A Stealth Iron: Concept Refinement

When I last posted, my iron looked something like this:

I took this view into photoshop to mess with the proportion

I was happy with the body shape, but wanted to try a few different options for the handle in 3D – could it be held on the Z axis instead of the X axis, for example?

I built a foam model to roughly test some options.

This process allowed me to choose a handle configuration and also realise that I didn’t want to build my final model in foam. It’s really difficult to maintain sharp, straight edges and fine points disintegrate and crumble.

I began refining this design with cardboard. (I also drew some pictures between these stages to help clarify my ideas – hopefully I’ll remember to post them soon).

I maybe mixed a little aluminium in there for extra strength…

I put a lot of time into this model. Despite the time I’d spent and the compliments I received,  I still wasn’t happy with it. I think people were mainly impressed with the mediums I used and the difference in shape to their own designs. After taking elevation shots of the finished model, I was able to go home and properly analyse what I did and didn’t like about it.

It was still too tall. It wasn’t stealth enough. The angle of the handle needed to better compliment the other angles on the iron. It was too long. The centre of mass was too far back. The heating element wasn’t feasibly large enough to heat the whole soleplate.

Despite already sinking many more hours into model-making than I’d intended to, I tore my model apart.

I was able to keep most of the original components together and make small edits to each. I filled the base plate with spack filler and a lucky coin to give it slightly more realistic weight.

When I was finished with this version of the model, I was finally pleased with it.

After taking another round of photos, I traced over them, making corrections as I went, and then transferred them onto one big poster that explained the design.


Before receiving feedback on this submission, we were given a lecture about how to approach the next phase of our project: appearance models. A lot of focus was given to foam models, as that’s what pretty much everyone else made. All they have to do is slice up their foam models, translate the slices to a laser-cut scaffolding and fill it with plaster.

After hearing the lecture, I felt a little ill and gravely concerned for how I would be able to approach the next step. I had to wait 3 hours for my one-on-one meeting where my fears would be addressed.

The good news is that I’m allowed to 3D print some of the more complicated parts for my model. My lecturer also gave me some great ideas on how to build other parts. I’ll model the whole thing in Solidworks, which in theory should be easy because it’s full of geometric shapes.

I’ve counted how many parts I have to make and bring together in 4 weeks. 3D printed or not, this is not going to be easy and I am appropriately terrified.

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