Last Monday we met with Ben Holmes who is the co-founder of Aeronaut Brewinng. We talked with him about the brewery and he told us how he wants us to make them a beer tap because they currently didn't have one to give to bars that serve their beer. Our design prompt was, can we make a unique and ergonomic beer tap for their brewery. We brainstormed many ideas of how we can create this. Some of our ideas included more basic simple tap handles with just the company logos on it to more creative taps, like snow globes or lava lamps. Are solution was to print a shape using the 3d printer and then make a mold of it using smooth on. Lastly we poured a clear resin in the mold to make the final product.
Our first iteration was pretty simple, our ideas were just the company's name or logo on a simple cylindar shape beer tap. Our ideas worked but they didn't work well. They clearly advertised the brewery and would have been pretty easy to make. How ever they were basic and boring tap handles. The boring taphandles other breweries use would have been more interesting than these tap handles. We decided we needed to make the tap more unique and different than existing ones. We had to change the shape and find something that would make it unique while still clearly relating it to Aeronaut. We needed to do this becuase while these designs work they didn't work well and Aeronaut wouldn't have been very happy giving out these beer taps.
Our second iteration of the tap handle was the snow globe idea. We drew several sketches and in theory it seemed pretty cool. It was a unique idea and we hadn't seen any images of snow globe tap handles. Additionally it was unique and looked cool. However when we thought about it more carefully there were some major problems with it. First off was the chance that the substance inside of it would leak. Another problem was that we couldn't really create a clear hollow object that we could use on the outside. Additionally a snowglobe normally requires you to shake it for it to work but the tap handle wouldn't be shaken when used. Lastly Ben the man from the brewing company was very enthusiastic about it and wanted something simpler that would have a smaller chance of breaking. So we went back to the drawing board and worked on coming up with more ideas.
Our last iteration of our project was our final result. We had decided to make a 3d print an object and make a mold of that object which we could then use to cast resin. We started off with just making a bunch of sketches of different shapes and designs we could make. We decided that we would make it out of clear resin so we could put objects inside that would relate to the company. Once we had a shape we liked we made a test print that was one fourth of the size to see if we still liked the shape once it was tangible.Originally we were going to put a 3d printed chair with some 3d printed balloons in it but it wasn't going to work so we decided to put wires shaped like balloons in it instead. It worked pretty well. It was a unique shape and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally we were able to relate it to the brewery by using clear resin and placing the chair and wire balloons in it. There were some problems with it however. The mold takes over an hour to dry and the resin takes a day. Another problem we ran into was how to suspend the chair and balloons in the unhardened resin. If we had more time we would have incorporated the company logo on the top of the tap. So that it can be used for marketing the beer and would stand out more.
Our final product is a beer tap made out of clear resin. It was made by printing a 3D model and then making a mold of that model. You then pour a resin mix into the mold and place a 3D printed chair with wires shaped like balloons that are glued on the back of it into the mold. When it hardens you just pull the resin tap out of the mold and drill a hole in the bottem. It is robust and you can manufacture multiple examples of it using the same mold. You would screw it onto a beer tap and then when pulled down it would cause beer to flow out of the tap.