MARKSMITH Titanium | The Best EDC Marker You'll Ever Own
Created by Daniel Bauen + Microfacturing
Carry the world's first titanium retractable permanent marker every day to make a bold statement on surfaces that a pen can't write on.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
MARKSMITH Black Friday Sale
7 months ago
– Sun, Nov 28, 2021 at 08:09:06 AM
I hope that all is well and you are enjoying your Marksmith! I've been taking care of backers who have contacted us about shipping issues or incomplete surveys. If you have an issue that we haven't communicated about yet, please let us know.
We've been working on so much, but let me just talk about one interesting thing at a time. I've been experimenting with different finishes for Marksmith. In addition to the brushed finish, I'm testing a bead-blasted and stonewashed finish. Stonewashed has been a popular request, and all you need for that is a tumbler and some small stones.
I was frustrated that our vibratory tumbler had multiple consecutive failures recently. Although it's 9 years old, it hasn't been used enough to be falling apart like this. First, the motor failed, which I replaced with a more robust 3 phase motor (SHOP TUFF wanted $600 for a new single-phase motor that should only cost ~$150). The 3 phase motor eliminates the centrifugal switch and starting capacitors required by a single-phase motor. I determined that the centrifugal switch had failed, but the motor was sealed and not disassemblable to repair. For the new motor, I'm using a single-phase 110V to 3 phase VFD, which in addition to allowing it to be plugged into 110V like before, also allows variable speed control. The speed can be fine-tuned to adjust the vibration.
Then the tub lining started crumbling, and SHOP TUFF wanted more $$$$ for a new tub than the original cost of the whole tumbler. This video shows the problem that I'm dealing with:
After temporarily using a bucket inside the tub, I figured out a solution to repair it by lining the tub with HDPE plastic sheet. Watch the video below to see how I repair it. I also made use of the amazing SHAPER ORIGIN handheld CNC to precisely cut the curved side panels.
Here's the almost finished tumbler tub. I wanted to do a test run before welding the seams of the HDPE plastic panels. The Marksmiths shown here have not been tumbled yet.
What I learned... Natural stone leaves an amazing stonewashed finish. The downside is that the stones will jam themselves anywhere they can (I should have known better...), and they are extremely difficult to get out. I had to hammer some out and crush others to remove them. I either need to get larger stones or plug all the holes with rubber plugs (3d printed TPU?) before tumbling. There is also ceramic tumbling media available that gives a stonewashed appearance that is specifically designed to avoid wedging, but I have not yet identified which is the best media to use for a fine stonewashed finish that is as good as what I achieved with the stones.
Here's the appearance comparison between brushed finish, bead blasted, and stonewashed. I also tried bead blasting one after stonewash, and that made a very nice darker, rugged bead blast appearance (not shown).
Which one is your favorite?
Daniel and Team Soul Built
Black Cartridges Back In Stock!
7 months ago
– Sun, Nov 28, 2021 at 08:07:09 AM
We were overwhelmed with orders and the Black marker cartridges quickly sold out overnight. Sorry if you found that they were sold out when you went to buy them. We now have more in stock and ready to ship, so I just replenished the qty available on the webstore.
Shipping update and Logo
8 months ago
– Sat, Oct 23, 2021 at 12:36:55 AM
It's been a long road, andthanksfor sticking with us through it. I would like to announce that all Kickstarter orders are complete!!!!!
It may take a while for your tracking number to update since there are a few packages waiting for pickup and international packages that are en route to the distribution center. If you haven't received a tracking email, please check your BackerKit for tracking.
There are still incomplete surveys. We can't ship your Marksmith until you fill out your survey, so please make sure to do that if you haven't done so already.
Yes, but we have a limited supply remaining. Once we sell out of these, January will be our next restock. Marksmith is currently in stock on the Soul Built webstore, but we are working to add the custom engraving option directly on the product page since that was a very popular add-on. Right now the custom engraving is a separate item that must be added to the cart.
You can order now, and if you want a custom engraving, please also add the custom engraving to the cart and enter the engraving details in the "ORDER NOTES" during checkout.
An update will be sent out in a few days when the custom engraving option is integrated into the product page.
As Kickstarter backers, you own the only non-branded MARKSMITH's in existence. It took us a while to figure out the optimal placement for the logo that wouldn't disturb the clean appearance of the design. Engraving the logos on the slide creates an Easter egg effect where the logo appears and disappears as you use the marker. New MARKSMITHS will have the SOUL BUILT (hammer+wrench=heart) logo and the MARKSMITH script logo engraved on the slide as shown in the videos below.
Our first attempts at engraving the logo used a deep-etch technique. Although this works, it creates a burned outer edge that requires a lot of sanding to clean up. Also, the marking needed to be filled with something like paint or... black permanent marker... for good contrast. Not ideal, and the marker must be disassembled for lasering, which makes the alignment tricky.
Watch this video of our experiment deep etching the logos in titanium:
The engraving method we perfected is an annealing type color change. No material is removed. The laser is run at a low enough power that it doesn't vaporize the titanium. It heats it to the point of changing color to black. Each pass of the laser creates a light color change, but multiple passes increase the darkness of the engraving until it is a deep black. This is similar to the process used to do the custom engravings. The color change goes deep and can not be removed.
Watch this video to see the final method we use to engrave the logos:
I've been waiting impatiently for this moment to be able to launch the next MARKSMITH Kickstarter campaign. This time we've gone ahead and done the production so that we can start shipping them immediately after the campaign is over. Stay tuned to find out more details as we preview it in the coming updates. The Kickstarter will launch in November and I'll let you know when the launch date is set in stone.
Daniel and Team Soul Built
Shipping Update & Custom Engraving Video
9 months ago
– Sun, Oct 03, 2021 at 09:04:28 AM
How We Make Your Custom Laser Engraving
If you haven't seen this video yet, this is how we make your custom laser engraving, and it's pretty cool. Although the mark has no perceptible depth, the color change penetrates deep into the titanium, and won't wear off.
We have been shipping MARKSMITHS tirelessly this month and still have a few hundred orders left to ship (About 12%). What slowed us down from the previous estimate? For the first while shipping, it was large batch groups of backers who had ordered the same items, and between inspecting, refinishing, and assembly, we could ship out about 100 of those a day. We were also mixing in complex orders and custom engravings. The rate of shipping dropped significantly once the large batches were out of the way and we were only doing unique orders.
There has also been a cartridge shortage through our supplier (probably due to general supply chain shortages), so we had to find some alternate suppliers, and went through a few days where shipping was stopped. We only buy a few thousand at a time to make sure that we are getting the freshest marker cartridges. We now have all the cartridges needed to finish off the crowdfunding orders.
That being said, for anyone still waiting, I'm sorry it hasn't shipped yet, and we are making sure that it will be worth the wait! This coming week is a short work week due to the fall break school holidays, so it will take us about till the 15th to complete the shipments.
Just wanted to remind anyone waiting on International shipments that it can take a while after the label is created for tracking to update because the packaged goto a distribution center first. The international tracking link that you receive may not work, at least not after it leaves the US. Copy and paste your tracking number into the page at the following link, it will show you the correct tracking info.
UPDATE YOUR SHIPPING ADDRESS!
10 months ago
– Wed, Sep 01, 2021 at 11:50:53 PM
We've had a few backers tell us that their address was not updated after they received their shipping notification, and by that time it is too late because the Marksmith is already en route (it will hopefully be returned to us).
Please verify that your shipping address on Backerkit is up to date!
How To Update Shipping Address on Desktop
We used Backerkit for surveys, and therefore if you need to update your shipping address, it must be done through their interface. Here's a video of how to do it on the Desktop Computer. Scroll down for Mobile instructions, since the layout is different.
How To Update Shipping Address on Mobile Device
Here's a video of how to update your shipping address on a mobile phone or other mobile devices.