Industrial Design [CASE STUDY] Barware Product Crowdfunding Scores $120,167

The Alkemista Alcohol Infusion vessels step by step INDUSTRIAL DESIGN process from idea to manufacturing.

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Design Brief

Ethan + Ashe: A modern bar and houseware brand crafting design-led science inspired tools for the gastro-enthusiast.

Brand Moodboard: masculine, earthy warm colours, class, finesse.

Problem

Individuals, gastro-enthusiasts and bartenders create creative custom signature infused cocktails for all to enjoy. However the current process is cumbersome and complicated as the process requires multiple tools not to mention the mess!

Solution

To design and develop an all in one bar tool that simplifies the process in infusing fresh fruit, spices herbs an botanicals to create unique custom cocktails.

Design Research

Beverage glassware study

Beverage glassware spout form, function and mechanism study

Study beverage glassware forms that filter out sediment from subsistences.

Investigated filter types: meshed stainless steel, filter paper, coconut shell carbon and plant based casing.

I used a portable tea infuser to infuse whiskey with blueberries. The trial infusion concluded that a modified meshed stainless steel filter with smaller meshed holes should filter out the sediment from botanicals.

What are the off shelf parts that could be used in either the prototypes or the end product?

Product Design Specification Summary

Design Specification

  • Minimalistic
  • Conical
  • Ergonomic
  • Modern
  • Erlenmeyer Flask
  • Japanese tea pots

Volume Capacity

  • Liquid: 750ml
  • Total: 1000ml
  • Infusion Elements: 250ml-500ml

Performance

  • Vessel must fit in hand comfortably and securely when holding, pouring and swirling the infusions.
  • Effectively filter infusions sediment from fruit, botanicals, herbs and spices.
  • Ease in placing and removing infusion elements
  • Air and Liquid Tight

Materials

  • Polypropylene
  • Borosilicate Glass
  • Tritan
  • Polycarbonate
  • Copper
  • Stainless Steel
  • Brass

Concept Design

The ‘Product Design Specification’ guides the different concept designs generated.

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The initial concept was based on a modified Erlenmeyer Flask.

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I further explored the concepts viability, however the concept was infeasible and abandoned.

To further my intuition and discover a feasible design I broadened my study by visiting physical retailers to inspect, view, dismantle and assemble products that may offer solutions to our problem.

concept design

We discovered a new concept. A classic whiskey bottle combined with a tea infuser.

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Pretotype Crowdfund

Pretotyping is a process to test an idea before its completed and then to iterate and improve based on the market reaction.

A pretotype may not be fully functional but provides limited function and performance.

Our client found a reputable far east manufacturer through Alibaba that specialised in glassware.

We discussed our intentions and specifications with the far east manufacturer and collectively we came up with our pretotype for a Kickstarter launch.

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Far East manufacturer hand making the initial prototype.

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The initial far east manufactured prototype was great however, the prototype had as we expected many issues that required solving before the product adhered to our specifications.

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Kickstarter Pretotype
The initial prototype was part of the pretotyping process. Therefore my client would only have continued their investment on a sucessful crowdfunding campaign.

Total Amount Raised on Kickstarter
$120,167

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Kickstarter Campaign Last 10 Days Chart

Pre-Order Sales: 2020 Units Average Sales Per Day: $3481

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Only 2% of Kickstarter projects raise between $100,000-$999,999.

Prototype To Product

Our clients and I decided that the Kickstarter prototypes shoulder was to be further rounded.

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The Kickstarter protoypes neck diameter was too large to allow a standard bartender spout to fit. The following necks prototypes internal diameter was 10mm reduced from 18mm.

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The Alkemista Prototype V2 was an overall improvement compared to the Kickstarter Prototype.

Although, the glass bottles shoulder was over rounded. The next prototypes shoulder is to be less rounded.

The new prototypes bottom seal during tests failed to be airtight. The Kickstarter prototype however performed superior as the new prototypes o-ring had less material to create a durable airtight seal.

The new prototypes bottom cap and glass when threaded remained to be uneven, they must be flush together.

My clients far east manufacturer and I collaboratively sought out a feasible design solution that solved the following;

1. Create an airtight seal
2. The user must find it easy to;
a. Assemble the Alkemista and create an airtight seal.
b. De-assemble the product after use.

Our far east manufacturerer came up with their design solution in obtaining an airtight seal.

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Both Design option A and B failed to deliver. The design was cumbersome to assemble and disassemble.

Precision assembly was required to obtain an occasional unstable and uncertain airtight seal.

The prototype after testing failed to adhere to the specification.

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My design solutions to the bottom sealing issue.

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I provided the far east manufacturer my design solutions in creating a simple but secure airtight seal.

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My air tight design solution was implemented in a prototype, after testing the prototype the prototype worked seamlessly.

The design was easy to assemble, disassemble and created that all-important sufficient and durable airtight seal that was greatly needed.

As great as my design idea was the idea wasn’t feasible.

The overall cost of implementing my design reduced my clients profitability.

There were additional costs and an overall cost increase due to:

• Complex Tooling were required.
• Far east manufacturer wanted a higher minimum order quanity for my design.
• Overall an cost increase per unit.

Our far east manufacture simplified my design as a result the solution became feasible to manufacture.

alkemista-alcohol-infusion-vessel-manufacturers-filter-seal-design-2a-simplification-tab-lock-designalkemista-pop lock prototype

Our far east manufacture simplified our design changed the costly male-female thread to an uncomplicated pop lock tab mechanism.

The design adjustment achieved the same design objective as my previous design.

The design held and centered the filter/strainer whilst keeping the ss strainer from not interfering with the threading process between the bottom cap into the glass that created an airtight seal.

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Over the development period our far east manufacturer built multiple prototypes, they all came back with problems.

But each one taught us something, how we could make it better. We had to go back to the drawing board.

But every iteration was an improvement. Every prototype was close to being an invention.

And then finally we had something we received the final production unit. It was worth it!

Photo-Realistic Renders

Photo-realistic renders were created using Keyshot a popular 3D rendering software widely used in the Industrial Design industry.

Adobe Photoshop was used in post production to further the each renders realism.

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Manufacturing

The Alkemista Alcohol Infusion Vessel final manufacturing technical drawings.

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Our far east manufacturer blow moulded the Alkemista’s glass bottle.

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Various other Chinese factories used injection moulding, sheet metal forming and stamping to manufacture the other parts.

The minimum order quantity of 3,000 units were shipped from China, Guangdong – Jiangmen to the United States of America – Los Angeles.

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Approximately 80% of the 3,000 units manufactured were pre-sold through Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

Meet Alkemista

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Invention Roadmapping

Roadmapping answers the important questions about your physical invention before you invest the capital and time to develop the idea from concept to manufacture.