Objective: To design a 3D-printable razor that fits the Gillette razor blade assembly.
This project was my entry to a contest hosted by Gillette and 3D Hubs. The objective of the competition was to design a 3D-printable razor handle compatible with Gillette Mach 3 razor heads.
Throughout this project I conducted research in several ways. I looked at existing Gillette products for brand language, purchased and analyzed several existing razors, and researched additive manufacturing to understand the limitations of the process.
Another consideration I thought to be important was the manufacturing aspect of the project. Since it was explicitly stated in the brief that the razor was to be 3D-printed, I thought I would investigate large-scale additive manufacturing processes for realism.
I investigated the common additive manufacturing processes to see what the strengths and weaknesses of the processes were. This would allow me to make design choices to ease manufacturing if the design were to theoretically be mass manufactured. From my own knowledge I new that 3D printing allowed for very complex geometry, a high level of detail, and eliminated tooling. From my research I made several findings. Fused Deposition Modeling, commonly used in desktop printers, was cheaper and faster than industry processes, but too slow to be a viable option. Stereolithography was apparently the most commonly used in the industry. It offers high part accuracy and the best surface quality but is expensive, energy intensive, and was limited to photosensitive resins (like epoxy). Selective Laser Sintering was another industry process. The process was possible with a wide variety of thermoplastics and metals, offered strong and light parts, had minimal material waste and no need for support structures.
After conducting all of my research and analysis data, I did a series of ideation sketches to try and distill all of the useful information I found into a design.
After doing my sketches I proceeded to create the designs I liked in Solidworks. I went through two designs based off of my sketches and research. The first one failed, so with further refinement my second idea became my final design.
Originally I tried a design with holes going horizontally through the body for grip. After printing that model I decided to return to the design with the vertical hole. Once I finished that design in Solidworks I printed it using a Stratasys Dimension 1200 FDM printer. I originally tried to print the razor along with the razor head connector assembly provided by Gillette, but it came out in broken layers (seen in one of the pictures above), so I had to print them separately. In the end, I was happy with the results of my ergonomics and form research, as the razor felt good in the hand. The integrity of the print was also good, as I still use the print I submitted for the contest as my own razor. As my prize for first place, 3D Hubs sent me an SLS printed metal print of my submission.