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Screw You Marking Pen

For marking all those tiny little screws
  [vote for,

A "click to select" multicolor marking pen, with relatively fine point tips. Ink needs to be non-electrically conductive, at least semi-permanent, and able to mark metals and plastic with equal tenacity. The colors should be glaring bright, perhaps even to glow more brightly under UV.

What for? The next time I'm taking apart a laptop or any other small electronics, I want to dab the screw heads (and the space around them) with bright spots of color. It's all well and good to keep track of what you're doing along the way, but once in a while I get down to one or more itty bitty black screws that have to fit into some itty bitty hole drilled into a black surface.

Not to mention* the one that gets away and falls on the carpet.

* oh, I just mentioned that one, didn't I? No worries, I guess this battery will stay in place with only three screws instead of four.

a1, May 03 2021

colored self-tapping screws https://www.amazon....d=1620131221&sr=8-6
[xandram, May 04 2021]


       //the one that gets away and falls on the carpet//
A magnet (flat sheet style if available) is your friend.
neutrinos_shadow, May 03 2021

       Have one of those. Doesn’t help figure out why there’s often some black 1mm long, 000 Philips head screw left over with no obvious hole.
a1, May 03 2021

       More friends: a digital camera (snap each step) and a powerful light, set at a low angle to create good shadows.
neutrinos_shadow, May 03 2021

       Also, blu-tack, to inhibit the little bastards from rolling away. [+]
pertinax, May 03 2021

       pizza box
FlyingToaster, May 04 2021

       You can implement every single good idea, be as careful as is humanly possible, and you will still arrive at the completion of your task with a missing or misfit part, and yet another excellent idea to prevent the problem next time.   

       A millennia hence, when all technical doo-dads are molded or stamped or photoforged in a single piece, some half-baker will hit upon the novel idea of attaching two doo-dads together with tiny screws. This repetition of ideas generates an eternal continuity which forms the basis of Noether's theorem.
lurch, May 04 2021

       Um, yeah, that’s what I meant. Exactly. Right.
a1, May 04 2021

       It's that wag, on the production line, very lightly gluing an extra screw in a place, that is sure to be knocked on disassembly. The guy that takes it too far uses a screw being 5 mm longer than the ones used in assembly.
wjt, May 04 2021

       +. a very good idea.   

       I posted a link, that is similar, but if you read the description it says * Will fit both men’s and women’s heads*... pretty halfbaked here at Amazon.
xandram, May 04 2021

       [xandram] - yes, multicolored screw heads are a step in the right direction. I like to highlight the area around the screw holes. Maybe I’m getting old … but a sub-millimeter hole in a recess between other components isn’t so easy to see anymore. I do keep some white, silver, and gold fine-tip Sharpies around for this, but don’t use them on or near circuit boards. That’s what inspired the product idea.
a1, May 04 2021

       I only posted the link because I wondered if your idea would fit men’s and women’s heads! Ha ha must be translated from Chinese or alien
xandram, May 04 2021

       Perhaps it's for people of any gender identification get their heads screwed on right?
a1, May 04 2021

       What a great example for significance of context in a sentence! I was a few pages deep into reading wikipedia about the history of assigning gender to various kinds of fasteners (sex bolts! roooowr) before I noticed this was talking about lacrosse rackets.   

       I really like the idea. I'd love for someone who often dis- and reassembles small electronics to have a few sticks of different colored marking crayon to dab on the backplate before unscrewing things. It's an interesting technological challenge to make a pen that dabs in a different color every time you use it. (Could just be a rainbow colored lead, now that I'm thinking about it.)
jutta, May 05 2021

       [jutta] thanks.The biggest issue for me is that even the "fine point" Sharpies I use now are a bit big for some of the tiny openings I want to outline.
a1, May 05 2021

       Not quite as good as a pen but useful could be a marking laser in pen form that puts a tiny "all one color" diffraction grating on the screw head with laser engraving, you just tap it on the screw, and the screw gets color engraved. Nonconductive, easy to see, and every screw can be a different diffraction grating color.   

       Actually, as an art pen, one that can draw continuously at human velocities and do diffraction grating markings on polymer, metal, or other material writing substrate could be nifty.
beanangel, May 06 2021

       [beanangel], your laser proposal seem impractical for a few reasons. It would have to be strong enough to etch metal and plastic quickly enough that it doesn't slow down a technician's work, and precisely controllable as a hand tool so as to not damage the adjacent parts.
a1, May 06 2021

       I just figured the computer vision system would do that: take a still, then image-recognize the parts, having identified a screwhead-top only laser etch the screwhead even if the pen or screwhead changes position; The camera in the handheld laser engraver can also recognize tissue and turn off instantly.   

       I just think it can be strong and quick. It does not need to be strong to do a diffraction grating depth: laser etched mylar fun stickers have like, imaginably, 1-40 micrometers of aluminization etched off.
beanangel, May 06 2021

       Bit of a reach, [beanangel]. As originally described, the Screw You Pen* should be no larger or than any other marking pen, and just as fast to use.   

       * By the way, I named it in honor of what would say to the designers who come up with these conglomerations of itty bitty screws.
a1, May 07 2021


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