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Meet the Stapleless Stapler

Designed with a smart mechanism to pierce and fold multiple sheets of paper with only paper


The aim of the project was to reverse engineer an existing office based product in order to improve its design, sustainability and function. The product selected is a common piece of office equipment, the stapler. The criteria required a detailed analysis and presentation of the design process. The outcome was a stapler that could punch paper without the need of staples. 


Primary & Secondary research provided different insights into office equipment such as the stapler and how environmentally damaging it stands.


Secondary research findings highlighted that the majority of staplers retailed on the market require additional aluminium staples to puncture the paper and hold it together. Though a practical solution, there was the need for a more sustainable solution.

Primary findings enabled face to face research with different office environments, such as supermarket & administration. This showed how users physically 'hold' & 'use' this product and any concerns found. The most common being the need to refill the staples within the stapler, which was also found to incur further spending.

Photographed (right) is an existing solution that has attempted to look at this problem. Although a practical solution, some users found this not the best ergonomically designed solution there could be. Research has found there is a need for a solution, yet few exist. Sourcing this item reverse engineering could be conducted to learn how this product operates with its mechanics. Findings were collected and fed into the design.

Initial Concept Development

Research findings enabled conceptual development to take effect. The following designs show the design process from initial sketching to detailed development. Below are a selection of designs.

Initial Prototyping

To progress through the project models were built to replicate the true form of the design concepts. This provided a greater knowledge on the ergonomics and interaction between user and product. The following models illustration the application and positions of use of each design.

Further Concept Development & Prototyping

Further conceptual development through sketch work & modelling was required to finalise the design. The initial models provided interesting feedback where users preferred not only design elements but the comfort of using the product. The following illustrate further developments.

Design comfortable to hold

Design practical for use

Internal curve did not suit

Comfortable design but too sharp

Final Concept

The final design features a comfortable curved body with side clips. The squeezable clips on the side would allow for separation of the device and disposal of components upon the products end of life to meet recycling needs. The product is constructed with boss moulds and injection moulding. The product can be used in multiple positions as this suited the needs of users when using the product on a fast pace. The puncture feature initially sourced from the existing solution has been incorporated into the design.

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