By Joe Wisnewski,
Director of Engineering at 3D Systems Geomagic.
We could divine that whoever designed the toothbrush holder in my bathroom didn't have a large family and wasn't familiar with electric toothbrushes.
My family of five has been using these new toothbrushes (powered toothbrush with snap-on heads) for several years, but our toothbrush holder in the bathroom only fits four old-fashioned manual toothbrushes. The new ones just won't fit!
The engineer in me was itching to resolve this problem and it occurred to me that this would be a perfect use case for Geomagic's Freeform Software for 3D scultping and modeling, the Geomagic Fuse scanning plug-in for the Microsoft Kinect, and the 3D Systems Cube printer! (Image right: The existing, and woefully inadequate, toothbrush holder in my house.)
So let's get started. The design requirements:
1) Build an adapter that can be inserted into the existing toothbrush holder
2) The adapter must removable for easy cleaning
3) The adapter should hold snap-on electric toothbrush heads
4) The adapter should accommodate at least five toothbrush heads at once
Step 1: Scan the existing holder using Geomagic Fuse to get accurate dimensions without measuring.
(Images below: Scanning with the kinect and second image, the resulting 3D data in Geomagic Freeform.)
Step 2: Draw sketch curves to outline the holes where the adapter will fit
Step 3: Use Wire Cut to create the initial adapter posts
Step 4: Create a platform for the adapter, also using Wire Cut
Step 5: Use Wire Cut again to create simple posts for the toothbrush heads to fit on
Step 6: Create retention rings at bottom and mid-point of posts that will keep the adapter in place
Step 7: Cut a vertical channel in the posts to allow them to be squeezed through the holes
Step 8: Merge the first unit together
Step 9: Mirror the piece to create an adaptor for the other side
Step 10: Print both pieces
(Image below: printing in the Cube 3D printer from 3D Systems)
Done! We now have a secure, convenient place to store our toothbrush heads. They're out of the way, and we didn't even have to buy a new toothbrush holder.
(Image below: The newly designed and produced toothbrush holder installed at Joe's home.)
Find out more about Geomagic Freeform at: www.geomagic.com.
Find out more about Cube 3D Printers at the 3D Systems web site