The big bag o’ new-old-stock Inmac ball-point plotter pens had five different colors, so I popped a black ceramic tip pen in Slot 0 and ran off Yet Another Superformula Demo Plot:
All the ball pens produce spidery lines, but the blue pen seemed intermittent. Another blue pen from the bag behaved the same way, so I pulled the tip outward and tucked a wrap of fine copper wire underneath. You can see the wire peeking out at about 5 o’clock, with the end at 3-ish:
The wire holds the tip slightly further away from the locating flange and, presumably, makes it press slightly harder against the paper:
A bit more pressure helped, but not enough to make it dependable, particularly during startup on the legend characters:
That black line comes from an ordinary fiber-tip pen that looks like a crayon on a paper towel by comparison with the hair-fine ball point lines.
Delicacy doesn’t count for much in these plots, so I’ll save the ball pens for special occasions. If, that is, I can think of any…