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Koji Incubator

In artisan cooking moulds are used to add depth of flavour and the promote fermentation in foods. An example of such mould is Koji. Koji is widely used across Asian countries especially Japan, it is a type of mould grown on grains. Koji is used as a seasoning in food to add a strong umami flavour, or used as a catylist in fermentations of foods such as soy sauce or miso paste. With the rapid increase in home fermentations in the western world a market has opened for a product that allows the user to safely and consistently incubate food grade moulds, such as koji, from the comfort of their own homes. Koji requires a constant humidity and temperature to grow, therefore the product will need to be constantly adjusting depending of the enviroment

Sketch Work

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Initially to start designing, a focus function was used to create a large range of designs. These designs although highly functional, all seemed very boring, this contradicted the specifications that the product should be loud and act as a conversation starter. Next a range of out of the box designs was created.

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Coil Design

Whilst creating the out of the box designs I was inspired by the idea of stacking split washers into a coil design. This would work by having hollow sections like the washers and connect together, creating a smooth airflow through the product.

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Dispite the "coil" idea being the most feasible of the concepts. It still seemed boring and lacked the impact required by the specification, to add more interest to the design with out changing the core concept. a second helix was added to the body helping to highlight the coil shape. At this point textures were also experimented with for the base, however these were removes because they distracted from the simplicty.

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With a concept I was happy with the next stage was making the product functional. To do this simple flow diagrams explaining the electronic functions were created to out line the required components. These components were then sourced and modelled into the CAD. This allowed the product base to be altered in order to house the electronics.

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After the electronic configurations were finalised, all that was left was some minor modifications to allow and improve function-ability, including multiple iterations of the water reservoir, adding ventilation, improving the connections between the layers, and adding decals and signage to make the product more intuitive.

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Finally, using CES an appropriate material was selected for each component, and an injection moulding flow analysis was carried out to show any unfeasible shapes in the design and to help calculate a cost estimate.

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