Case Study: the Manufacturing Behind Edward Scissorhands

A few Halloweens past, an inventor brought Edward Scissorhands into the world. Although gentle in nature, Scissorhands boasts a powerful pair of scissor-hands with distinct design and manufacturing specifications.

By Serena Ngoh · October 30, 2019

A few Halloweens past, an inventor brought Edward Scissorhands into the world. Although gentle in nature, Scissorhands boasts a powerful pair of scissor-hands with distinct design and manufacturing specifications.

Scissorhands's hands were CNC machined using Grade 5 titanium alloy (Ti6Al-4v) to ensure they are lightweight, reducing fatigue over a long day’s use. Each of the scissor blades was machined with strict edge sharpness requirements, which required secondary grinding operations.

On-demand, low-volume custom manufacturing has given Scissorhands the tools to cut topiaries, groom pets, and even professionally style women’s hair. Since his scissor-hands are made out of titanium alloy, the material’s high strength makes cutting brambly topiaries a breeze. Additionally, the manufacturing network’s finishing suppliers added a custom anodize finish to increase corrosion resistance and performance, especially when Scissorhands affectionately carves ice sculptures for his human crush.

Prior to using a titanium CNC machining service, Scissorhands's inventor bought aluminum 6061 from a materials and tooling site to prototype his hands. CNC machined aluminum alloy is frequently used to prototype titanium parts due to its low price and rapid turnaround. The inventor was pleased with the results but needed the expertise and customization of engineers, so he sent in the full scissor-hand technical data package, including 3D CAD and a drawing, to the manufacturing network of machining experts.

Although Xometry did not actually manufacture Edward Scissorhands movie props, the Xometry application engineering team consults on projects not unlike Edward Scissorhands—where performance, tolerance, material, and finishing cannot be compromised to meet the application. Xometry’s online machine shop service can scale from prototyping to high-value production without the need to search for multiple suppliers. We look forward to your unique inventions this Halloween and beyond.

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