This university project gave our design team a challenge: create a new product from a rather old mixer patent. We acknowledged the trend of hand-operated machines and decided to design a hand-operated milkshake mixer for the Vacu Vin brand. The product and its design fits the portfolio of Vacu Vin and is the result of a team effort. During this process, I was responsible for the design and production drawings of the lid and I made all rendered images.
The Milkshake Mixer is one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on. We were handed an old mixer patent by Mark K. Maynard and the assignment was to reuse the claims of the patent in a new design for a manual-driven kitchen appliance. Here is Maynard’s original patent:The claims Maynard made were mainly about the fact that the mixer has a plastic casing, something that was unheard of in 1949. The case prevented the gears from jamming. We took the idea of a mixer, but modernized the product and mechanism and came up with the idea to create a milkshake mixer. A manual milkshake mixer would fit with today’s consensus of the creation of your own, healthy food. Just add milk, ice cream and fresh fruits to mix your own delicious milkshake.
Vacu Vin is a Dutch brand for innovative kitchen appliances, best known for their vacuum wine saver. We analyzed Vacu Vin’s product lineup and concluded that a milkshake mixer would be a great fit in their catalogue.
We analyzed the shapes used in Vacu Vin’s portfolio and came up with a great shape for our Milkshake Mixer, influenced mainly by Vacu Vin’s cocktail shaker.
We splitted up the design into 5 different parts and assigned each team member one part to design in detail:
- The handle
- The lid
- The mechanism
- The mixers
- The cup
I got to design the lid, one of the more central parts of the milkshake mixer as I’d have to intensively work together with the designer of the mehcanism, cup and handle to get every dimension right.
I started the design of the lid with a couple of sketches and requirements. The lid had to be high enough for your hand to comfortably rest on it but the handle shouldn’t scratch your hand as you were mixing. Also, the mechanism (epicyclic gear) should be housed in the lid and shouldn’t wedge when you put a lot of force on your turning motion. Using an epicyclic gear meant that I had to design the outer reversed gear integrated inside the lid.
I sketched and optimized the section of the lid and tried to figure out the best way to house the epicyclic gear. Also, the connetion to the glass cup was a point of focus as the connection shouldn’t be too fixed or loose.
This section shows the mechanism inside the lid. Gear 1 is the outer gear and drives inside the circular reversed gear. One mixer is connected to gear 1 and gear 1 also drives gear 2, which is connected to the second mixer. This way, both mixers spin around their own axis and circle around the entire cup.
I also designed the production molds for the part, which is a single die without shoves, as pictured below.The lid will be made of PP and for a production run of 100.000 pieces it will cost €0,82 per piece. The total cost price of the Milkshake Mixer will be around €8,34 excluding packaging and transportation to The Netherlands. My project was graded a 92/100.
My teammates finished their parts as well, and we combined our results to create rendered images of the product for presentation purposes. These images can be seen below.
This project was one of my favorite projects of my Industrial Design Engineering bachelor. It’s really amazing to design, develop and optimize a product until it’s ready to have its first sample made.