Coffee Grinder/Alarm Design Sprint

Grinder/Alarm Design Sprint

 I was talking to a friend who had the idea of a manual coffee grinder/alarm clock. It would sound off to the time it was set and it wouldn't shut off until you turned the crank for some time. I though it would be nice to give myself a 3-day design sprint, limiting myself to one iteration, with this idea. The goal wasn't to make it functional, but more of a looks-like design prototype with only 3D printing.


Ideation Sketching and Design


Almost an hour was spent researching grinders. Examining the design, reading reviews, and I was able to see a pattern in the design of grinders. You have the modern, tall, thin, sleek stainless steel grinders. And the short, stubby grinders with a more retro look. I wanted mine to be clearly modern but, not to stand out. To be neutral in wherever it is to be stored. The only accent pieces being the crank handle and clock.



I had the idea of making mine small enough to get a good grip with one hand as you crank with another. This is designed with the intention of only producing grounds for a couple cups of coffee. So I think the small size is reasonable. 


A constraint I gave myself was making the alarm portion of the device one solid piece that wrapped around the entire grinder. Also making it thick enough to theoretically house the electronics for the alarm clock.



The crank is the only outside piece that doesn't have much leeway for modification. It needs to be long so that grinding coffee beans isn't too strenuous of a task. The crack is also the big identifier for what the appliance is. When you see a grinder from afar, you almost immediately know what you're looking at.


CAD & Printing

Next I hopped on to Solidworks and quickly CAD'd up the major bodies of the grinder. All parts were printed on a FormLabs Form 2. The grinder segment, lid, receptacle, and crank were printed in white. The clock and handle, the two signifiers of the device, were both grey. 

Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of all of the prints, but once you've seen one you've seen all!


Assembly and Feedback

Finally, after I got all of the parts sanded I assembled the grinder.

The body size fits well within the hand. Allowing for a firm and comfortable grip. For the receptacle, I really wanted to make some screw threads for a better sealing. But I didn't want to go through the iterations adjusting the feel.

I like the way the crank arm turned out. It makes me want to make one out of metal so that I can get a good feel. Whatever material, it should stay white.

Overall, I'm happy with how this turned out. Maybe I'll work on it again, adding some functionality and better materials.