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Can the Paperclip Get Any Better? Yes, With 3-D Printing

Fed up with being told what was “impractical” for 3D printing, Artur Tchoukanov reinvented the humble paperclip.

Can the Paperclip Get Any Better? Yes, With 3-D Printing

[bunch of weird facts about paperclips here]
[bunch of weird facts about paperclips here]
[bunch of…Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. I was just 3D-printing this blog post. What’s that, you say? 3D-printing a blog post makes no practical sense? Says frickin’ who?

That’s exactly the attitude that Joris Peels and Artur Tchoukanov had toward the naysayers they kept hearing from, who said that anything from a mug to a kitchen oven knob was impractical to mass-produce via 3D printing. Just to show them up, they decided to redesign and 3D-print the most mundane (yet secretly challenging) mass-produced product ever: the paperclip. Behold the Infinite Clip:


Unlike the metal paperclip, first patented in 1867, the Infinite clip is designed to clip not just paper, but large objects like wallets, books, poles, tabletops — anything you want to print one big enough to handle, really. The can clip onto things in four different configurations — meaning it can serve as anything from a flat paper clip to a pole clamp.

That do-anything flexibility is what made the Infinite Clip so challenging to design. “It’s got to be flexible, durable, resistant to cracking, able to spring back into shape, handle all kinds of stress,” says Joris Peels. “We want people to print these out themselves, use them, improve them, and give us feedback about why it’s crap.”



Sounds like just the kind of bird-flipping insouciance that inspired the product in the first place. You can download the Infinite Clip file here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have my impossible blog-printing to get to.

[Read more at i.materialise.com]

About the author

John Pavlus is a writer and filmmaker focusing on science, tech, and design topics. His writing has appeared in Wired, New York, Scientific American, Technology Review, BBC Future, and other outlets.



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