Palm Unbreakable Boating and Camping
Product Design - Consumer
To design drinkware for outdoor use that satisfies the usage and aesthetic needs of boating, camping and outdoor enthusiasts.
Robert Wilson - Managing Director/designer
Danny Dang - Production Manager
Lara Blamey - Marketing Manager
Atlas Tooling - Toolmaker
Whilst researching the market for safe plastic glasses for outdoor use, Managing Director, Robert Wilson, realized that most unbreakable, plastic drink ware on the market seemed to copy popular designs in glass without consideration of the elements: wind, uneven, moving and/or slippery surfaces, or the lack of storage space. Wine glasses would easily tip and those that were stable, tended to slip on wet surfaces or weren't terribly attractive to use. And although the footprint was pretty much universal, most did not stack for ease of transport or efficient storage.
So the project brief was to design an attractive range that had the following fit-for-purpose attributes:
-The weight & feel of glass
-The mouth-feel of fine glassware
As this was an outdoor range - the aesthetic should project a rugged fit-for-purpose toughness
The big idea was that this range was to be designed for the purpose for which it is used.
Project Innovation / Need
The Palm Unbreakable Camping range brings together a range of attributes that makes this range unique.
-Unbreakability is achieved by the selection of a tough co-polyester material for the top and a soft non-slip base which absorbs impact
-Dishwasher safety is achieved from material selection
-Stability is achieved by low centre of gravity designs, wide bases and thick weighty sections in the base
-The non-slip base is achieved by using the 2 shot moulding process whereby the 2nd material (TPE) is moulded directly onto the 1st shot creating a permanent bond.
-Stackability in the wine was achieved by designing a step in the top onto which the base rests and in the tumblers by adopting a tapered shape. Jamming together of the stacked tumblers was prevented by altering the angle of the base at the point of contact
-Glow-in-the-dark was achieved by adding a master-batch to the base TPE
-The weight and feel of glass was achieved by having thick bases and a thick wine stem and by using the 2 shot process.
-The mouth feel of fine glassware was achieved by having thin and smooth drinking rims and by selecting a tough material that would not crack when squeezed.
The design challenge was to satisfy the desired fit-for-purpose features whilst achieving a contemporary look
The wine was the most difficult. Consumers have a preference for the traditional tapered exterior shape with a corresponding blown interior which is not possible through injection moulding because of the need to withdraw the core. The Palm design is novel and innovative. The top section is tapered to give the wine a traditional look and the internal section has a tapered the other way to enable the core to be retracted. The more the tapers - the thicker and more unsightly section at the step and the smaller the wine base which needs to fit into it. The internal taper needed to be the minimum - which we achieved by gradually increasing the taper and then making the base to fit.
Another novel feature was to locate the parting line in the centre of the top which eliminated the need to have an unsightly vertical parting line up the top. This feature reduced the cost of the tooling but created significant tooling and moulding technical issues.
The main issue with the tumblers was to control unsightly secondary reflections causes by the coloured base reflecting up through the part. This was resolved by making and the base surfaces parallel and the having edges sharp.
Palm Plastics is certified to International Environmental Standard, ISO 14001. This commits the company to continuously reduce energy and waste. Practically all manufacturing material waste is recycled on-site.
Equipment used for manufacture comes from Europe and is fitted with the latest low energy features.
Our drinkware is made for tough materials that will not break in normal use and are dishwasher safe. This gives them an indefinite life. Most competitor's product is made from acrylic blends that is brittle and not completely dishwasher safe – which gives them a relatively short life - which is wasteful of resources. In the event of disposal, the materials we use can be recycled.
Our products are also made in Australia, reducing transportation and emissions used by importing products from Asia.
The stackable feature reduces transport emissions