UPDATE: Though our Kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful in funding, we have had great success in linking with other inventors and entrepreneurs that are ready to enter the manufacturing phase and need molds and parts to make their projects reality. Going through the process first hand has allowed us to understand our crowd-funding customers cost conscious and time sensitive deadlines. We would be pleased to learn about your project and work with you on bringing it to fruition.
Please read more about our journey with crowd-funding:
Silicone Ball Jar Water Bottle Project
Our silicone mason jar drinking bottle is a typical 24 oz Ball Jar with a silicone wrap made for on-the-go drinking. This is one of Casco Bay Molding’s first adventures in developing one of our own ideas using crowd sourced media. Below will take you through the design journey of the Casco Bay Molding Silicone Ball Jar Drinking wrap.
The problems with current products: We began with frustrations of other drinking vessel products and a brainstorming session for a solution.
- Completely plastic-free solutions are very limited. Yes, most plastic bottles are now made BPA-free, but plastic still carries a taste. Yick!
- Ability to be used with hot and cold beverages, without burning hand
- Not Leak-proof
- Break an expensive glass water bottle @ $30+, have to buy a whole new one
The Ball jar + Silicone Wrap: The Jar: a glass container that has spanned decades for various uses and has returned with a trending fury. Silicone: Our Healthcare Grade Liquid Silicone rubber is FDA approved and wont degrade or breakdown. Our reasons for choosing the Ball Jar and Silicone:
- Its Glass! Glass paired with Healthcare Grade Silicone=a super safe duo that’s reusable forever
- Its Green! Another Eco-friendly alternative to using disposable bottles
- If the jar breaks, a replacement is at most $5 and can be found at local stores everywhere. Plus, our Casco Bay Molding made Silicone cover will still work.
- Wide-mouth: makes it easy to clean. Throw it in the dishwasher, along with all the the silicone parts
Sizing Research: A size study of athletic-type glass water bottles currently on the market
Jar Sizes: Choosing the right size for an active lifestyle sparked lengthy deliberations between 16 oz, 24 oz, and 32 oz. Finally, after carrying around and drinking from the different sized jars for weeks, we landed on 24 oz. Our reasoning- most other athletic water bottles are in the 20-30 oz range and a good size for the amount of water needed for a game or everyday use.
Current Jar-to-Drinking Bottle Adaptations Research: We regularly use some of the products below ourselves. These are great ideas and many have been crowd sourced and successfully funded via Kickstarter and Indiegogo, as we hope to do. Through our research of using these products, we’ve found there are some key features that are missing to allow for an all-inclusive design for the on-the-go lifestyle.
Our goals based on research and field study that will be key in our design focus:
- Impact resistant
- Ease of carry
- Do away with metal lid/seal
Rough Sketches: Casco Bay Molding often contracts an outside Industrial Designer to draft up rough sketches to begin visualization of the product
We liked the simplicity of this design, and used it as a starting point for the development of a no-spill cap and carrying strap.
We explored some other options with how the straps could be held on and attached to the drinking lid. We took into account that the user should be able to pick up our design and know how to use it with little to no instruction. Too many straps and locking mechanisms gets confusing.
Final Concept Sketch: Ultimately, we circled back to the simplicity and elegant design of our original one-piece drinking lid design with some additions: a tethered no-spill cover and a holding band with carrying strap.
SolidWorks: After making critical design decision- such as jar size, and ironing out the components – strap, cap and wrap, the next step was putting the concept into SolidWorks to get a better understanding of form factor and function.
SLA Prototype: Once the SolidWorks model is complete, the next very useful step in development is creating a prototype. A prototype helps with human factors/ergonomics as well as fit and function. We worked with our local technical high school, Sanford Regional Technical Center, to produce a plastic SLA rapid prototyped part, as well as an outside vendor to produce a PolyJet prototype.
Crowd-Funding: A good way to get the word out to see if there is interest, pre-establish a customer base, and hopefully entirely fund the tooling and manufacture of your product is through Crowd Sourcing sites such as Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com. You can see our campaign here: Kickstarter: Silicone Ball Jar Drinking Bottle
A very special thank you to our local technical high school, Sanford Regional Technical Center- specifically we would like to thank 2012 graduate, Ema Jane Hutchins of Beatnik Branch Productions for creating our Kickstarter video, our two factory cameramen, Sanford Technical Center students Devin Dulide and Zach Gagnon, and to the CAD department for use of their 3D printer- all under the direction of Mr. Joe Doiron.