Additive Manufacturing Strategies

High School Students Use 3D Printer to Invent a Solution to The ‘Watery Ketchup’ Problem

ST Medical Devices

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Ketchup.  It may be one of the most popular condiments used in the United States, but don’t you just hate it when you go to squirt some on your burger and a bunch of water precedes it onto the bun? Now that delicious ketchup-1burger turns into a soggy mess. Two Seniors at Liberty North High School, in Liberty Missouri have come up with a solution.

Using a 3D printer and spending an entire year researching ways in which they could prevent one of the most common condiment conundrums from occurring, Tyler Richards, and Jonathan Thompson came up with a specialized lid. The mushroom shaped contraption, printed from plastic, fits firmly onto the ketchup bottle. Now, when a lover of the savory sauce goes to squirt it onto their burger, a perfect squirt takes place every time

The students, who invented the lid as part of the Project Lead the Way program, a national STEM program, first had trouble convincing their teacher to allow them to pursue such an idea.

“We came together and talked about our ideas, which ones would work, which ones wouldn’t, which ones were completely ridiculous,” Jonathan Thompson said.

ketchup-feat

After lots of research, and some convincing, the two ketchup lovers were given the “go ahead”.  They first spent a week sketching out ideas in their notebook, prior to coming up with an idea for their device. Thompson designed it with CAD software made available by the school, sent it over to Richards, who then formatted the file for the 3D printer. They both then sat back and watched their invention materialize before their own eyes.

The students are currently looking to get a provisional patent for the device, and hope that this high school project could one day become a lucrative business venture. Their research has indicated that the device could be produced for around 23 cents, and sold for as much as $3.  Check out the video interview that KCPT.org conducted with the teens below.  Discuss this story at 3d Print Board.

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