When baking we often need to spoon and scrape in quick succession. Instead of dirtying two utensils, now there is one that will do both jobs.
The Swoon is an offset spatula spoon from London-based kitchen brand üutensil.
“Swoon is part of a new hand tool range with each tool doing at least two jobs,” explains Gavin Reay, founder of üutensil.
“We are not trying to force two functions together, they are functions you would conceivably be using at the same time.” üutensil was formed in 2009 by Reay, an industrial designer and director of London based consultancy And Design.
With four children, he was inspired to create functional kitchen tools that reflect how people really live and cook.
Starting out with the Spudnik potato masher, today the üutensil product range has grown to around 20 tools, which are sold worldwide.
The Swoon design process began with a discussion between Reay, the design team and the marketing director. From there, sketches were formed with one or two then modelled in SolidWorks.
The final design features an offset spoon head and a silicone edge that has been bevelled for scraping along the side of a bowl or pan – Reay calls this the windscreen wiper effect. The soft non-slip handle also has a rest built in to prevent the spoon slipping down.
“With this product, once we had gone past the CAD and 3D printing stage, we went straight to a silicone tool. We 3D printed some nylon spines that we over moulded with the silicone tool. We then pretty much had a finished product without having to do any injection moulding.
“Obviously with the final product, the spine is injection moulded but doing it this way helped speed up the process and meant we could start photographing and marketing the Swoon before production was complete,” says Reay.
Swoon is part of üutensil’s hand tool range along with the Flipp – a turner, drainer and grater in one – and the Pinch++ kitchen tongs. “These products form the back bone of the hand tool range that we are going to bring out over the next couple of years,” says Reay.
Spoon for all
With its deeper cavity to hold contents securely, the S’up is a perfect spoon for shaky hands.
The project began as a design exercise between Mark Penver, an intern at Glasgow product design consultancy 4c design (now a permanent member of staff) and Grant Douglas, a man with cerebral palsy, to create a one-off prototype.
From sketches, Penver moved quickly into SolidWorks creating a range of spoon heads and handles.
“We worked a lot on the curvature of the handle. So when the spoon is on the table there is a larger area to grip because it is raised off the surface,” explains Penver.
When Douglas received his final prototype, it transformed his eating habits. With such positive feedback, 4c Design decided to try and bring the S’up Spoon to market in the hope that it could do the same for other shaky hand sufferers.
To fund the aluminium tool for the injection moulding process 4c Design launched a Kickstarter campaign.
“We’re currently building a new business plan around it and Grant is taking on a huge part of that,” says Penver.
“We’ve also done a round of vacuum cast prototypes so we can start doing trials before we buy the expensive tooling and build interest around the spoon,” says Penver.
When camping, you don’t want to lug loads of different utensils into the great outdoors. So, the San Francisco-based outdoor company Alite alighted upon an innovative idea – a threein-one cooking utensil set, where a spoon and spatula combine to form tongs.
In designing the Clover Cook Set, Alite asked as many people as possible about how utensils could make it fun and easy to cook outdoors.
The overwhelming feedback indicated that most wanted simple to use, yet multifunctional utensils that were easy to transport and store.
“Armed with this information, we put pen to paper and started sketching. Ideas became a multitude of tape, cardboard and wood prototypes,” explains Tae Kim, Alite’s founder.
These rough designs were taken into CAD (Alite uses Rhino and SolidWorks) and the resulting models were 3D printed.
Having created two injection mould tools, it was ready to go into production.
The Clover Cook Set, which is made of BPA-free, food-safe Nylon 6, comes with a lifetime guarantee. “Our key initiative is if we could make the products last a lifetime that would be more sustainable than making something that would fall apart.
We work with our vendors and manufacturers to figure out the best manufacturing process for that,” says Kim.