It’s sometimes easy to overlook the hours of design work that have gone into the objects we use everyday. There’s a great deal more to a shaving razor, for example, than just strapping a sharp blade to a handle. Not only does the safety of such an exercise have to be taken into account, but also factors such as the ergonomics of the grip and the likelihood that the whole contraption will be able to withstand the various stresses to which it is subject during normal use. Finally, the overall product has to be attractive enough, and convincing enough of its fitness of purpose, that people will want to purchase it.
With this in mind, Gillette and MakersCAFE have teamed up with 3D Hubs to create the RZR MKR competition to design a 3D printed handle for one of Gilette’s razors. They’ve provided the downloadable CAD files (link opens download) for the genuine Gillette components and the extra incentive of 3D printing through 3DHubs, at no cost to the designer, the first 100 handles submitted to the contest. Once the design is printed for either the Mach3, the Fusion, or the Venus razors, entrants will send their creations to Gillette for display in their popup in Boxpark. The call is simple:
“We’d like to challenge you to re-design, re-invent and re-print your razor handle as you’d love it to be. New shapes, new forms, new uses: come up with the best looking and most innovative handle design and it will be proudly displayed in RZR MKR ™ pop-up store in Boxpark, 9th – 14th August, 2016. We’ve also got loads of 3D Hubs vouchers to give away to make it worth your while and cash prizes for the winners.”
The person with the best design gets not only bragging rights, but also a £500 voucher for 3D Hubs printing to print to their hearts content. Cash prizes are also awarded for second through fifth place submissions. As an added incentive, Gillette will pay £300 to each winner to purchase ownership of their design and may also purchase ownership of designs that did not make it into the top five. The judges will be made up of folks from the three companies and give an opportunity to put your work in front of people who know their stuff.
The 3D printing technique of choice is FDM which has been selected because it is considered to be the most affordable and widely accessible form of 3D printing, thereby ensuring the greatest possible level of inclusion in the contest. However, using FDM is not a requirement if there is a compelling reason to use another 3D printing approach. Once the winners are selected, the handles will be made available through 3D Hubs for all who wish to purchase them, so it’s a chance to have your design in front of a discerning public as well.
But don’t delay, your 3D printed submission has to arrive at Gillette by August 3, 2016 in order to be considered. Check out more details here for files, FAQs, and full contest guidelines. Discuss further in the Gillette 3D Printed Razor Handle forum over at 3DPB.com.