A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
For me, shaving is a therapeutic relaxing escape. That’s how it should be! However, shaving wasn’t always an indulgence. For a long time, it was a tedious chore. Then I discovered shaving using safety razors; complemented by occasional hot-towel straight razor shaves from a Master Barber.
During my quest for amazing shaves, I tried countless razors. As an engineer, I'm wired to experiment and optimize. I was especially drawn to the Vintage Toggle Razor. I was mesmerized by its eccentric mechanisms, the timeless elegance in the honest 50s design, and the means to adjust razor blade exposure to personalize the shave.
Even though I enjoyed using the iconic Vintage Toggle Razor, I always fantasized about a modern refresh with the pesky bits fixed and the best bits refined. What is possible with fresh perspectives, premium materials and advancements in 3D CAD and Manufacturing? The only way to find out was to do it!
Until the Janus Razor, which has 36 components in its assembly, the Vintage Toggle Razor was the most complicated safety razor ever created.
This project is an opportunity for me to add delight to a daily experience for some. I’m a maker, a designer, and an engineer who is very passionate about and deeply understands the shaving experience. As a bald guy who must shave daily, shaving is an experience that is near and dear to me. After all, grooming is a celebration of oneself, and shaving is central to my grooming ritual.
The Janus Razor is a brilliant and serious upgrade to your shaving routine.
Customize your shave at the turn of a dial, effortlessly rinse during a shave, and instantly open to load or remove the blade.
The thin flexible razor blade is loaded flat, and gradually bends after the doors make contact and continue to lower. Eventually, the razor blade is clamped between the stationary bedplate and the doors. This is the shaving position.
The Janus Razor uses readily available and affordable double-edge blades. On Amazon, these blades cost $10 for a pack of 100.
Indexed rotation of the dial knob moves the safety guard up or down. These precise up or down movements change the Blade Angle and Blade Gap to ultimately vary Blade Exposure – how close the blade edge gets to your skin.
The safety guard acts like a bumper that prevents the razor blade from having free access to your skin. The safety guard is the reason why these razors are referred to as safety razors.
Each selected setting, locked in place by a mechanical detent, has a specific Blade Exposure.
There are 9 settings to choose from; to accommodate uniqueness in skin sensitivity, hair coarseness, shaving skill, stubble length, and amount of time available to shave. Odds are high you will find a setting or settings that work for you!
If you are new to safety razors or have sensitive skin, first experiment with Settings 1-3. These settings, with low blade exposure, are perfect for exploring and discovering because they offer the most nicking forgiveness.
A happy compromise between shaving closeness and nicking forgiveness. This is my sweet spot! This is home!
These are the pro’s settings. Or the pro’s pro! Only venture here if your shaving game is on point for the closest shave using the fewest strokes!
Technique is equally important as the tool. Hold the Janus Razor at an angle of ~33°-39° to the skin when shaving. After ~5 shaves, this angle will become intuitive.
Rinsing the Janus Razor during shaving is breeze! The rinsing position is activated by flicking the toggle knob half-way; the doors will lift slightly so that the blade is loosely held for rinsing without removal.
The Janus Razor opens and closes quickly. Flicking the toggle knob fully activates the open position; the doors will swing open for blade loading or removal.
Flicking the toggle knob to axial alignment with the handle closes the razor to activate the shaving position.
All the 36 components in the Janus Razor are made of 316 stainless steel - a premium material with outstanding corrosion resistance.
With the right care and attention, the Janus Razor is designed for a lifetime of delightful intuitive use and proud ownership.
Modern exacting manufacturing yield tight tolerances to give symmetrical blade exposure and precise increments at the turn of the dial.
The razor blade loads snug and remains centered because of the tight toleranced bridge in a custom gage (instead of cheaper standard gage sheet metal that would give a sloppy fit).
Simply put, both sides of the razor head shave the same at each setting!
The low-profile doors entirely cover the razor blade end tabs for nicking safety in an aesthetically pleasing package.
This is a feature even the pros will appreciate because it offers nicking safety especially when shaving around the mouth, nose and ears.
The Janus Razors will be available in 4 PVD coated options - CrN (“White Gold”), Accented CrN ("White Gold”) Accented TiN ("Yellow Gold”) & Accented TiAlN ("Black Gold”). PVD coatings are a staple in machining tools because they offer micro-hardness for abrasion resistance and lower friction co-efficient during metal cutting.
On the Janus Razors, the PVD coatings offer enhanced aesthetics, improved scratch resistance and outstanding corrosion resistance to the premium base (316 Stainless Steel).
The settings on the Janus Razors are laser marked in custom typeface with a vintage vibe for a lifetime of crisp legibility. Each Janus Razor will be individually serialized.
The Janus Razor has 5 ergonomic improvements that will enhance your shaving technique!
The Janus Razor is longer + heavier than the Vintage Toggle razor. A heavier razor steadies the hand. Tools with longer handles are generally easier to use.
The center of mass is biased to the top (2/3 up); the Janus Razor is top heavy so that you don’t have to press hard for amazing results.
The Janus Razor has tight-toleranced components interacting with each other to enable the different mechanisms. Periodic lubrication, like once or twice a year, through the lubrication port will help you keep your Janus Razor in tiptop shape.
The dial adjustment and toggling mechanisms are crispier, snappier, more audible and more tactile; to confirm actions you take like moving the one setting to another to increase blade exposure or activating the rinsing position from the closed shaving position.
There will be an opportunity to personalize your Janus Razor by laser marking (using the custom typeface) a personal message on the inside of the doors. The inspiration? Back in the day, the inside of watch case backs was usually engraved with special messages for loved ones; out of sight but present for only those in the know!
More specifics to follow closer to the shipping date.
The Janus Razors will be available in 4 PVD coated options - CrN (“White Gold”), Accented CrN ("White Gold”) Accented TiN ("Yellow Gold”) & Accented TiAlN ("Black Gold”).
It adds up quick – a premium material, premium ground bar stock to run on the Swiss CNC, manufacturing small volumes in the US means no economies of scale, the design calls for lots of operations/touches requiring disparate capabilities that are hard to find under one roof, and the Janus Razor is an assembly intensive design.
This well thought-out and realistic project plan gives the skilled manufacturing partners adequate time to produce great work. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Janus Razors ships to countries that USPS ships to.
You are responsible for duties, fees and taxes applicable to your region. This additional cost typically ranges from 0% - 20% but can be as high as 200% for some countries.
It has been a fun and interesting two years researching the shaving science, designing, prototyping, shaving and sorting out manufacturing to find local skilled partners who are as passionate about the project as I am. I’m immensely proud of the manufacturing ready design of the Janus Razor.
Janus Razors needs your support to overcome the minimum order quantity hurdle set by the manufacturing partners, and to procure tooling. 5 out of the 36 components in the Janus Razor are tooled.
When the set-up costs are high, like for the tooled components in the Janus Razor, most manufacturers won’t fire up the presses if the minimum order quantity (MOQ) hasn’t been met. Even the raw materials (RMs) suppliers impose MOQs. With a good read on volume to produce, the manufacturer can schedule production knowing which machines to use, how long machines will be tied up, how much RMs to order, which operators will run which jobs and so forth.
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The best way to get your questions answered or concerns addressed is to send Janus Razors an email (email@example.com)
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Janus Razors is a Minnesota Design shop that is passionate about designing and manufacturing accessories for the modern discerning gent.
Expect what Janus Razors builds to be thoughtful expressions of classic men’s gear; blending old school simplicity, retro good looks and modern performance wrapped in premium materials.
For Janus Razors, success is crafting delightful experiences for novices and pros alike - tools that are a joy to own, built to last, and most importantly fun to use. Janus Razors will only create for experiences we are passionate about. Why? Passion is the foundation for excellence.
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I’m a maker, designer and licensed professional engineer in Minnesota.
So, why a shaving razor? This project is an opportunity for me to add delight to a daily experience for some. Shaving is an experience I deeply understand and I’m very passionate about. As a bald guy who must shave often, shaving is an experience that is near and dear to me. Grooming is a celebration of oneself, and shaving is central to my grooming ritual.
I have a Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering, a Master of Manufacturing Systems Engineering and over 10 years of engineering experience.
Founder/Engineer/Designer, Janus Razors LLC.
Risks and challenges
Fulfillment is complex, and poor execution here can adversely affect the delivery schedule. Janus Razors will use BackerKit, a data management tool specifically built for crowdfunding campaigns. This tool enables creator-backer interactions, transforms responses into itemized orders complete with the updated shipping addresses, pledge levels and packing lists. Additionally, this tool allows convenient postage purchase, shipping label printing, and automatically emails tracking numbers once rewards have shipped. Adding sophistication to fulfillment means I have more time to execute on product quality instead of messing with spreadsheets.
5 out of the 36 components in the Janus Razor are tooled. Debugging and fine-tuning until these tools pass first article inspection (FAI), and start producing quality parts can be lengthy and costly. I’m using a shop that will design and fabricate the tools, and then produce the parts using those tools. This eliminates the scenario of one shop troubleshooting another shop’s work.
Janus Razors relies on all its manufacturing partners for on-time delivery of quality parts for downstream processes. A missed delivery date by one partner means that downstream partners and Janus Razors might miss their promised delivery schedules. Local manufacturing partners who made the prototypes will handle production. Local means addressing issues in timely face-to-face interactions. No conference calls!
Design Tweaks During Manufacturing
When scaling from prototyping to production, design for manufacturing changes might be necessary. These changes will only be made if design intent is not adversely affected. I will be judicious and will clearly communicate the impact on product performance and delivery schedule. Since I do all design work and engineering changes for Janus Razors, and changes will be done in face to face consultations with the manufacturing partners, turnaround will be quick and negative impact to the delivery schedule should be minimal.
Better Than Expected Demand
Demand that surpasses expectations is good problem to have but can push out the delivery schedule. Here is a scenario – if the Swiss CNC machine produces 15 adjustment dial knobs per hour, then to produce 1500 pcs means that this machine will be tied up for >100 hours before it can be set-up to produce another part. >100 hours because one must at least account for changing machining bits/cutters/drills/end mills/inserts, lunch breaks, inspections, and reloading bar stock every so often. If the demand is only 300 pcs, then after >20 hours, the Swiss can start making another part. Janus Razors and its manufacturing partners will need your patience as we work through better than anticipated demand.
Life happens, and circumstances and priorities change. After the campaign ends, Janus Razors will honor refund requests (minus the Kickstarter platform fees). Refunds can take several days to show on your credit card (typically 3-5 days). Refund requests well after the campaign has ended, and when Janus Razors is in the midst of production can mess with manufacturing economics and pose a risk to the entire project. Part cost is dependent on volume breakdowns. What is completed is inextricably linked to what is not yet completed! Janus Razors strongly believes that honoring refund requests is the right thing to do. Thanks for your support.