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3D Printed Gillette Tech Open Comb Base Plates

Just had a shave with the Mild baseplate. I printed this one in PLA+. Used a post-war late-40's oval slot Tech top cap. Charcoal Goods Brass Bishop handle. Astra blade. Great shave! Still way too much blade feel for me. But I like the level of efficiency with this setup. I would rate this shave as a 9 out of 10. Very good results. Just a bit too harsh, and too much blade feel.

@RDM if you can keep this efficiency level but lessen the blade feel, you may have a winner. That is always the trick. Its the reason why people are will to spend large dollars with razor makers like Wolfman to get super efficient razors that are amazingly smooth and comfortable. I will test whatever baseplates you care to share with us. You have done great work here. Thank you so much for your efforts.

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Many thanks for being the test bed with this. It wouldn’t be progressing without your efforts and feedback. Much appreciated.

Putting aside the blade feel issue, do you think the Mild version is not too aggressive, and a sensible step up from the mildness of a Tech shave? I don’t wan’t to keep backing the design off so that it ends up shaving just like a Tech. There’s not much point to that.

Given my complete inexperience with razor design, blade feel, and what contributes to it, is something that I find difficult to completely pin down. But I would guess that the following cause and effects might be at play.
1. Less blade exposure would result in less blade feel.
2. Tighter blade clamping would result in less blade feel.
3. Shallower cutting angle geometry would result in less blade feel.
4. Heavier components would result in less blade feel.
All of these should minimise the vibrations in the blade that are induced by the process of cutting whiskers.

If this is the case, and I’m happy to be corrected, the only variable I really have to play with is the blade exposure, which if I back off too much will reduce the design to shaving just like a Tech. By design the blade is already clamped/sandwiched tightly from edge to edge as it can be, and the cutting angle geometry is limited/defined by the cap itself. So, I’m open to other thoughts and ideas.

Next week I’ll model up something which is another step milder than the Mild, and let’s see what that does. Given the limited scope there is for some of the variables hopefully we can can find an acceptable sweet spot for efficiency, with acceptable blade feel. But the geometry constraints might prevent us from getting something “perfect”.
 
Even if you make the blade exposure very small or completely neutral, the open comb design will keep it from ever shaving exactly like a Tech.
 
Putting aside the blade feel issue, do you think the Mild version is not too aggressive, and a sensible step up from the mildness of a Tech shave? I don’t wan’t to keep backing the design off so that it ends up shaving just like a Tech. There’s not much point to that.
The mild version as it exists with my setup, given variances in materials and printing… Is not too aggressive, and is quite a bit more efficient than a tech. A lot more efficient. I would be willing to slightly reduce the efficiency to get more comfort and a bit less blade feel. I will look forward to the next revision. Thanks for doing this.
 
OK. I've jumped two steps with this one. Let's see how it fares comfort wise. By design it has 0.1mm negative blade exposure.
 

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  • GILLETTE OLD TYPE TECH BASE PLATE - FEEDBACK ADJUSTED PROPOSAL A.zip
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OK. I've jumped two steps with this one. Let's see how it fares comfort wise. By design it has 0.1mm negative blade exposure.

I went into the university today and printed out the new, improved base plate. Visually, it is hard to tell the difference between the original mild and the new, extra extra mild. However, I could tell the difference when I shaved with the extra extra mild. Make no mistake, there is still considerable blade feel (on par with my Gillette New Improved). But whereas I considered the original mild to be an interesting experiment (meaning, something I'd use very infrequently), the extra-extra-mild is something I could use on a regular basis. This base plate will be a welcome addition to my OCtober razor rotation.

The 3D printer:

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The new, extra extra mild base plate (blue) in my fat handle Tech, with the original mild base plate (red):

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Well done @RDM!
 
Great to see people printing these and giving feedback!

If anyone's feeling adventurous I've designed a Henson style deep gutter base plate for the Gillette Tech cap as well. It has a 1mm blade gap to help with rinsing, and an increased negative blade exposure of 0.25mm in an attempt to tame the blade gap. In theory it may hardly shave at all, but based on the previous designs being much more aggressive in practice it's possibly a good place to start.

This one will be a bit of a gamble as to if/how it will perform.

HENSON STYLE GILLETTE TECH BASE PLATE 1.jpg
HENSON STYLE GILLETTE TECH BASE PLATE 2.jpg
HENSON STYLE GILLETTE TECH BASE PLATE 3.jpg
 

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  • HENSON STYLE GILLETTE TECH BASE PLATE.zip
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I gave the Extra Mild version "A" plate a whirl today. Very nice! It takes out a good bit of the blade feel, while leaving enough to let you know you are shaving with a formidable beard buster. The efficiency level is pretty high as well. The overall shave is a little rough, but then again, I am a Wolfman shaver, so that will be the case with most anything else in that efficiency range. Nice work! I am looking forward to seeing if you do any further adjustments. I think this baseplate will still be a bit too aggressive for a lot of people. But it works for me. Thanks again to @RDM for the efforts on this project. I will wait until someone else test shaves the Henson style and reports back here before I give it a print. ;)

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Thanks to BradWorld and InkStainedWretch it appears that the series is in need of a major reset.

The latest Double Mild iteration will now be deemed the Aggressive, and I’ll create a new Medium and Mild, each a single step down.

Does this sound about right?
 
What you are doing is really interesting, and clever. I've spent a little time in the past designing in my head. I came to the conclusion that blade exposure is due to the top cap dimensions. Am I wrong? Or is it a contributory factor.
Cap and Base Plate geometry together determine the blade exposure, which I believe is defined as the minimum measured projection of the blade from the theoretical bridging line between the Cap and the Base Plate, as per the following image.

BLADE EXPOSURE.jpg
 
Cap and Base Plate geometry together determine the blade exposure, which I believe is defined as the minimum measured projection of the blade from the theoretical bridging line between the Cap and the Base Plate.
Don't forget the good ol' B&B Wiki. Safety Razor Parameters: Illustrated and Defined page HERE

... and the illustration to save you a whole click :wink2::
full
 
This thread is crazy! Cant believe people can get these wherever they are just by hitting a button..
More of a mouse click, but yeah! Like the Star Trek Replicator from the original series. There have been so many practical things I have made with my printers. If I can’t download it from the web, I just design it myself in Tinkercad, etc. Who would have believed this 10 or 20 years ago. Not dissimilar from those of us old enough to remember the first fax machine or cell phone. 😎🤓
 
If it's not inappropriate to ask, what is the cost of materials to print a baseplate like this? I've always been fascinated by 3D printing but have no clue how it works or what the materials cost for something of this size/design. And this is making me think about could I have a replacement handle printed for my injector razor, if such a design exists... very cool.
 
If it's not inappropriate to ask, what is the cost of materials to print a baseplate like this? I've always been fascinated by 3D printing but have no clue how it works or what the materials cost for something of this size/design. And this is making me think about could I have a replacement handle printed for my injector razor, if such a design exists... very cool.
Pretty much pennies for things this size. Mine cost the equivalent of 5 USD to be printed using one of the more expensive 3D printing processes. There are a number of different technologies in use.
 
I managed to print the new Hensen base plate today and had a first shave with it tonight. (The pictures below were taken before I smoothed out the edges with a nail file.) Keep in mind that my sweet spot is a Gillette Fat Boy on 5. In my opinion, the Hensen base plate has a bit less blade feel. I ended up shaving more but sound than by blade feel. The end result was good, but not as good as shaving with the Fat Boy. (If BBS is a 10 - unobtainable by me - then a typical shave with the Fat Boy is an 8.5, and the Hensen base plate a 7 or 7.5.) I may revise my rating up as I become more familiar with this razor.

Personally, I would not want any less blade exposure. Were it up to me, I'd designate the Hensen base plate mild, and the last iteration of the Old Type base plate aggressive. I'm assuming that the two base plates with a given designed blade exposure would, in fact, deliver similarly mild or aggressive shaves.

It would be nice to see a base plate with a designed blade exposure somewhere between the Hensen and the last Old Type base plates.

I know that these base plates are intended for use in Gillette techs, but would it be possible to include two extra holes for razors that have two posts for blade alignment? I have a Tech clone that is like to try these base plates in, but it has the two posts.

By the way, I asked how much the material costs. I was told that a reel costs about $10 (Canadian) and I probably used 10¢.

Overall, good work @RDM.

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