Several design routes were explored on paper, thinking through the various mechanisms that could be used to combat the main issue of increased pressure within the vessel, as well as many aesthetic directions to find the perfect fit for The Chocolate Society’s brand.
Exploring a cap that would automatically ‘pop’ to accommodate the expansion of air when shaking hot liquid, the team calculated the increase in air volume required (driven by guideline fill levels) to ensure that all designs were feasible from the outset. Coupled with identifying a suitable silicon material, Santoprene TPR, offered the required flexibility, repeatability and thermal resistance properties early on in the development process to ensure performance risks were minimised quickly.
Seeking a modern and premium looking product that was also safe to use was also high on requirements list.
Replicating double-walled glass in food-grade Tritan plastic the team created a design that utilises a natural air gap that prevents the container getting too hot or cold. This also allows the user to still see the contents internally without the obstruction of a silicon grip or heat shield, and minimise the number of parts to be assembled.
Producing a number of prototypes internally proved critical, allowing the team to continuously test the performance of the product throughout its development, looking specifically at pouring, expansion of the vessel, heat transfer and thread performance. Keeping an eye on manufacture costs was essential to The Chocolate Society to ensure that it was not only a viable product to manufacture, but also cost sensitive to the end customer.
These iterative prototypes also enabled the opportunity to have early conversations with manufacturing partners to address costs and design improvements. Ensuring that the product functioned as expected before the customer invested in higher cost visual aids and high end prototypes for investor pitches and user testing also reduces project risk.
As with all of our projects, Al and the team at The Chocolate Society were kept in close collaboration throughout the whole product development cycle.
This was to ensure that they remained in control of the direction of the end product, whilst at the same time we were able to share our own knowledge to ensure the best outcome for their business. This also included advice for their Kickstarter campaign which ultimately gained the backing of over 1600 people.