Nescafeé alarm cap
It is this humble editor’s opinion that the greatest invention never to take off is not the Virtua Boy, nor the Vibrosaun but the Teasmade. A brief success in the 60s and 70s they’re now consigned to the kitsch and the charity shop, but why? Who wouldn’t want to wake up with a steaming hot beverage? Even if you did have to add milk yourself and it was weaker than you needed it to be at your bleary-eyed worst.
Thanks to 3D printing the hot beverage-alarm clock is being brought right back into the 21st century with a little marketing exercise from instant coffee giants Nescafé.
The fading glory of freeze-dried instant coffee in preference of a de-caf, hand-crafted, mocha, hazelnut macchiato with soy milk has forced the Nestlé owned stalwarts into some decisive and inventive action.
Together with a host of Mexican creative agencies Nestle have developed the Alarm Cap, a limited-edition 3D printed lid with Arduino powered electronics that raise the dozer from their slumber in a scientifically researched manner.
Seven different alarm sounds, such as bird song, working in tandem with a gently pulsing light are designed to wake in a natural and calming fashion. The user opens the lid to switch off the alarm and in turn is greeted with the refreshing, awakening smell of morning coffee.
Interestingly the 200 limited edition lids use 3D printing from both sides of the coin, the exterior is printed in Nylon SLS by Shapeways, ensuring a quality and finish as well as matching colour, and the inner piece, which houses the electronics is printed by the creative agency NOTlabs on their in-house MakerBot Replicator.
Though it is unlikely to be used on a mass scale this is an interesting toe dipping exercise by the largest food company on the planet. It shows how 3D printing can be used to create beautiful design and house some clever technology on a small scale.