Nibs info, Sept 2020

Over the last couple of days, the Colors SonarPen has been received by several backers in the US. It’s incredible to see some of our pens finally making it to the end of a very long journey. However, a few people have reported issues with the nibs being damaged. We’ve identified this to a packaging issue in the factory, where after the hardware testing step, the nib was in some cases damaged when the worker put the pen in the bag, not fully understanding that the nib was sensitive.

This issue has now been corrected, and we are going over the whole stock to make sure this won’t be a problem in the future. Colors SonarPen come with a spare nib, so hopefully there shouldn’t be an immediate problem, but anyone affected by this should contact with their order number and a photo, and we should be able to help.

How to spot a broken nib

Broken nibs

  • If the plastic disc has detached, your nib is broken and must be replaced

Bent nibs

  • Having a slight tilt is normal for the nib. It needs to be flexible to work well while painting.
  • If you have a permanent tilt larger than 45 degrees, your nib is damaged
  • If you can see that they silicon rubber has a break in it, your nib is damaged

Replacing nibs

When you are replacing a nib, use your nails to detach it by pulling on the metal part. Make sure to NOT PULL THE DISC.

Loosely fitting nibs

Sometimes a new nib does not fit as securely as the original nib.

The plastic tube that holds the nib is semi-flexible. To tighten a loose nib, just gently use a fingernail to push the opening a tiny bit to deform it. After that, the nib will fit more securely.

Replacement nibs

We’ve also gotten questions regarding replacement nibs. Greenbulb, who we’ve partnered with to create Colors SonarPen, sells replacement nibs that are compatible with the Colors SonarPen. The ones we are using for Colors SonarPen are the Android compatible ones. The iOS compatible ones are slightly smaller and will also work, but during testing we discovered a few instances of them not being as accurately detected by the Nintendo Switch, so we opted to use the Android compatible ones.

We are not yet offering additional replacement nibs in our store. This is because we wanted to wait until we can more accurately answer the question how durable they are. We’ve yet to wear out a nib during testing and the information we’ve received from the manufacturer is that they should hold for “at least 100k strokes”. However, this is difficult to translate into something useful both for us and for you. What does that mean when you are actively painting every day? Will a nib on average hold for 50 hours or 500 hours of actual painting? In Colors Live we can interact with our community directly, so we will have a better answer once our backers have started using Colors Live for real. We can even measure this by seeing how much a user spend time painting by looking at the paintings uploaded to the gallery.

To sum up, we don’t want to encourage someone to spend money on something they might not need. Once we feel confident saying exactly how long you should expect your nib to hold, we’ll start offering replacement nibs in our store and you can decide if you think you’ll be spending enough time in Colors Live for it to make sense for you.