I remember back to my 2nd grade art class, when our teacher would hand out plastic scissors to all the students for certain craft projects. These scissors were honestly pieces of junk, as most of the time they would bend the paper rather than cut through it. The reason for this was simple, although they were much safer than traditional solid metal scissors, they just were not all that strong.
Fast forward 25 years and students are still provided with plastic scissors very similar to the same ones my classmate and I used in the 2nd grade. Safety still remains a big concern of parents, teachers, school administrators, and specifically one Chinese man named Carl Fang.
Fang’s little brother had had several accidents with scissors and had cut himself several times, so he decided to try and 3D print a pair of plastic scissors for his brother to use. Fang first drew sketches of what he wanted the scissors to look like, trying to come up with a method of creating something that would have the capability of cutting through paper even though they would be made entirely of plastic. After he had his idea on paper, he used Rhino3D to model this new tool. Then it was off to the 3D printer to see if his creation would actually work.
“The 3D printer I used is from China,” Fang tells 3DPrint.com. “It is called an EcubMaker. I like this brand very much. Its appearance is cool, and the printing performance is also very good.”
The EcubMaker is a printer that looks very similar to a MakerBot Replicator 2, and it features dual extruders allowing it to print two colors or multiple materials at the same time. With its build volume of 260 x 180 x 200 mm, the scissors were no problem for this machine. The pieces took less than 2 hours to print, and when done Fang assembled them with a tiny metal screw.
As for how they work, Fang tells us that they absolutely meet his little brother’s demands. They are capable of cutting through paper quite easily, although not strong enough to cut through cardboard or any thicker materials.
“I am a product designer. I like all superheroes, so I want to be Scissors Man,” Fang joked.
With unique designs like this that can actually serve a purpose, he may be looked at as a superhero by many 3D printer owners as well as his little brother who won’t accidentally be cutting himself any longer. Fang has also made the design files for these scissors available to download for free from Thingiverse.
What do you think about his design? Have you tried 3D printing them yourself yet? Let us know how they turn out in the 3D Printed Plastic Scissors forum thread on 3DPB.com.