22 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2018 9:59 AM by makerkaren

    Super Glue Gun Progress

    makerkaren

      This week we're back to working on the Super Glue Gun. We've reviewed many of the comments and suggestions posted here on the Community and are factoring them into our design.

      The first thing we are addressing is the motor location. Ben originally had the motor positioned so that it was sticking out the side of the gun, making the gun unevenly weighted. I suggested that we move the motor into the handle with the gear facing upwards to make the design more compact. While this solved some bulk and balance problems, it created new issues of the motor interfering with the auto stand and the trigger. Our new idea solution is in the photo below.

      Super Glue Gun motor revision

      The proposed modifications here would also help another issue brought up by a community member, f5kn. We had the motor set farther back near the handle. However, this would make it so that there would be a significant time where the glue stick that was actively being melted would be past the point where it would be engaged by the motor gear, making the anti-drip function useless. By shortening the feed tube on the hot end and moving the gear as close to the hot end as possible, that drastically reduces the amount that the active glue stick would not be engaged by the gear. Hopefully negligible enough to not be too much of a design flaw.

      We also want the end of the nozzle to be long and narrow to reach into tight places. We're hoping that by adding on a nozzle as shown, rather than having the normal small cone at the end of the plastic casing, will be enough to achieve that design feature. The concern with this is, will the smaller hot end be powerful enough to melt the glue within the the nozzle from a cold start.

      Other suggestions we received said to make the stand mechanical and spring loaded rather than electrically extended and retracted by a servo. Others say to eliminate the stand all together in favor of a holster or cradle, or simply going cordless, using a heavy battery at the base as a stand like a cordless drill.

       

      At this point in the design process, we're looking at, "What makes our glue gun better than what is on the market?"  Can we keep enough features in the gun to warrant making an entirely new product? Moving forward, we turn to our community members for help.

       

      What features would need to be in the Super Glue Gun to make you want to buy it?

       

      Our key features are the auto extrusion and anti-drip. Are those features alone enough?

      Does it need an electrical auto stand? Or is a spring loaded stand, or is no extending stand a better solution?

      Should it be battery powered and cordless?

      Should it have an LED indicating when the hot end is up to temperature?

      Should it have an auto-shutoff timer so it can't be left on accidentally for too long?

      Are there other features we haven't considered that if included would convince you to buy such a product?

      Should it use 1/4" mini glue sticks or does it need to have a larger capacity?

       

      Please share your ideas and opinions below!

        • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
          genebren

          This is pretty cool!

           

          Our key features are the auto extrusion and anti-drip. Are those features alone enough?

          These are great features.

           

          Does it need an electrical auto stand? Or is a spring loaded stand, or is no extending stand a better solution?

          I am not really sure what the auto stand is.

           

          Should it be battery powered and cordless?

          This should be doable, but I am not sure it is completely necessary.

           

          Should it have an LED indicating when the hot end is up to temperature?

          I like this, but only if it is accurate.  Again, not sure if it is a must have.

           

          Should it have an auto-shutoff timer so it can't be left on accidentally for too long?

          This is a good safety feature.  This might be a must have.

           

          Are there other features we haven't considered that if included would convince you to buy such a product?

          Not sure.

           

          Should it use 1/4" mini glue sticks or does it need to have a larger capacity?

          1/4" should be fine (I prefer these smaller ones).

           

          Good luck!

          Gene

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
              makerkaren

              The auto-stand idea was to have a stand that extends from the front of the gun. There was to be a touch sensor on the trigger so that when a finger was over the sensor, the stand would automatically retract out of the way and then when the finger is off the trigger, the stand would automatically go down again.

               

              We made a discovery with designing out anti-drip feature in that we can relieve the pressure behind the melted glue, but don't have a good way to make it retract beyond that. So it may drip less, but it could still drip.

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
              fmilburn

              Does it need an electrical auto stand? Or is a spring loaded stand, or is no extending stand a better solution?  The stand is not a deal breaker for me

              Should it be battery powered and cordless?  No - potentially reduces availability due to battery charge

              Should it have an LED indicating when the hot end is up to temperature? Yes

              Should it have an auto-shutoff timer so it can't be left on accidentally for too long? Yes

              Are there other features we haven't considered that if included would convince you to buy such a product?  Reliability and quick heat.

              Should it use 1/4" mini glue sticks or does it need to have a larger capacity?  Larger capacity - this is for "power users" :-)

              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                mcb1

                This one confused me when I first read it.

                Super Glue Gun Progress

                I read it as a gun that dispensed Super Glue.

                rather than the possibly more correct "Super Hot Glue Gun Progress".

                 

                We made a discovery with designing out anti-drip feature in that we can relieve the pressure behind the melted glue

                I presume you are reversing the the glue stick, which effectively sucks back any glue in the nozzle area.

                That's the way I used to tackle using these things ... (I rarely use a Hot Glue gun as I find the warm-up time and the resulting non flexible blob do not suit most of my applications).

                Should it be battery powered and cordless?  No - potentially reduces availability due to battery charge

                You could incorporate wirelss charging into the holder.

                The old cordless toothbrushes used the more crude inductive charging, but the footprint was small enough to be a consideration

                 

                 

                A properly designed holder might be able to incorporate two connections that allow power for the heating aspect to be controlled while resting, and then the battery takes over when lifted for use.

                 

                Mark

                  • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                    makerkaren

                    Yeah, we realized the potential for confusion well after we started calling it the Super Glue Gun. But Super Hot Glue Gun seemed too clumsy a name?

                     

                    Yes, for the anti-drip, we are reversing the drive gear to retract the glue stick. We're not sure if that creates enough vacuum to withdraw the melted glue.

                    Since heating elements require so much more power, do you think inductive charging and a battery would be efficient enough? Electric toothbrushes are just a small motor(or similar mechanism) that doesn't require much. Generating heat takes a lot more. I don't know enough about the limitations and capabilities of inductive charging to know if it would work for this application or not. Interesting idea, though. Would be cool if it did work.

                      • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                        mcb1

                        heating elements require so much more power

                        Proper engineering principles apply here.

                        You need to understand what you're dealing with before creating a solution.

                        1. What is the power demand?
                        2. How long does it hold the required temperature when power is removed?
                        3. What power is required to maintain the temperature after you reach the desired temperature?

                        Until you know these answers, the solutions are hit and miss.

                         

                        The Hot glue gun my wife has in the cupboard has 9w as the rating.

                        Your design may be using something different, but watts are watts.

                         

                        The "beyond the phone" design challenge saw us using a 5w inductive charging from Wurth.

                        I believe this may now be 15w Wireless Power Design Kit - Medium Power

                        sleuz may be able to assist you in your quest if you want to explore inductive charging.

                         

                        Mark

                        2 of 2 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                      f5kn

                      Our key features are the auto extrusion and anti-drip. Are those features alone enough?

                      I do think so, yes. That's what I expect as a bare minimum number of features it should have.

                       

                      Does it need an electrical auto stand? Or is a spring loaded stand, or is no extending stand a better solution?

                      So far servo-powered seemed to be too slow. But if you go for battery powered/cordless, then you probably wouldn't even be able to make the gun stand at an angle. Then again, does it need to sit at an angle?

                      I know this is a feature Ben is quite passionate about, so let's try to see it from another, well, angle: How would the anti-drip function work the best? If the gun is at an angle or if it's positioned horizontally? Also, if the stand happens to fail, would the gun still work well if it rested on its side?

                       

                      Should it be battery powered and cordless?

                      That would be nice, IMHO.

                       

                      Should it have an LED indicating when the hot end is up to temperature?

                      This seems like an important feature, and one I'd expect from an "electronic" hot glue gun.

                      Perhaps the motor should only be activated when the melting temperature is reached? I mean, you should be able to load glue sticks into the gun, but if they don't melt as soon as they touch the hot end, then the motor might even fail. Thus I think there should be a safety feature to prevent the motor from trying to push a cold, unmelted glue stick through the nozzle.

                       

                      By the way, I still think one or two Archimedes' screws leading the glue stick to the hot end would work better than moving the motor closer.

                       

                      Should it have an auto-shutoff timer so it can't be left on accidentally for too long?

                      How long is too long? Half an hour? Then maybe yes.

                      It could lower the temperature after 5 or 10 minutes ("stand-by mode"), then shut off completely after 20. (these are just guesses.)

                       

                      Are there other features we haven't considered that if included would convince you to buy such a product?

                      If there was something that would prevent myself from accidentally burning my hand... But I can't think of anything that could work and still not make it prohibitively expensive or overcomplicated.

                      Have you considered an option to completely empty the barrel of the glue gun, making the motor run in reverse? I don't know if it would be that useful, but it would be a "free" feature.

                       

                      Should it use 1/4" mini glue sticks or does it need to have a larger capacity?

                      Mini glue sticks might force you to refill the gun way too quickly.

                      On second thought, that seems to be totally dependant on the amount of glue one would want the gun to "spit out" per second, if it's for heavy use or delicate work. It would be better if the two options were available, either by changing the nozzle or a second hot glue gun model. But if you could only make one, I'd say go for heavier use, thicker nozzle, bigger glue stick.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                        dougw

                        I'm not sure what has been suggested for this in the past so excuse any duplication, but how about:

                        • an auto-loader that can add in a new glue stick seamlessly as the old one gets depleted.
                        • adjustable temperature so you can make it a little hotter, allowing you to lay down a long bead of glue that is still molten when you stick something to it
                        • a connector for a remote  (foot-pedal) trigger allowing the gun to be fixed in place and the materials manipulated by hand. Mounting holes or flats for vise-mounting might be useful.
                        2 of 2 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                          beacon_dave

                          Perhaps you might get some more responses if this was set up as a poll ?

                           

                          From what I've seen mentioned so far, I think that one issue may be that glue guns are used in a number of different ways so some features are going to appeal to some types of user more than others. For example a heavy bulky cordless glue gun with large glue sticks might appeal to someone who works a lot out in the field away from mains power and they may not be too worried about drips. However someone doing precise work might need a much lighter weight compact tool and they may not appreciate it dripping. Some may spend all day every day using it, whereas others may only use it on occasions, and as has already been mentioned some may even ideally require a hands-free version.

                           

                          If having an auto shut-off timer then it might be worth adding the option to allow it to be enabled/disabled by the user.

                           

                          An LED to indicate that the anti-drip system has been compromised due to the position of the end of the glue stick in relation to the drive gear might be of use to some people, however this may be difficult to detect if a second stick has been loaded to follow the first.

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                              makerkaren

                              I wasn't sure how to pair the options down to get the feedback I needed from a poll. Too many variables at this point.

                              Your varied user scenario is definitely something we need to think about. There are a lot of use cases for a hot glue gun, so which features would apply to the most uses? Which users are we targeting? At this point, Ben is building the gun that HE would use since he knows what problems he has that need solving. I suppose figuring that out comes down to either just choosing features ourselves, or lots of market research.

                                • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                                  beacon_dave

                                  To be honest I wasn't sure that a poll would get totally meaningful results either but it might give an indication of the more popular features from this particular audience. I suspect more people will participate in a vote and get their 15points as opposed to having to put words together for 5points...  

                                   

                                  Personally I don't think there is any issue in taking it to market as "The Ben Heck glue gun" - plenty of people will be swayed to buy a product because a celebrity endorses it.

                                   

                                  If you don't plan to take it to market as "The Ben Heck glue gun" then that's perhaps where the polls may help to find out the features that majority of the participating audience are looking for and that are presumably missing from existing products so as you can come up with a new product with those features.

                                   

                                  However I get the feeling that in this case due to the variety of use cases, the polls would need to be in more of a matrix format to identify the specific combination of features rather than just the individual features. A bit more like the "DreamBoard" What is the DreamBoard?  project perhaps.

                                   

                                  I can see the attraction for some of having an auto stand, however I suspect that it is somewhat dependent upon the anti-drip feature. If you want to lay your glue gun down wherever you want, then you probably don't want it to drip wherever it wants. With that in mind then perhaps one needs to establish at this point whether or not the anti-drip feature can be made to work reliably or not.

                                   

                                  An alternative to the auto stand which I thought about the other day and could now perhaps tie in with Doug's  free-standing idea was to make the heel of the glue gun magnetic so as you could sit it down anywhere on a plate or tray to one side of the work area.

                                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                                shabaz

                                I've not used one in a very long time, but my main memory of it was the dripping

                                Maybe some LEDs to illuminate the end would be awesome - usually the end was chunky, so you couldn't sometimes see where it was being used, due to shadow.

                                Also the shape of glue guns was awkward because of the need for the trigger mechanism, but if it is motorized, it needn't take that shape, perhaps a more cylindrical design held like a fat pen could be comfortable? (if it isn't hot!).

                                • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                                  heblmedic

                                  Honestly I don't think it needs a retractable stand at all. Even a fixed or removable stand would be fine. I have one with a removable stand, but I rarely bother to take it off, as it is rarely in the way. If the extended nozzle works, a fixed stand has even less of a chance of being in the way as well. As much as the retractable stand is a cool idea, I think it's more of a flashy gizmo than a necessary feature.

                                    • Re: Super Glue Gun Progress
                                      tcjohnson

                                      I've got a cheap glue gun that I bought from woolworths years ago, I don't use it too much but my main gripe is the cable, especially when its cold outside in the garage, the cable becomes stiff, gets in the way and causes it to fall over.    It would be good to have a battery powered one that heats up quickly and becomes ready for use as soon as possible, like the idea of having a ready to use light like my toasty maker or maybe a small audible noise that tells you it has reached working temp.  Likewise if battery powered needs to power off automatically and tell you when it needs charging, again possibly with some sort of led or audible indication.  Perhaps instead of having an auto stand the stand could be a cradle that could also charge it, a bit like the automatic toothbrushes.