Happy wine o’clock
For those who enjoy a tipple and appreciate good design (which, to be honest, is probably most of us), you’ll be pleased to know that UK kitchen products company Joseph Joseph has made a foray into bar tools with its new BarWise collection that promises to revolutionise the way you open bottles.
One of the products in the range is the BarWise Corkscrew – an easy-action winding corkscrew that has been designed by Mark Sanders, principal of MAS Design in Poole.
Joseph Joseph, which was set up by twin brothers Antony and Richard in 2003, does have an in-house design team but also works with independent designers, who receive royalties if the product goes into production.
In fact, the brand’s launch product in 2005 was the Chop2Pot chopping board that Sanders invented. He has designed numerous products for the brand since, including a can opener and vegetable grater, with the most recent being the corkscrew.
“The brief for this latest product was fairly open, more of a shared vision, which I interpreted as a: ‘faster, more convenient wine cork remover, which is affordable and appealing,” says Sanders.
In the design process Sanders likes to combine sketching and CAD. “In SolidWorks I CAD’ed up fixed constraints like bottle and cork ranges. I usually end up with 1:1 CAD printouts as rough constraints and lots of pencil sketching over them,” he explains.
Sanders admits that initially the challenge of inventing a new ‘wine cork remover’ was daunting as many designers and engineers have approached it over hundreds of years, with many good solutions in widespread use. “Once I explored existing solutions, the focus on ‘speed to open and eject’ helped me dream up and sketch a wide range of alternative approaches. As if ‘brainstorming with self’, I didn’t judge even the wackiest ideas – as these often lead to unforeseen breakthroughs and new concepts.”
Sanders then worked up the five chosen concepts based on this shared vision, which he then took to Joseph Joseph for discussion. “These discussions are very productive, concepts are critiqued, added to, merged and expanded. What makes this fun is that they are always fast moving, positive and full of enthusiasm – a perfect environment for shared creativity.”
Getting the chosen concept into a fully working prototype was a top priority as these can be user tested with feedback and observations being much more valid than asking users to guess what a new product could be. This did prove somewhat challenging, however, as the concept was based on a pair of complex mouldings in hard, slippery acetal. “The need for many internal sharp corners and perfectly smooth sliding surfaces meant that, even with tiny high speed cutters, 5-axis CNC’d parts did not work.
We tried several additive processes but these didn’t work either and the only choice we had at this stage was injection moulded prototypes, but deadlines loomed but this ‘back against the wall’ can force creativity!
“The concept evolved to work in a similar way, trading a longer screw for a simpler mechanism. From there on the process went fairly smoothly towards production, with many reviews, tests and improvements along the way,” says Sanders.
Those who have met Sanders or have heard him speak at one of our DEVELOP3D LIVE events, will know that he is a very enthusiastic designer so there is no surprise that he found this project to be “super enjoyable.” That enthusiasm, attention to detail and love of mechanisms may have something to do with why the product is doing so well. “I love challenges and I love working with passionate clients – seeing the product selling well is the icing on the cake,” he smiles.
Raise the bar
The Belle-V bottle opener is so beautiful that you’d want it on display on the bar counter rather than hidden away in a drawer.
Chicago-based Belle-V was founded upon the notion of taking an ordinary, everyday product and elevating it into a highly covetable accessory with an heirloom quality. Its launch product was an ice-cream scoop designed in conjunction with San Francisco-based product design agency Lunar and it has since turned its sights to the serving spoon and bottle opener. The latter was invented in 1892 with the introduction of metal bottle caps and although every bar has at least one, they are rarely admired for their functionality or aesthetics.
“Lunar was challenged to craft a beautiful bottle opener whose design would create an emotional connection with the user, while quickly and easily removing bottle caps,” explains Christian Rogge, senior industrial designer at Lunar.
Through using a combination of effective ergonomics so that it fits snuggly in the hand, simple design expression, sturdy scratch-resistant construction and highly durable stainless steel it managed to do just that.
With such a timeless piece of design, it would be a shame not to put it to use as often as possible.
Cheers to that
Thanks to PicoBrew you are now able to get fresh craft beer without having to go to the pub. In fact the brewery comes to you – in miniature form and sits on your countertop.
Two brothers in Seattle – Bill and Jim Mitchell – founded PicoBrew in 2010 out of frustration with the home-brewing process. Joining forces with an engineer Avi Geiger, they set out to create a smallscale brewing machine .
A few years (and many pints of beer) later they launched PicoBrew Zymatic for professional use and have now shrunk this technology further for the home brewer first in the Model S and most recently in the Model C, which is currently a Kickstarter campaign (closing on 13 May 2017) that reached its funding goal in just seven hours. This could be down to PicoBrew’s reputation for innovation or the fact that people just like fresh craft beer.
When it came to designing this new countertop model, Geiger once again turned to SolidWorks. “We’re always innovating at Picobrew and trying to deliver that in the shortest time possible,” says Geiger. “SolidWorks helps us build complex machines where every part needs to fit and function, and that’s something worth raising a glass of fresh craft beer to.”
A look at three innovative products that can take pride of place on any bar counter