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Artist wants to build giant dip pen Answered

Comic book artist Jim Woodring is proposing to engineer and build a giant steel-nibbed dip pen to be used for public drawing instruction and demonstration which will also be performance art.  He's soliciting donations to make this quixotic project a reality.  Pretty cool, I think.

I'm amazed at how well he's thought this out and how passionate he is about pen-and-ink drawing.


UPDATE: The project has been fully funded, and Woodring has completed at least one public drawing event. Scroll down to the bottom of his page at http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/user/jimwoodring to see a timeline of the project. Amazing!

So here's the difference between art and science. The giant nib, with the giant air hole, looks really, really, cool, but it won't work worth s**t. Ink is a low viscosity fluid, and the flow from reservoir to tip is low Reynolds number, so the air hole should _not_ be scaled. It's going to be really hard to actually draw anything with that pen, unless the good Mr. Woodring gets an engineer to do some work for him.

This is why I wish I could embed the video. He addresses just what you've brought up. He's very aware of how dip pens work and the design problems of scaling one up to this size. He makes reference to the need for an ink reservoir just a few seconds after this frame. This prototype is just a non-working visual aid he uses to talk about the project. The need for expert assistance is part of why he's trying to raise nearly $5000.

Yay! Thanks for the followup and additional information :-)

Thinking off the top of my head, would it be possible to "fake" the appearance of the small nib by drilling hundreds / thousands of small holes, linking them with tiny slots, which eventually join up to several parallel channels down the nib, drawing one line made of (say) ten "normal" thickness lines?

The whole lot could be laser-cut.

Possibly, to keep enough strength in the nib, the holes and slots should be pits and troughs.

That would be the way to do it I think.


if you have the "address" of the video (HTTP://yada.yada.com etc) I am sure we could view it (unless it is a members only site).

Thanks! Would you consider editing the original topic text to include the link?

Yeah. I'll change it to make the link clearer. Thanks for the constructive criticism. Instructables rocks! :-)

Me too, but I prefer little ones like alpha. Then I don't have to add up too many terms :-)