Night Pen

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About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Intro: Night Pen

When I was a soldier I would write letters after the sun went down. The problem with that was other soldiers would be bothered by the light pollution from my flashlight. This pen focuses light right onto your page. No more angry soldiers. I left the cap clear for use as a safety light. It also works much better then holding a flashlight under your chin. The idea is that the pen body works like a fiber optic. The top is illuminated and transmits the light down to the writing tip.  

Step 1: Trim the Pen Down

To keep the pen the same length I cut it down to accommodate the mini flashlight. I used a razor blade to clean up the cut.    

Step 2: Round Over the Writing Tip and Drill

Rounding over the edge of the writing tip helps diffuse the light. I used a razor blade to cleanly trim it down. Once that was done I drilled out the other end to fit the mini flashlight. The inside of the pen was a hexagon shape and I needed it round.

Step 3: Cut Down the LED Housing

I kept my fingers crossed during this step. I wasn't sure there would be enough material to remove. It worked out and my little lathe made short work of it. I cut it down until it was a press fit into the pen body.  

Step 4: Plasti Dip

This is the kind of plastic that doesn't take well to plastic-dip. To remedy that I scuffed up the pen body with sand paper and spray painted it. Make sure to plug both ends. You don't want to coat the inside of the pen. Once the pen dried I dipped it and hung it to dry. I had to do this a few times to completely black out the pen.

Step 5: Clean Up

After the plasti dip dried I cut all the joints with a razor blade. I then removed the drill bit I used as a holder and the electrical tape.

Step 6: Trim and Press Together

The ink tube has to be cut down for it to fit. I used my calipers to measure twice and cut once. Because the LED touches the back end of the ink tube you have to trim down the writing side. If you don't you'll get ink on the LED. Use pliers to gently remove and replace the ball point. Finally insert the ink tube and press fit the light and the pen body together. Thanks for reading.

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    29 Discussions

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    buck2217

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Great idea, would be nice to have one next to the bed for those "middle of the night" ideas (mind you I would probably use it to draw on my wife!!)

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    fraser02buck2217

    Reply 2 years ago

    yeah, true... someone should figure out how to make illuminated paper too!!:):)

    great idea, thanks for sharing:)

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    WayfinderAli

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is an awesome project. I wish I had a lathe so I could make one. I might try making one using just an LED and a simple switch inside of a RSPP pen instead of making a mini-flashlight fit.

    You could convert this to an even cooler pen by upgrading the cartridge to a Fisher pressurized ink refill which allows you to write upside down and in water. They make one that you can trim from the non-writing end to fit a variety of pen lengths. Here is a link:

    http://www.spacepen.com/blueinkfinepointfisherpres...

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    Advar

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really good idea, very bright ;) But don't you need to cut the refills too?

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    Mrballengcflores24

    Reply 4 years ago

    No, it's machined specifically for this this one.

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    sport888

    5 years ago

    I like dis I idea it is very inventive LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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    kidharris

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice solution.

    It reminds me of an old news story long ago when the US and Soviet Union, now called Russia, were putting people into earth orbit. They needed some way for the astronauts to be able to write their reports (this was before the PC and laptops). The US spent $250,000 (that was a lot of money back then) developing a fountain pen that would write in zero gravity. The Soviets just used a mechanical pencil.

    I would have just used a $1 led head lamp (miners light), and would be able to use it for a lot more than writing. This idea would probably sell though if it was cheap enough.

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    sbdash11391kidharris

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    and when the graphite bit broke it got into one cosmonaut's eye...it was not so cheap restoring his vision..

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    ArticAkita

    5 years ago on Step 6

    I usually had bad experiences with cutting the inktube and huge mess to clean up afterwards! its a very clever idea though! might have to try it someday :P you did a very good job & very clear on the instructions you used

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    This I like. Lots. Thanks for sharing it, I'm off to make about 10 of these.

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    Baldilocks

    5 years ago on Introduction

    As 'Kidharris' says, there are simple ways to do the same thing. Simple and easy is also boring. Nothing will beat the fun of making and using something unique and individual. That's why 'Istructibles' is so good.

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    jubal19

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructable, as always.
    Your 'ibles always make me want to go buy a metal lathe. You do excellent work.
    Do you (or anyone) have any tips on how to keep Plasti-Dip usable longer once you open it. I never have enough jobs for it when I open it and a month later, it is too thick to use.