Prime Cuts: The beauty of innovation

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Many women desire sleeker and straighter hair which means manufacturers of hair products are under increasing pressure to help them achieve this. Enter the free2style cordless hair straighter and styler.

Pearl Lion Ltd identified that cordless hair straighteners on the market were failing to meet the performance levels achieved by mains corded models. The brief to Frazer Designers was in two parts; first to research and select battery and heating plate technology that could deliver the high temperature and battery life demanded by consumers; secondly to provide industrial design of the housings to appeal to the target market.

An exploded view of the hair straighteners created in ProEngineer

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Concept design was evolved using Ashlar’s Xenon 3D software

  • Hardware used included Apple iMacs and Dell Workstation
  • Initial concept design was evolved using Ashlar Graphite & Xenon
  • Images and renderings for initial evaluation and presentation to the client were created using Bunkspeed and Photoshop
  • ProEngineer was used to model the product. STEP files were then exported to the toolmaker/moulder in China
  • When it came to prototyping, painted SLA components were used to demonstrate mechanical function and proposed surface finishes and colours
  • Bluestone SLA components loaded with working heat plates were created for user trials and to test temperature effects on the housings
  • For production the injection moulding plastic selection was critical with three materials used:
  • Polyphenylene Sulphide (PPS) to house the tourmaline coated aluminium heat plates
  • 30% glass filled Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) for the arms
  • High temperature Polycarbonate (PC) for the cosmetic covers
  • In terms of project timescales, concept phase to research and select appropriate heating and battery technologies, to define product specification and complete product styling – two months
  • Initial CAD design, prototyping and functional tests – four months
  • Tooling, sampling, off tool prototype trials and CE approval – four months
  • Manufacture, assembly, packaging and preparation for product launch – two months

http://www.frazerdesigners.com

Transparent model showing the various internal components including the battery

Control panel

Final product – free2style hair styler


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