NVision, Inc. is helping ReadeREST, a recent winner on the ABC TV show “Shark Tank”, expand its line of magnetic reading glass clips by quickly and efficiently modeling common objects so they can be used as the basis for creating decorative new clip designs. NVision’s Engineering Service Division is laser-scanning objects selected by ReadeREST, creating computer aided design (CAD) models of new clip designs, and then using 3D printing to produce prototypes of the new designs. “NVision’s laser scanning is making it possible for us to economically expand our product line by developing magnetic clips that appeal to specific market segments, such as a ribbon for breast cancer awareness,” said Rick Hopper, President of ReadeREST.
Hopper is an entrepreneur who developed the ReadeREST product a few years ago because he needed a device to hold his own reading glasses. ReadeREST consists of a clip that holds glasses and is held on the outside of wearer’s clothes through its magnetic attraction to another piece inside the wearer’s clothes. Within months Hopper sold 65,000 units. He was chosen to appear on the TV show “Shark Tank” in which inventors pitch their products to five wealthy investors. Lori Greiner from the TV shopping channel QVC offered $150,000 for 65% of the company and also offered to distribute the product on QVC. The first time ReadeREST appeared on QVC it generated $100,000 in sales in five minutes. Sales on the shopping channel, retail outlets and over the web have increased to the point that the company has sold $7 million of the eyeglass clips in the past two years.
For its first two years, the company sold a generic design with the front slide of the clip in a chevron shape. Hopper had the idea of appealing to a wider market by adding designs to the front clip such as flowers and bows to appeal to women and a Texas Longhorn symbol to appeal to football fans. The roadblock was that hiring engineering consultants to create these designs using traditional industrial design methods would be very expensive and time-consuming.
Instead, Hopper contacted NVision, a leader in 3D non-contact optical scanning for over 23 years. NVision solved the problem by quickly and inexpensively laser-scanning the objects that Hopper had in mind. The company also scanned ReadeREST’s existing product and merged decorative models with the current product model to create a number of new designs. After scanning, NVision engineers converted the resulting point clouds into solid models then used a 3D printer to produce prototypes of the designs.
Hopper tried out the prototypes and asked NVision to make a few tweaks to the designs. After making the requested modifications, NVision provided the final solid models to ReadeREST’s injection molding supplier to build the tooling and start producing the new products.
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping