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A Walk Through the Handy Museum

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We take a brief look at the years of prototyping and design refinements The Handy underwent before it was ready for release.

Early Casings

The core mechanical idea of the Handy — a brushless motor moving a stroker arm guided by a lead screw — was set in stone early in the development process.

The casing for the mechanical and electronic components was another story.

The Router

Figuring out how to house all the electronic and mechanical components within a plastic shell wasn’t a straight-forward process.

The first Handy prototypes were quite bulky — resembling routers or modems more than anything. The prototype pictured below was intended as a model for the overall shape of the plastic

Once the shape was confirmed, we created a functional prototype:

In this prototype, the Handy came with a protective shell held together by magnets.

Overall the design was quite bulky, difficult to hold, and not particularly simple to control.

In terms of control, we even imagined that we could have an analog stick for controlling speed and stroke length. It was also partially driven by our own desire to be able to play games using the Handy. As you’ll see in the next designs, the analog stick didn’t survive for long.

The Box

Our next major prototype focused on decreasing the size of the Handy. Our aim was to have a device that could be supported with one hand — ideally with enough tactility to be usable without needing to look at the buttons.

Early iterations of The Box couldn’t fit the printed circuit board that controlled the electronics inside the plastic shell. As such, the first design had an additional “control box” that sent the control signals to the mechanical components.

Eventually, we designed a long and thin circuit board that could be embedded within the plastic casing of The Box. It combined the buttons for the user interface and the pins for electronics communication on the front of the board with the processor and other electrical components like capacitors on the back.

Almost the Handy

At this point, we brought design and plastic experts on board to help us realize our vision. Their designs very closely resemble the Handy as it is today. Pictured below are two 3D-printed variants of Handy casings:

From this point on, refinements became minor and mostly focused on reinforcing the plastic structure of the Handy. However, as a fun fact and a testament to our roots in Nordic design: the circular base of the Handy is the same size as a typical Nordic snus container.

Last Words

We’re always tinkering with the Handy and looking to improve it. Our latest Handy Version 1.1 release made several minor improvements to the plastic, the lubrication, and general hardware experience. Get yours today from our store!