube itself forms the shape of the pen, thus eliminating the need for extra plastics parts and housings. The Pen I designed is just a model, but it would use 9' of ink tube if it were to be manufactured as a functioning pen. 9' of ink sure beats a spiral tube that is only double that of a traditional pen.

    • ferodootomo says:

      How do you hold the pen you designed? with no rigid parts I find it difficult

  • Javier says:

    I think the diameter seems to be set by the diameter of the pen tip. The cartridge is just wide enough to fit over the tip of the pen. I'm assuming that this is to maximize the flow of ink to the ballpoint itself. I don't know they dynamics or how it would work if the cartridge were much bigger. Arguably a wider cartridge could just be tapered I guess.

  • the Ninja says:

    Great idea, my pens never last long enough!

  • James Chung says:

    Very nice~! Brilliant concept.

    I use these Monami pens all the time for writing and drawing tasks. Very very cheap too (only goes for about 25 each).

  • Ryan Ballantyne says:

    I suspect ink cartridges aren't wider because if they were, the ink would spill out the open top of the cartridge.

  • Menghsun says:

    Very interesting concept,
    it will look great if the outer shell is Transparent.

  • Menghsun says:

    Very interesting concept,
    it will look great if the outer shell is Transparent.

  • anon says:

    Think about how many people it takes to make an advertisement, yet they only put the name of the "art director" in the award publication.

  • ferodootomo says:

    How do you hold the pen you designed? with no rigid parts I find it difficult

  • Krotch says:

    You just widen the top part of the cartridge while keeping the narrow tip.

  • Keith Hurd says:

    why not using a fat tube instead?

  • Keith Hurd says:

    why not using a fat tube instead?

  • Robert says:

    I designed this concept in elementary school, and the teacher thought it was a silly idea.

  • Robert says:

    I designed this concept in elementary school, and the teacher thought it was a silly idea.

  • wutswut says:

    What keeps the ink from drying before you use it all? That happens to me all the time with a regular ball point pen.

  • wutswut says:

    What keeps the ink from drying before you use it all? That happens to me all the time with a regular ball point pen.

  • Rocky says:

    I agree with what Mike Barnard said about just making the ink barrel fatter. However, my first instinct was to say, why not just make the spirals touch each other and get as much as five times the amount?

Comments are closed.