Student’s coffee creation captures attention
by Katrina Phelps
Your coffee shop experience could change soon thanks to a UniSA industrial design student who has re-designed the coffee-making process.
Master of Design (Specialisation) student Tom Pyrzakowski (pictured filming for The New Inventors), has created the ‘vacuum bin’, a radical re-design of the current knock-out bin that is used to literally and noisily, knock out used coffee beans from the portafilter of coffee machines.
“To get a better grasp of the situation, I did some work experience in a café and spent a lot of time watching and talking to baristas. This was essential in helping me to understand what needed to be looked at,” Tom said.
“The current knock-out bin used in almost every café worldwide has many shortcomings such as baristas getting stressed wrists caused by the banging motion, noise creation and damage to the machine’s portafilter over time.
“With my design, that banging noise you hear in coffee shops would be gone."
The vacuum bin uses a small foot pump to pull air away from the top of the unit, removing all used coffee beans from the portafilter in one large clump.
“One of the trickiest components was the latch at the bottom of the unit,” he explained. “It needed to be light enough to let the coffee grounds drop but also strong enough to spring back up when the waste was removed and create an airtight seal. This has given me issues since day one.”
Tom's design earned him a spot as a finalist in the recent 2011 Australia Design Awards - James Dyson Award. This award is Australia’s top student design award and aims to discover and nurture young industrial design talent. And he has also been selected as one of Australia’s representatives in the global James Dyson Award, which will see him compete internationally against other student designs.
“The Dyson competition has always been a very prestigious award and is often recommended by our lecturers as a great opportunity, so why not give it a go,” he said.
“I have always enjoyed making new things and seem to be in my element when I’m in the workshop.”
Tom also captured the attention of ABC’s The New Inventors program. Tom was filmed at the City West campus in July and was featured on The New Inventors on August 10.
See The New Inventors website for more details.