Bottle it

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Swig from your Sigg

Sigg bottles are made from leak-proof, recyclable, extruded aluminium: perfect for storing your New Year detox supply of water; or gin to help you fall back off the wagon.

Whatever the tipple inside, the bottle itself is the result of over 100 years of Swiss craftsmanship – originally designed as a bed warmer and later transformed into a drinking flask for use by mountaineers up in the Alps.

All components are designed, engineered, sourced and manufactured in Switzerland under the watchful eye of Sigg product development manager Andreas Germann.

“Every year a new collection is introduced, comprising more than 150 designs that complement current colour and fashion trends,” states Germann. “The designs have allowed Sigg to move from a functional product to an aspirational lifestyle brand that combines Swiss craftsmanship with the best of international art.”

Underneath the art is the traditional aluminium body; a special liner inside the bottle to prevent any taste or odour transfer from different beverages, and a bottle cap that is tested at least 55,000 times to check for any change to the material.


All components are modelled in Autodesk Inventor taking in all the traditional detail as well as any new designs.

“Bottles and caps are developed and improved based on consumer or retailer insights,” says Germann, adding that these are worked on in a dedicated development team ‘lab’.

“This team is responsible for coming up with sketches and technical product features, as well as carefully considering production feasibility. The development team will also design and/or adapt any tooling necessary for production.”

The bottle model is then sent out to various graphic and industrial designers for them to create the artwork and any other additions to the cap. “This step is necessary as more and more competitive re-usable bottle companies are launching ‘design’ bottles,” says Germann.

The whole process is very hands-on with CAD playing only a small part. Traditional physical testing is employed; with emphasis on the trial and error techniques that have been used at Sigg for decades.

The resulting bottle is fashionably attired on the outside, but is an incredibly tough and sustainable piece of design.


Drinking a pint of ‘council-pop’ has never looked so elegant or damn sophisticated since the launch of the KOR ONE. At first glance it could be passed off as a trending fad; another example of ‘over designed’ gimmickry. In reality it’s had a lot of thought and care put into its sleek lines and distinctive shape.

“KOR Water recognised the need for a healthy, sustainable, environmentally sound way to stay hydrated and challenged our design team to create a reusable water bottle as innovative and inspirational as it was healthy and environmentally sound,” says Ravi Sawhney, CEO of California-based RKS Design, the team behind the KOR ONE.

Its distinctive obelisk shape, the integrated ‘halo’ carry handle, the white trim, a spout designed for pouring and to feel good on the lips, and a one-button opening mechanism that gets rid of fiddly screw-tops leaving the lid hinged open at 180 degrees: it’s pretty special for a water bottle.

Initial concepts and sketches were turned into a 3D model that could be reworked to encompass all the key design features using PTC CoCreate, giving the team a flexible model that could be used in a variety of ways.

“Our firm’s in-house rapid prototyping lab produced models that aided various aspects of the design process in establishing appropriate ergonomics, aesthetics and function,” explains Sawhney.

By doing so RKS achieved what it describes as the ideal size and shape of the mouthpiece: “the single, most key point of user interaction.”

Such was the desire to keep the bottle crystal clear it was at the bottom of the bottle where the design team worked closely with the manufacturer to eliminate the “gate”. The ‘nobbly bit’ normally located in the centre to optimise the flow of plastic was moved off to the side because they wanted the bottom to also remain clear.

Once you’ve drunk from a KOR ONE you’ll never be able to show up in the gym using an old Gatorade bottle again.

Beer monster

After your detox has ended (failed spectacularly) you’ll want to use your new drinks vessel to help get back to normal – fitting in a super-size beer.

Cool Gear International designs, manufactures and markets an innovative line of freezer bottles, storage containers and insulating products that can use a reusable “freezer gel” to keep drinks and food cold longer.

The company’s fun product line grew out of the imagination of a team of artists and graphic designers that initially eschewed 3D design tools.

This all changed when it came to manufacture.

“When we began having some issues working with overseas manufacturers, we realised the need for a 3D CAD system,” states Cool Gear designer John Mason. “We believed that a 3D CAD system would not only provide greater accuracy, but would give us greater control over the final design, resulting in less variability and creating the efficiencies we needed to support an expanding product line.”

Taking the 2D designs into SolidWorks, the team can better visualise the final product. The software also helps Cool Gear rework designs quicker, and better manage its data compatibility when working with its foreign product manufacturers.

“More of our products involve multiple pieces,” says Mason. “The improved visualisation we enjoy with SolidWorks helped us to do a better job on that design. As a result, we were able to create a higher-quality product, while reducing the design cycle and minimizing scrap at the same time.”

Cool Gear are also benefitting from in-house rapid prototyping, using its 3D data to build life-size test models on its Dimension SST1200 3D printer.

“There is just no substitute to holding the physical design in your hand,” exclaims Mason. “Before implementing 3D CAD, we had to wait on prototypes, which often did not match what we envisioned.”

The company estimates that it is producing cups, containers and mugs 25 per cent quicker than before, pushing its previously 2D designers to be more creative with the possibilities – such as its monster 1.6 litre Titan Mug, which should get you through even the dullest first half of the football.
Holding your drink with the latest in reusable bottles

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