Juicer Reverse Engineering
苹果 (píngguŏ) + pinguino
9 weeks (Mar 8 - May 5, 2019)
User and market research
CAD modeling and rendering
Part 1: Process Analysis
I used the juicer to get a better understanding of how it functions and how all of its parts work together. This also gave me an idea of what changes could be made to possibly improve it.
Part 2: Original Juicer Modeling
After understanding how the juicer works, I took it apart and measured each outer part individually using a caliper. I kept track of these measurements on a document with compiled pictures of each part.
This was my first extensive project focusing on SolidWorks and Keyshot, so I ran into some difficulties due to lack of knowledge. However, I learned to problem-solve efficiently through a lot of trial and error, which turned out to be extremely rewarding in the long run.
Part 3: Modified Juicer Modeling
After modeling the original juicer, I was assigned to modify it by focusing on form exploration, general usage improvements, and CMF (color, material, finish) trends. I explored the appearance and price of conventional juicers to find a way to make my design unique. Looking into the pros and cons of other juicers gave me an idea of what users think improvements could be.
Looking at different juicers on the market allowed me to see what kinds of features and forms are more favorable to users. It seems that the original juicer that I modeled was below the average price of most juicers.
After comparing Amazon's Top 10 Best-Selling juicers, I found that users favor juicers that are BPA free, dishwasher safe, and include a juicing plunger. Juicers with juicing plungers are also more expensive than juicers with juicing cones instead.
In order to improve the original BLACK + DECKER Juicer, I looked at customer reviews to focus on keeping the positives and reducing the negatives of the product.
Modified Form Ideation Sketches
I wanted to explore a unique form for my modified juicer. For inspiration, I explored unusual carafes and juice pitchers. The more I sketched, the more I realized that my drawings began to resemble penguins! I wanted to experiment with forms that made the pitcher seem more lively and friendly in a kitchen environment.
Modification Focus Points
There were some main issues that the original juicer had that I wanted to focus on for my modifications:
Problem 1: Since the juicer handle is hollow, it is difficult to wash and dry.
Solution: Make the handle a solid, curved shape.
Problem 2: The juicer spout is too wide and spills when pouring into certain containers.
Solution: Narrow the spout for a cleaner pour.
Problem 3: The juicer tray clogs easily. The user has to constantly empty it.
Solution: Deepen the juicer tray.
Problem 4: With a deeper juicer tray, there is less space for juice.
Solution: Make the body taller and wider.
Since the original juicer is simply white and grey, I researched current trends in colors, materials, and finishings to make my modifications more lively. However, I ended up being satisfied with the original colors for simplicity's sake.
For the final phase of this project, I conducted A/B testing research by conducting surveys comparing the original and modified juicer. I received useful insight on why simplicity may be more preferable in a living space versus the desire for a product that makes a statement in a room.
Interviewee 1: "Aesthetically, I prefer the modified juicer. I would personally purchase the original juicer, however, because the shape allows for easier storage. Bulkier items can seem intimidating, and I only need the size for a quick juice.
Interviewee 2: "I prefer the modified juicer because the shape of the handle looks like it would be more comfortable for my hands. When I juice, I prefer to juice a lot at once so that I have more left over for later. It's cute, and it makes a statement about my type of style in my living space."
Interviewee 3: "I prefer the original juicer because I have large hands, and the handle would be more comfortable for me to hold than the modified one. It's also easier to store and takes up less space on the counter. However, the modified juicer's dome looks like it could be cleaned easier."
After conducting A/B testing, the feedback I received made me aware of certain factors in my modifications that I did not consider before. I was mostly focusing on modifying for the sake of aesthetics and form, however, this made me compensate functionality and comfort. When I made my modifications, I thought of changes from my own perspective after modeling the original juicer. While I knew the inner-workings and criticisms of the product, I should have been more aware of an outsider’s perspective who does not know anything about this project. In the future, I would conduct A/B testing earlier on in my modification process. I would also like to experiment more with Keyshot to improve the quality of my renders with different lighting, settings, and materials.
Overall, this project mainly pushed me to solve problems efficiently and pace myself wisely for deadlines and renderings. I learned a lot through trial and error and having to redo parts over again from scratch. There were also a lot of research techniques that I got to have more experience with. I feel like this project has definitely made me become more familiar with Solidworks, Keyshot, and page layouts, but I still have a lot more to learn. This project has also made me realize how all of the many parts of products fit and work together and how vital each measurement is. I know this is only the beginning, though, and the knowledge-hungry side of me is looking forward to work with future challenges!