“We created something unique, and unmatched in the paper craft market.”
Decorative paper punches are a popular way of cutting intricate patterns into paper or card – a little more advanced than your average office hole-punch. The paper and textile craft market in the UK has a user demographic of over 90% female, aged 40-90 years. A large proportion of this user group also suffer from age-related conditions, particularly arthritis.
Tonic Studios’ original paper punch comprised of a simple two-piece Zinc die-casting, with a heavy duty return spring. When users began complaining of paper-jams, production engineers increased the force of the return-spring. This cycle continued until customers were left with a paper punch that was incredibly hard to operate, especially for the typical user group.
Competitors had developed simple levered mechanisms to reduce operation force, however, levers are ultimately limited by the size of the product – we had discovered an opportunity for real innovation in this market.
We built an engineering test-rig to prove our concept (an uncommon arrangement of levers, slots and rack and pinion gears).
Our final design radically reduces the operation force of the paper punch, taking advantage of the unique arrangement elements in the drive mechanism.
We managed the smooth handover to production engineers across several suppliers in southern China.
If you have a similar project you’d like to discuss, contact Think Refine.