The hitherto unseen project by Achille Castiglioni and Gianfranco Cavaglià: CENTO3 pens and pencils produced by EGO.M

One of Achille Castiglioni’s last projects, with Gianfranco Cavaglià, in 2001, was a set of pencils and pens, which was rediscovered several years later by Giovanna and Carlo Castiglioni. The prototypes of this project were hidden for several years behind a large corner mirror in the studio, now the Fondazione Castiglioni. Made by cabinetmaker Pierluigi Ghianda, these wooden prototypes reproduced the three-lobed arch form devised by Castiglioni and Cavaglià, which has the peculiarity of not rolling on the table.

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After several years in a drawer, in 2020, EGO.M, an Italian design studio, decided to engineer some of the products in the series for production and sale. EGO.M selected only three of the wooden prototypes: a mechanical pencil, a multifunctional art pencil, and a pocket fountain pen. The mechanical pencil represents technical drawing, while the multifunctional artistic pencil is practical, handy and suitable for many uses; the fountain pen is in a pocket version to be more contemporary and closer to the younger generations.

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Pens and pencils with a contemporary design

The CENTO3 pen and pencil set by EGO.M relies on innovative production techniques and materials. In fact, they are made with 3D Fused Deposition Modeling, a versatile printing technique that is particularly well-suited to reproducing that shape. In addition to being simpler, the 3D printing process allows the printer to use only the necessary material, for waste-free production.

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The material is also innovative and particularly suited to the product. The pencils and pen are made of graphene, a choice that favors a natural and eco-friendly material and at the same time emphasizes its soul as a design project, using the same material for both the function and the body of the object.

Graphene is a natural material, consisting of a monoatomic layer of carbon, while graphite is formed by layers of carbon; in recent years, its uses are multiplying thanks to new studies that make it more and more convenient and easily disposable. Moreover, graphene is lightweight and extremely durable.

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Graphene and 3D printing make it possible to have very light pencils and pens, with a soft surface and a knurled grip that makes them more comfortable to use. Each piece is unique, which lends them handcrafted characteristics despite being industrially made.