Spilt peppercorns on the kitchen counter and salt residue on the table. This autumn we wanted to explore an easy-to-fill, mess-free grinder that feels comfortable in hand and enhances the basic user experience. We used our 3D printer to create and assemble a working mill using a modified ceramic Crushgrind mechanism.
Addressing the issue of unwanted spice residue proved relatively straightforward. We turned the mill upside down so that it rests with the grinder mechanism facing upwards; nothing groundbreaking here, it’s been done before. The challenge was finding a shape that still looked like a salt and pepper mill, albeit inverted. We needed an unmistakable graphic that was also optimally proportioned to fit perfectly in your hand.
The shape was influenced by our easy-fill solution – splitting the turning knob in half to create both a removable lid and a funnel into the main body of the mill. It also had to be able to turn comfortably and provide a stable base for the object. Its diameter and volume were key to all of these functions, and so an important element of the overall design.
Iterative rapid prototyping helped us to develop “feel”. We wanted to ensure the mill is easy to grip, sits comfortably in hand and enhances the physical experience of grinding spices.
The end result is a beautifully working concept study in 3D print. It’s a mill that leaves no mess, its function summarised by its silhouette. We call it Easy Phil.
See the project here