We wanted to make a donut shaped falafel so that the falafel is evenly distributed when you take a bite. Our Ofalafel mold shapes falafel mix into ready-to-bake falafel donuts. Once baked, just 2 minutes of frying makes them crispy and ready to eat.
Falafel mix is placed in the bottom, then the mold is flipped onto a baking tray. The falafel is separated with a knife, ready to be baked. Once it’s been baked, it can be transported to the falafel cart and stored. When a customer orders a falafel sandwich, it can be fried quickly and easily.
Our team continued a previous studio’s efforts to make a functioning donut falafel cart. On the first day of the studio we broke up into four different groups to work on specific parts of the cart and I decided to work on the mold. The mold is a very important part of the falafel making experience because it makes it different from all the other falafel making companies. We believe that our falafel mold creates great falafel that equally disperses the flavors throughout the sandwich, because our falafel are shaped like donuts. You'll never end up with a bite that has no falafel followed by one with nothing but falafel.
The mold is made up of two 3D printed pieces that are attached. The mold has a handle on the side that allows you to push up the inner part of the mold. The inner mold is detachable so that you can easily separate the falafel from the mold once it had been pushed out.
The original design of the donut falafel mold was very similar to the existing falafel mold. We wanted the user to place the falafel in the mold and then have a spring released so that the “plunge” in the middle would come out and would create the donut shape. After we began modeling it and doing many sketches we realized that this wouldn’t work so well mechanically, since the original design relies on not having anything at the center. We went back to brainstorming. Our second idea was similar to the first, in that the user would place the falafel mix around the plunger at the center. Instead of pushing the falafel out and sliding it off the mold, in our second design the mold would split in two and drop the falafel out. However, after testing this design in real life we found that the falafel mix would not separate from the sides of the mold, so we decided to go return to our original idea and make some changes. Our final idea was very similar to the original, but attached the part that pushes the falafel out at three points outside of the center to leave room for the plunger. We printed it and found that it worked, but the spring made the motion more awkward. We removed it and everything worked smoothly and easily!
Throughout the project we spent lots of our time considering the mechanics of the mold because of how unusual our falafel shape is. We also had a hard time getting the molds to work and having to come up with new ideas when they didn't.