Tech City: 3D printing lets designer realise shaving dream
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 April 2015
A Tech City entrepreneur has harnessed the 3D printing revolution to realise his dream of designing a product in a cost-effective way.
A fan of clean, simple design, Rob Hallifax, 35, became disillusioned with the shaving razors that were offered on the high street and decided to use the surge in popularity of new tech to make his own.
Rob and three friends have now launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £20,000 to manufacture the first batch of razors.
Rob said: “I was fed up with razors being ugly and over engineered and hideous things. I liked a few old school razors like cut throats which are trendy, but for a lot of people, they are inaccessible. I basically wanted a pretty cartridge razor.”
Rob put his background as an engineer and digital product designer to use and started experimenting before finding a 3D printing service.
He said: “I started hacking up old razors, buying bits of metal and seeing what would work.
“It was a case of screwing things together to create something better than what was available.
“There is a thing called 3D Hubs.com which is this cool site where local people who have 3D printers and people who need to get printing done are connected.
There is a place just off City Road, where there is a lot of down time on the machine so the girl who works there is registered on the site.”
Rob printed several different prototypes and tested them with family and friends.
The final product is a one-piece handle which is made from solid metal in two colours – silver and gold, and replaceable cartridges.
It takes Gillette Mach 3 blades and the packaging for the razor is all recyclable.
Rob said: “I think people maybe, more now than before, value design.
“There is more of an appetite for it, as well as the story of it being made in England and a solid metal razor built to last longer than the cheaper plastic ones.”
“My main aim was getting something that was really clean and simple, that was my driving philosophy.
“If you were to buy a 3D printer it would cost hundreds of pounds but this way it only cost me a few pounds each time I invented a different handle.”
He added the invention of 3D printing made product design universal to everyone
Rob said: “I suppose it’s comparable to 15-years-ago when the internet came out, it is parallel to the hardware revolution.
“With the internet people could get a computer, build a website and release it. Hardware has always been much more difficult because you have to find a supplier, but because of 3D printing that has completely opened up. “It no longer costs thousands of pounds and add a crowdfunding campaign, it is just a few hundred pounds to try out something that would otherwise be potentially impossible unless you had money to invest.”
He added: “I guess being in this part of London and Tech City with this exciting vibe makes things feel more possible.
“There are so many people who have their own ideas and startups; even if they are completely different there is a bit of camaraderie of doing your thing.”
For more: ockhamrazorcompany.com