Plastic Choices – What Visonic Dome Is Made Out Of & Why

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Choosing the right materials for your product design

Good industrial design is more than how a product looks. It’s also how it feels.

Good products are useful. So it’s important that your design is nice to hold. Consider the texture. Should it be smooth or rough? Consider the weight. Should it be heavy or light?

And good products are producible. You have to manufacture them. So whether it’s handmade or mass-produced, the production of your product is an important element of its design.

So we reach a crossroads. On one side is how your product looks and feels. And on the other side is the way it’s made. And material composition is the design element at the intersection. In other words, what will you make your product out of?

The materials chosen for Visonic Dome

Through some trial and error, my father chose the final materials for his design of the world’s first ultrasonic contact lens cleaner. Since I’m recreating his original design for its 32 year anniversary, it’s made out of the exact same materials this time, too.

We use two different types of plastic to make Visonic Dome: Polycarbonate (PC) and Polypropylene (PP) plastics.

Read on to learn the advantages of these materials and why my dad selected them.

Polycarbonate – the outer shell

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Almost everything you see in this photo is made out of a high-quality polycarbonate plastic. The only exception is the silicone button in the front.

Imagine your holding a plastic product in your hands. Does it feel cheap? Brittle? Light and insubstantial?

What you’re imagining is probably ABS plastic. Those are inexpensive and easy to work with. That’s why they’re some of the most common plastics today.

But Visonic Dome isn’t made with ABS plastic. Unlike other contact lens cleaners you find for sale online, Visonic Dome is made of sturdy Polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate is a higher quality, more durable plastic than ABS. It’s often used to make medical devices and protective equipment. The reason is that it has a high impact resistance.

It’s heavier and feels more substantial in your hand.

It’s also easy to manufacture with. That’s because Polycarbonate is a “thermoplastic.” It melts and liquefies at 315 degrees Fahrenheit – but doesn’t burn. That makes Polycarbonate perfect for injection molding. It also means that it’s easily recyclable.

Why Polycarbonate?

  • High impact-resistance means Visonic Dome won’t crack or break if dropped
  • Strong and dense plastic with a premium feel
  • A “thermoplastic” that melts without burning – ideal for injection molding
  • Easy to recycle
  • Naturally clear – easy to make in any color

Polypropylene – the baskets

Almost every part of the Visonic Dome is that high-quality polycarbonite as described above.

Except for one. And that’s the baskets that hold your contact lenses inside.

Any guess why?

Psst. The answer is in the way that you open and close them. 👇

Polypropylene is flexible enough to allow for a “living hinge” so the baskets can open and close.

Polypropylene is sometimes called “the steel of plastics.”

That’s because it’s so flexible and adaptable.

Flexibility is what makes Polypropylene the ideal material for these contact lens baskets. Since Polypropylene can deform without breaking, it’s perfect for creating a “living hinge.

A “living hinge” is a joint that swings open without any other parts or assembly. The baskets in the Visonic Dome are all one piece. In other words, there aren’t any extra screws or parts. There’s no assembly involved. It comes out of injection molding ready to go.

And these hinges last. We’re talking about opening and closing the baskets over 1 million times without any problems. Polypropylene is just that elastic.

Just like Polycarbonite, Polypropylene is a thermoplastic. So just like the rest of Visonic Dome, it’s easy to make with injection molding. And you can recycle it, too.

What’s more, Polypropylene has the unique benefit of being non reactive. It has a high resistance to chemical wear and tear. That’s ideal for something that’ll soak in disinfecting solution. And it’s widely used in the food industry. So we know that it’s safe and nontoxic.

Lastly, it’s also resistant to bacteria growth. For that reason, the medical industry uses Polypropylene for syringes, vials, and food trays. Again, a perfect choice for something designed to protect your eye health.

Why Polypropylene?

  • Super flexible
  • Bends without breaking
  • Perfect for a one-piece, “living hinge” design
  • Resistant to chemicals and disinfectant solutions
  • Resistant to bacterial growth
  • Nontoxic
  • A thermoplastic – great for injection molding

Beautiful. Simple. Iconic.

Do you like good design? Do you believe that beautiful products make your life better?
Visonic Dome is designed to clean your contact lenses with less effort. And it's beautifully simple.

Exclusively on Kickstarter, Visonic Dome is available only for a limited time. Back it early to get your "Early Bird" discount and save -20% off.

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