A Pen Holder for the Pirater in Your Life

Introduction: A Pen Holder for the Pirater in Your Life

This Instructable is for 3D printing enthusiasts and beginners who are interested in the growing problem of Piracy in the modern world. This Instructable will show the steps involved in creating your own 3D printable pen holder that has its own spin off related to Piracy. The true emphasis of this Instructable is to show how Creative Commons can be helpful in the creative process. By using creative commons we can offer an effective alternative to distribution that would cut down on piracy. The pen holder we will use was found online using creative commons that allowed us to change it and make adjustments to serve as a reminder of the creative commons and its positive effect on the Piracy problem.

For our specific object creation we used used the following software

OpenScad: http://www.openscad.org/

123D Design: http://www.123dapp.com/

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Step 1: Finding Your Object

For the purpose of this Instructable we will be using a pen holder, but we encourage anyone viewing this to find their own unique object and see how they can adjust it themselves. Our pen holder was found on the site Thingiverse hosted by MakerBot. Our specific object can be found at the link below


This pen holder was chosen because of its innovative and unique design that we found very interesting and useful to anyone who would be apart of the piracy trends. We also chose this object because its Creative commons license allowed it to be customized by anyone who wishes too change the original design. As you can see in the picture that is included there are 4 Creative commons licences, our specific object has the creative commons, the share alike, and the attribution licenses. Many objects from Thingiverse have creative commons licenses and thus are a good starting point for any project like this.

For more information about creative commons follow this link: http://creativecommons.org/about

Step 2: Convert From .SCAD to .stl

Thingiverses interface makes it very easy to download your chosen object with just the click of a button. When downloading you might encounter a problem that your 3D file might not be compatible with the 3D printing software you are using. For our project we used the 123D software, which requires an .stl file. When the pen holder downloaded it was in the form of a .scad file.

If the file you have downloaded is already in .stl format move on to the next step.

If the file you have downloaded is a .scad file here are the steps you need to convert to .stl format.

1.) Download the free file conversion software from this link: http://www.openscad.org/

2.) Open the software and click on open, search for your desired file, and select it

3.) Next you should get a window similar to the second image. From here you will press the render button, located above the render text bubble in image 2.

4.) Once the render is complete select file, export, and select the .stl file type

Step 3: Opening Your File

If you do not already have a 3D modeling software we will provide a link to the free software we used for the creation of this project. Just select the download for your operating system, and system type.


Once you have the file downloaded and changed into the proper .stl file type you can open up the 123D program and using the import feature under the file heading in the top left hand corner. By clicking import you will be able to find the file on your desktop and import the file in order to adjust as you wish. Once you import you will now see your 3D object in the 123D program. One important thing to note, is the the exact center of the object is at the coordinance point (0,0,0).

Step 4: Making Adjustments and Revisions

Now that you have your file open you can begin to make adjustments as you see fit. If you are familiar with the 123D program you will find it very easy to make the changes we will be making but if you are unfamiliar with the program you can visit the links below that will give you a lot of basic information over the 123D program.



For our specific pen holder we took the time to add a base to the pen holder and we also added the creative commons symbols to the base of the pen holder in order to serve as a reminder to the fact that creative commons can serve as an alternative to the piracy we see today.

Step 5: Adding the Base

Our first change was to change the objects location.

1. By clicking on the object you will be able to change the objects location, we changed the Y unit of our object so that instead of sitting on the ground it sat 20 mm above the ground. By doing this we are creating space for the base to be added. Here is a link to a video you might find helpful for this step

2. We then created a square base underneath our pen holder, by using the create object button, the base was 80 mm by 80 mm and centered directly under neither the pen holder. here is a video demonstrating this specific step

3. Once we have the square that will make up the base we will extrude the square in order to make it one with the pen holder. Once extruded the base was 10 mm tall and was centered underneith the floating pen holder. Here is a video demonstrating how to extrude your created object

4. Once you have extruded the square base up to the hour glass shape, you should have the very basic pieces of the pen holder we designed, but using these techniques you can create almost any object you would like, or adjust any object in the way you would like.

Step 6: Adding the Creative Commons

We added the creative commons to the side of our 3D object in order to serve as a constant reminder of what the creative commons are and just how they can change the face of piracy.

1. We began by using the create objects feature to create 3 small circles to the front face of our base. If you need to review how to do this here is a link to the video that will help you

2. We now extruded the circles outwards away from the base. This follows the same steps as covered in the last section so feel free to go back and watch the linked videos if you get stuck.

3. Next we used the free hand draw feature to draw each of the 3 creative commons licenses associated with the 3D pen holder we used. On this page you will see the 3 creative commons licenses associated with the Pen Holder

Step 7: Putting It All Together

Once you have made all the changes you would like to make to your base, you will need to connect the top and the bottom together. Once this is done the base/object cannot be edited anymore. Once you are ready move the Pen Holders location down 11 mm so that it is embedded 1 mm into the base. Then you will use the join feature of 123D to join the objects together and create one single object. Here is a video of exactly how this process is down

Step 8: Printing

It is very easy to print using your 3D printer software, in order to do this you will need to export the saved file from the changes and you will need to import it into whatever 3D printing software you are using. You may need to convert the file type in order for it to be compatible with your software, be sure to check what file type you need and use the software downloaded earlier to change the file type or download new software. Once you have the file imported into the 3D printer software you should be able to just print without a problem. And once your object prints you will need to remove any supports created and do some minor sanding and post processing to have the object you created.

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