While 3D printing has already become the prototyping and product development tool of choice in a variety of industries, it hasn’t had quite the same effect when it comes to making ready-to-use products directly. At least not in the consumer products industry, where 3D printing loses out to mass manufacturing methods for its inability to create high volumes at a relatively cheap cost per unit. And that’s where injection molding comes in, to form a much-needed link between 3D printing and the mass market. For instance, here’s a patent pending solution that helps anxious parents baby-proof cabinets around their household, particularly kitchen cabinets. It’s called the Rimiclip and, though the prototype is 3D printed, its inventor wants to bring it to market via mass manufacturing.
Made by Erik Hansen, an inventor and entrepreneur from San Diego, the Rimiclip was a solution that occurred to him while installing cabinet locks for friends and family who had babies in the house. The Rimiclip is a polycarbonate clip with an adjustable arm that can be slid onto the rim of a cabinet frame. If the cabinet is pulled, say by a kid, the arm catches the frame and prevents the cabinet from opening further. An adult can easily pull the cabinet open by depressing the arm to clear the cabinet frame. An easy way to baby-proof a cabinet without using drills, screwdrivers, or screws and leaving no permanent damage to the frame.
Erik has spent over 1000 hours perfecting the design using his Makerbot Replicator 2 and is an enthusiastic proponent of how 3D printers are changing the landscape in consumer products. He has already launched a campaign on GoFundMe and is keen to get the Rimiclip to market at the earliest. He intends for the Rimiclip to be manufactured entirely in the USA and needs your support to make this happen.