The Add-a-Handle is a classic example of how 3D printing helps inventors move their ideas forward at lower cost and faster pace.
Tara Vallin and Mike Payne had known about 3D printing and that they could make complex plastic models inexpensively. This is where they contacted Free Thought Designs to get their 3D prints done. She employed her own CAD modeler to make the 3D computer (STL) files, which they sent to me where I was able to 3D print them. After trying the first 3D printed prototype, they found a major flaw in the handle shape, so had the CAD modeler redo the design and I 3D printed again. After a few different iterations of prototype testing, her final design was ready, which was used in a photo shoot for promotional purposes.
In addition to rapid prototyping, 3D printing also played a role in making molds. Pictured here is a mold 3D printed at a high resolution where several final products were manufactured via the injection molding process.
Other than being inexpensive and quick product development, all of this work was done within or near the Hudson Valley, NY, which is a great benefit 3D printing technology brings to the local community. For more information regarding this cool invention that helps in many everyday situations, check out their IndieGoGo page where you can crowdfund.
For more information about getting your ideas made, feel free to contact Free Thought Designs here.