Innovation takes wing with Cablewings
Innovative cable winder implemented with Injection moulding
Creator: Vladislav Svetashkov
Industry: Consumer Products
Service: Injection Moulding
Many people have good ideas but more often than not they hit a barrier when it comes to putting them into practice. Protolabs’ suite of services opens up new avenues for creative minds, like entrepreneur Vladislav Svetashkov. He implemented his innovative Cablewings cable winder within no time at all, winning a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018.
Svetashkov grew tired of the constant tangling of cables marring the fun of using high quality tech products. The wild cables just didn’t quite fit with what are otherwise very stylish components.
Without hesitation, Svetashkov set out to find a solution to the problem. The graduate business economist and former IT consultant is the managing director of a start-up called “brezzl.”. The company is currently working on the development of a smart fridge camera that can be used to check the contents of your fridge while you’re out and about, enabling you to shop for specific items.
|At A Glance|
Svetashkov grew tired of the constant tangling of cables marring the fun of using high quality tech products.
The Cablewings cable winder: A discreet pad that attaches to the plug.
Cablewings uses small clamping wings on the outer sides for the beginning and end of the cable. Clamp, wind, clamp – and everything’s shipshape again.
Svetashkov began drawing sketches and folding paper models. The aim was to produce a minimalist winding aid for Apple products that could be attached relatively inconspicuously to the device’s plug. Often the entire cable length isn’t needed so partial unwinding would also be an advantage. The result is a discreet pad that attaches to the plug. There are small clamping wings on the outer sides for the beginning and end of the cable. Clamp, wind, clamp – and everything’s shipshape again. The “Cablewings” name came about almost by itself, then it was time for the critical step of putting it into practice.
How to produce it
Nowadays, CAD drawings are essential for production. Svetashkov turned to a freelance designer and together they produced the relevant models that matched his ideas. It was clear that Cablewings should be made of plastic, the question was: which plastic was suitable and who specialised in low-volume production at appropriate prices? The normal route is to produce a steel mould as the tool for injection moulding. The costs for this, however, are enormous and the lead times to implementation are considerable.
An Internet search for production possibilities and a tip from a friend led Svetashkov to Protolabs, low-volume production and prototyping specialists who feature a wide range of advanced manufacturing processes in their range and it was quickly decided that rapid injection moulding would provide the fastest, most cost effective solution. Svetashkov made great use of ProtoQuote, the intelligent online quoting tool offered by Protolabs, which produces a free interactive quote within hours accompanied by a manufacturability analysis. “We uploaded our model and had a price almost immediately. Although we’re not experts in the design of plastic parts suitable for production, we managed to get everything sorted with the tips from the quote review. We clarified other details on the telephone with Protolabs’ support department. After approval, we had our first Cablewings in series production material in our hands within a few days.”
Working with end use materials
There are many advantages to this ability to work with the real plastic material that will also be used later in series production. It is immediately possible to draw conclusions about its suitability for practical application. Requests for changes can be implemented straight away because there is no need to adapt expensive steel moulds and no need to wait until large stocks have been used up.
Speed to market
Start-up entrepreneur Svetashkov sees even more benefits, “We can get a practicable product on the market blisteringly fast. Hence the early Red Dot nomination, which we then went on to win as well. With more than 250 pre-orders, I’m very optimistic about how things will go from here. Naturally, we’ve registered design protection but we want to take the market by storm before any imitators pop up. With Protolabs we’ll get the drive necessary for this and I won’t have to compromise at all on the quality of the product.”
Protolabs supports brezzl.
Svetashkov had so many positive experiences with Protolabs when implementing Cablewings that he now wants to transfer them to brezzl.’s fridge camera. He says, “The housing is up for redesign. We need around 100 to 200 for the first test which we plan to have milled via the Protolabs CNC service. If this batch works, we’ll go straight to series production with the knowledge we’ve gained. This way, we’ll get production-ready products very quickly.” The Protolabs philosophy of offering a variety of production processes controlled online for low-volume production and prototypes strikes a chord with the young developer generation. It’s hardly possible nowadays to get real parts faster and easier than this.