A Close Shave

Skarp Laser Razor is Suspended from Kickstarter

Skarp Laser Razor

UPDATE 10/13/2015

Unpleasant surprise for 20.631 backers: The Kickstarter Integrity Team has suspended the Skarp Laser Razor project (see below). The reason: Skarp Technologies couldn’t provide a working prototype of their razor, thus violating the Kickstarter rules.

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If you were backing the project, here’s what you found in your inbox today:

Hello,

This is a message from Kickstarter’s Integrity team. We’re writing to notify you that the Skarp Laser Razor project has been suspended, and your pledge has been canceled.

After requesting and reviewing additional material from the creator of the project, we’ve concluded that it is in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of physical products that are offered as rewards. Accordingly, all funding has been stopped and backers will not be charged for their pledges. No further action is required on your part. Suspensions cannot be undone.

We take the integrity of the Kickstarter system very seriously. We only suspend projects when we find evidence that our rules are being violated.

Regards,

Kickstarter Integrity Team

No Comment From The Makers So Far

As the Kickstarter suspensions cannot be undone, Skarp Technologies just lost $4.004.922 from their backers just six days before a successful campaign.

Skarp Technologies haven’t issued a statement so far but one tweet:

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They immediately changed their website, which now points to their new IndieGogo campaign.

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After a few hours, the campaign is already backed by 212 people. Pricing, timeline and funding goal of $160.000 remain exactly identical as in the Kickstarter campaign.


What Happens Next?

In the weeks since the Kickstarter campaign started, there were heated discussions on whether Skarp could hold their promises. The topic was heavily discussed on reddit.

Skarp replied by showing this video of a prototype razor cutting a single hair with some effort.

Skarp Technologies noted:

“Many have asked us to show a closer shave with the prototype shaver, and we would love to, but can’t. Here is why.

The prototype in the demo video can’t cut much closer because the hand-made fiber in the prototype breaks when lightly bouncing it off the skin. It’s made of glass and is very thin. It also can’t be mounted with the necessary support to prevent that. The hand drawn fiber that you see cutting hair in the videos has an un-even surface that doesn’t uniformly couple the laser light into the hair over the whole cutting region. Your support will allow us order the new factory made fiber. Please see the time line in the campaign.

The new fiber design can be mounted rigidly & supported to prevent breaking. It also couples the hair-cutting laser ‘blade’ evenly into the hairs.”

Also, it’s still unclear whether the razor is able to work on just AAA batteries.

So what do you think — is this a fraud or can Skarp deliver? Please feel free to add your comments.


Here’s the original article on Skarp from All3DP:

Prototyped on a Makerbot 3D printer, the Skarp laser razor is an intriguing device that brings the art of shaving into the 21st century.

skarp laser razorThe Skarp laser razor looks like a traditional razor, but the way in which it works is entirely different.

Instead of using a blade, the Skarp — Swedish for sharp — uses a small laser which cuts through hair without causing irritation to the skin.

Having secured nearly $2.5 million on Kickstarter, the Skarp could potentially revolutionize personal grooming, not least because two billion razors or razor heads are thrown away each year in the US alone.

Another huge benefit of this razor is that it does not require water to shave. With many areas in the world experiencing drought, it’s another way that the Skarp benefits the environment.

The inventor’s name is Morgan Gustavsson, and he’s been working in the medical an cosmetic laser industry for three decades.

He holds the patent for Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) in 1989, which is a method still used by hair removal and dermatology treatments today.

How Does the Skarp Laser Razor Work?

skarp laser razor prototypesIn 2001, Gustavsson had the idea for a laser razor, but the technology was not available at the time.

Fast forward to the present, and after extensive rapid prototyping on a Makerbot 3D printer, the Skarp is ready for the market.

The razor works by using a particular light wavelength, and the creators are clearly excited by their discovery.

Wavelengths were already being used but could only cut through dark hair. After years of research and development, the team discovered a “chromophore” in hair which is present in every human.

This wavelength does not emit UV and the laser does not react to skin, only hair, meaning it is a very low risk design.

What do you think? Would you be tempted to try the Skarp laser razor?

Incidentally, this isn’t the only razor currently making waves on crowdfunding. Another success story is a travel edition of Ockham’s Razor over on Indiegogo, which is 3D printed in black PLA.