Bits and Atoms Pen

Conçu et développé à Fablab Zoi

Technologie - machines & outils Industrie & innovation

BAP is a complete tool to express, design and fabricate your ideas. With it, anyone can use digital fabrication (3D printer, laser cutter, milling machines) without knowledge in programming. Just draw your idea with this pen and get the physical object made with the linked machine. The pen translates your move in digital file (“from bits”) sent to the machine to make your 3D drawing come true by shaping material (“to atoms”).

Technologies utilisées

Postes informatiques & logiciels Fraisage numérique Impression 3D
  • What’s the project story?

All started with 2 personal challenges : I’m left-handed and during all my studies I was trained to use my right hand to use a computer. As a student in design, it was really frustrating to make digital drawing with a right-handed mouse as I was used to draw with my left hand in a paper. I tested digital pencil but the experience to draw in a tablet and to see the result in the computer screen was not optimal. Even if I couldn’t find a solution at this time, I directed my attention to another challenge : for all the designers taking the bus, it’s always difficult to enter in the crowd with a large drawing pad. Inspired by a board game, I designed a pad which folds in 4 parts to take the space of a book. Moreover the fold system allows me to test a new way of drawing to start experimenting 3D : I unfolded the pad part to create corner of 3 paper sides and I played with the shadows to draw an object in all sides using anamorphosis. If this invention fixed my transport issue, it especially gave me the wish to investigate about 3D. I made different experiments based on solutions I can find on the web to enhance my folding pad with Arduino but I really had the trigger when I started Fab Academy 2 years later. I understood that I focused my energy on the wrong object, the pad, when the solution lies in the pen, smaller and more intuitive. After investigating holograms and virtual reality, I dedicated my final project of Fab Academy to design a 3D digital pencil which enables to control CNC moves.

  • How the workshop was useful ?

I made this project both in the Fablab Yachay and my Fablab, the Fablab Zoi. Fablab Yachay provides me the grant with Schumberger to dedicate 6 months of my life in the Fab Academy program and to use the machines of the space. At this time, with 4 other students, we were the first ones in Ecuador to follow this digital fabrication course. As a consequence we didn’t have local instructor to guide us in each step. It was a difficult but rewarding experience : it took us more time to develop our skills and understanding but with the Fab Academy courses taught by Neil Gershenfeld I succeeded. This opportunity enables me to investigate in the 3D pen as my final project and to develop all the skills required to manage my own Fablab where I pursued my investigation.

  • What’s the project’s greatest success so far?

More than making true an idea I had for years, this project enabled me to develop increible skills, to change my way of thinking and working and to be graduated to Fab Academy. But the biggest success I had was during the FAB12( in Shenzhen, the annual event which gather makers all around the world, where my project was rewarded by Fab Foundation as one of the 10th best final projects and the 1st one regarding its documentation( I didn’t expect such interest and great feedbacks I got from lot of makers and potential investors. It gave me the urge to pursue the investigation to improve it and to create a real impact.

  • What’s your greatest failure(s)& lesson(s) so far?

My design studies were very useful to investigate the pen ergonomics and to develop a project adapted to the needs of end-users. However I spent months in trying to make the electronic circuit until I realized that I failed because of the way of thinking and not because of my lack of electronic skills. As a designer I aimed to create the perfect object in once rather than starting with the minimum value product and iterate to make it better progressively better. An online course gave by Neil Gershenfeld who presented the spiral methodology was the trigger I needed to unblocked the situation. From that time,

  • What’s your vision for the project & next steps?

I am working with the team of Fablab Zoi to improve the system real-time so that the pencil control instantly the machine. This is the final step until I start communicating on it to find investors and start designing concrete applications. I already have many ideas so I’m eager to deploy it for end-users.

  • How can anyone interested can contribute to the project?

I am looking for real case applications, investors and contributors to improve the real time function.

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