Sol - Food Blender
Many products exhibit the behaviour where the user will use a product intensively for the first few weeks but after this the product’s usage will drastically decrease. This shows a lack of consideration towards a product’s long term user experience allowing users to become frustrated and bored with their products.
Food blenders are a prime example of this behaviour. Inspired by the intuitive shaking motion shown by users, the blender works by tilting the blender, either forwards or backwards. The blending efficiency has been improved by creating a pulsating motion in the liquid. Stress points were analysed and reinforced with stronger material to prevent breakages. By designing the blender to these values the blender limits possible frustrations keeping the user more engaged and satisfied.
To improve the interaction, efficiency and durability of the food blender a rigorous research and development process was carried out over the course of the project to ensure the end result was as refined as possible.
Starting with blue foam prototypes the scale of the blender was quickly tested making sure the sizes fitted well in the hand and the grooves and details where comfortable to hold. The blender was then milled out of blue foam, roughly prototyping the tilt mechanism so that its interaction could be simply tested. Once all of the internal components had been modelled, a full cut away prototype was 3D printed to ensure all the components worked together without clashes before out sourcing the model to be made professionally.
A large part of the initial research consisted of testing a trialling sets of blender blades in an attempt to improve the blending efficiency, preventing bits from being flung to the outside and getting stuck on the sides of the jug.
To quickly and accurately prototype these blade designs they were 3D printed and assembled onto a nine volt motor rig, which was also 3D printed. This allowed the gears and overall stability of the blades to be tested before being refined and tested in an actual blender within water. The water tests where filmed with a slow motion camera so the liquid motion could be analysed to see if there was any potential improvement.