Gillette offers personalized experience in the form of unique razor handles, customized through active customer participation and with the help of additive manufacturing.
It might seem that Gillette has tried everything when it comes to razors, fr om simple plastic-bound scrapers to massive arrays of blades with chromed handles. Yet this time the company decided to pass the design reigns onto customers by letting them partake in imagining unique, individually customized shaving tools.
“We know consumers today are looking for brands that innovate in ways that let them express themselves – and that’s exactly what this pilot is all about,” explained Evan Smith, global product manager for Razor Maker™.
The new service is available through the Razor Maker
site, wh ere users can pick from several dozen of basic designs and colors, and personalize them with inscriptions. Once the choice is made, a customer picks between three and five blades, requests a pack of extra cartridges if necessary, and then awaits delivery, which takes two to three weeks. This is when 3D printing comes in: razor handles are produced with the help of Form Cells – automated additive manufacturing systems, designed and manufactured by Formlabs
. Each Form Cell is comprised of several laser stereolitographic 3D printers Form 2, robotic gantry system, processing station and storage for replaceable build platforms. Once handles are printed, they are washed, UV threated until fully hardened, then coated and assembled.
“It allows us to think about form in a way that was never possible before. In a traditional sense, we could only do one or two razor designs a year, whereas now we can have an idea, create it in 3D, print it, look at it, adjust it, and say that’s it,” said Rory McGarry, industrial design lead at Razor Maker™.
3D printed razors are priced anywhere between $19 and $45, depending on the percentage of printed parts, the grip material and finish, the most expensive versions being offered with a chrome coating. For now the service is available only in the US, but it stands to reason that Gillette might expand reach, should the idea prove popular with customers.