How do they do it? Bic Cristal Ballpoint Pen

    Watch how the famous BIC Cristal ballpoint pen is made. The pen has a tungsten carbide ball and can write for over 2000 metres. Very interesting as to how much detail goes into the manufacturing of this pen.

    The Bic Cristal (also known as the Bic pen) is an inexpensive disposable ballpoint pen mass-produced and sold by Société Bic of Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France.

    The Bic Cristal's industrial design has been acknowledged by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as part of the museum's permanent collection. Its hexagonal shape was taken from the wooden pencil and yields an economical use of plastic along with strength and three grip points giving high writing stability. The pen's transparent polystyrene barrel shows the ink-level. A tiny hole drilled in the barrel's body keeps the same air pressure both inside and outside the pen. The thick ink is pulled down by gravity from a tube inside the barrel to feed a ball bearing which spins freely within a brass/nickel silver tip. In 1961 the stainless steel ball was replaced with much harder tungsten carbide which is vitrified by heat, then ground down and milled to an accuracy of one tenth of a micron between spinning plates coated with industrial diamond abrasives. Since 1991 the pen's iconic streamlined polypropylene cap clip has had a small hole to prevent children from sucking it into the throat.

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