I remember sitting in the bathroom when I was no more than 5 years old, watching my grandfather shave his thick grey beard. He didn’t use a modern-day electric razor, or even the more commonly seen Bic razors that most men choose today when they don’t prefer electric. He used an old-fashioned straight-edge razor, and I was rather impressed. He was basically shaving with a knife. At least that’s the first conclusion that my 5-year-old self came to.
“How don’t you cut yourself Pop-pop? Why don’t you use an electric razor like Daddy?” I asked, as I ran my fingers down my own cheeks wondering if one day I may be doing the same thing.
The answer was one which remains with me today. “This is the only way to get a perfect shave, Eddie,” he responded. “Everything else is just society’s way of trying to make a buck. I’ve had this same razor for twenty years.”
I must admit, today I use an electric razor, but that’s partially because that’s all you see when you walk into a grocery store or pharmacy. Other than at fancy barber shops, I don’t think I’ve seen a straight-edge razor since I last saw my grandfather use his. That is until today, when we discovered a company called RENA, which is bringing back tradition and using modern day technology to do so. The RENA Steel Straight-Edge Razor is certainly the first ever 3D printed metal razor in existence.
RENA — a company that is currently working with Form’d to design their products, have them 3D printed, and then brought to market — is just getting started as far as designing and selling 3D printed products goes. The razor is 3D printed using several different types of technology, making it quite the conversation piece as well as a highly precise shaving tool which certainly would have made my grandfather a very happy man.
“3D Printing the Straight-Edge started with a drawing and moved through several iterations of computer modeling,” Brock Spain, Designer and Form’d Founder, tells 3DPrint.com. “Our goal was to respect the style of a vintage razor while simplifying its form and function. A Straight-Edge Shave might be old school but it is the best way to shave. It is a piece of our heritage that is lost because of modern convenience, which is interesting because we used the modern convenience of 3D Printing to create it.”
After Form’d finished the computer aided design of the razor, it was on to creating several acrylic prototypes, before finally deciding on the final form. “The final product is the simple profile of a vintage razor,” says Spain. “It’s simplicity allows for water to pass through it, avoiding water depositing on the blade. We [3D] printed it in steel to give the handle strength and comfort. It is being sold in several steel materials that the customer can choose from at check out.”
That’s right, it is 3D printed in steel! The way it is fabricated is that it is 3D printed with an additive manufacturing machine that uses a binder and metal powder to create the object one layer at a time. The 3D printed part is then heated in a furnace and infused with bronze to create the final result. The razor, which costs just $79.00, is available in five different 3D printed steel choices, including stainless steel, gold, bronze, nickel, and black. This week only, in celebration of Black Friday, the razor will be offered at a $20 discount, bringing the price down to $59.00.
The handle isn’t the only part of this razor that has been 3D printed. The nut and bolt are also 3D printed in a colored plastic resin, which gives this design quite the unique touch. The stainless steel blade holds replaceable razors and comes with 100 blades to start with.
“The beauty of 3D Printing is that we can offer our service to clients of various disciplines with extremely broad interests,” says Spain. “It certainly keeps me interested and learning every day.”
More products will be coming soon from the collaboration between RENA and Form’d. This includes a 3D printed shaver brush, and a 3D printed ceramic shaving mug, to complement the straight-edge shaver and create a complete 3D printed shaving collection. That’s not all though. Spain tells us that they are also working on other 3D printed products such as high heel shoes, jewelry, and even soaps. The 3D Printed Elk Horn Shave Brush in fact is entering production this week and will be available in many material options very soon.
What do you think? Would you pay $79 for a 3D printed metal straight-edge razor? Discuss in the 3D printed razor forum thread on 3DPB.com.