Thanks everyone for your support! We learned a lot about the crowd funding process. Along the way, we received amazing amounts of media coverage! Plus we got the attention of potential sponsors! We hope to make a big announcement soon. Meanwhile we are looking at the option of opening an online store to make and sell limited quantities of 3D printed glasses and cups. Please contact us at email@example.com get on our mailing list. Media inquiries can also reach us by the above email address.
--The Cosmic Lifestyle Team
The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is designing a product of the future, today!
This product combines the beauty of the classic Martini glass with the physics of space science. If you take away gravity a liquid becomes something different. It’s sticky. Surface tension keeps it clumped together into blobs. If you shatter that blob, dozens of little blobs scatter everywhere. Then it sticks to your clothes, your skin, everywhere. It is hard to clean up. The current space technology solution for managing liquids is simple: keep it in a bag. Squeeze bags are ubiquitous. You use them for camping and travel. They are practical. They are also ugly, and you cannot smell the liquid, which is important for things like coffee, tea, and cocktails.
The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is a fluid dynamics and lifestyle experience design experiment. We are creating an open air drinking container that allows you to enjoy the aroma of the drink, yet keep the fluids under control. Your mouth completes the connection like a straw and you can suck the drink into your mouth.
We are also hoping to inspire the idea of a future when space hotels are in orbit and settlements are on other planets that people can relax and enjoy the experience of a quality drink, no matter what the gravity! Design aesthetics is just as important as the technical capabilities, and what is more stylish than a cocktail glass?
We chose to 3D print the glass because we can revise the design quickly. The Zero Gravity Cocktail Glass is a complicated design, and it helps to build physical prototypes to understand the shape and to test. The printing process is time consuming. It currently takes 15 HOURS to print just one glass. Compared to making a mold, it is still a lot faster. Mold making makes sense if you are ready to mass produce an object.
This campaign will help us test the glass in real weightless environments, which is very difficult to simulate on Earth. The cost of materials, babysitting the process, and cleaning the glass is not cheap. A basic hobby printer cannot make the glass, because it does not create the support structure. Our best glass prototypes come from high-end $30,000 printers, but that is about $1000 a pop. We are currently using a mid-range printer, which is a happy medium for quality and price. For the campaign, we are seeking third party services which can give us a a good deal for modest print run.
Not that long ago the US Space Program inspired a whole generation of kids with a vision when regular folks like you and I could live, work and play in orbit around the Earth, on the Moon, or even on Mars. It took a few (long) decades, but there are now some private companies working to open that door: via space tourism, asteroid mining, and eventually settlements on the Moon and Mars.
While working with the Space Tourism Society, Samuel Coniglio conducted research on the infrastructure needed to maintain a sustainable off-world economy. Besides the obvious need for cheap, reliable transportation, the design of the destination is just as important. It is one thing to be a highly trained astronaut or cosmonaut to adapt temporarily to an often uncomfortable environment of a space capsule. It is a completely different situation for a visitor to a space hotel or a colonist on a Lunar or Mars settlement who have to deal with the discomfort of a new life on another planet. Samuel created mock-ups of various products such as furniture, service robots, sleeping tunnels, and drinking vessels that would make life more comfortable in variable-gravity situation.
The challenge: how to build real prototypes, and get funding to prove the concepts?
An astronaut tested a concept called the zero gravity coffee cup. Suddenly, alternative drinking glasses in space was no longer far-fetched.
Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is the first of several projects which will not only improve comfort for current and future space travelers, but also to inspire people to dream big about living in off-world.
The Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation was formed in 2014 with the desire to design beautiful domestic products for space and market them on Earth. We want to use the excitement of potential off-world experiences for product branding and unique corporate marketing. Our goal is to team up with sponsorship partners on each of our projects to support the creation of these designs.
Our team consists of a rock star group of experts:
- Samuel Coniglio: space futurist and visionary.
- Russell Davis: celebrity mixologist and bar industry entrepreneur.
- Nick Donaldson: roboticist, toy maker and creative designer.
- Brent Heyning: Hollywood prop fabricator and builder of anything.
Our advisors have unique perspectives on the space and tech industries and have given us guidance on taking this project forward:
- Richard Garriott: video game legend and private space traveler.
- Jonathan Knowles: senior advisor to CEO and CTO at Autodesk.
- Timothy Bailey: parabolic flight instructor, Yuri's Night Advisor, blogger for GeekDad and MAKE.
- John Spencer: Space Architect and Space Tourism advocate.
- Jessica Riley: strategic marketing and organizational strategy expert.
We have made dozens of revisions of the design, have consulted with experts, built a rockstar team and advisors, and have 3D printed several versions of the glass. We even have a provisional patent in place to protect our technology. But we need your help for the next steps.
Below is a video from our friends at ASTRAX in Japan testing the glass. As you will see it is very challenging and very humorous. It does prove we are on the right path. We just need more rigorous testing.
GOAL 1: DROP TOWER TESTS + PATENT. For our first goal, we need to conduct tests from a drop tower. Portland State University has one of the few publicly available towers in the world. It works like a refrigerator in an elevator shaft, 102 feet tall. It will give us two seconds of weightlessness to both test the glass and see how different fluids react to the glass. Two seconds may not sound like much, but with a high speed camera, and dozens of drops we should get the data we need. The tower can be reused up to six times an hour, so we can test and re-test quickly. Click here to see a video about the Tower and the awesome experiments! Everything we film we will edit and make available for you to see on the website.
Along with the drop tests the goal will pay for the Utility Patent to protect our intellectual property and enjoy the fruits of our out-of-this-world idea. We used our own personal resources to get the Provisional Patent, which expires in April. The deadline is fast approaching.
GOAL 2: PARABOLIC FLIGHT TESTS. For our second goal we need to conduct live tests with humans onboard a parabolic aircraft. We will be filming people drinking from various glass shapes while floating around. We are building a test article to hold the glass, inject liquids into the glass, and to hold a camera to film the experience of us drinking in zero gravity!!! Click here to see one of the many videos about parabolic flight.
GOAL 3: 3D PRINT IN SPACE! This goal is the ultimate: we will be 3D printing a small drinking cup onboard the International Space Station!!! We are working with our friends at Made In Space who are helping us refine the design so it will be printable on the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), Made In Space's commercially available zero-gravity 3D printer scheduled to arrive on the ISS later this year.Click here to learn more.
We hope this campaign will prove:
- There is enough public interest in space product design.
- We can use crowd funding to pay for this and future projects.
If we get the funding to prove our design via zero gravity testing, we can show potential corporate sponsors there is enough interest from humans on Earth to bring the product to market. The Earthbound spinoffs from designing for space has decades of precedence: memory foam, velcro, faster computers, and more! Who knows? If we get enough public excitement, we may add more stretch goals to do it ourselves!
The Future. The only way to live in it is to build it yourself.
Risks and challenges
Here are some of the possible risks we may encounter with our project:
For example, the Drop Tower at Portland State University could break down, delaying tests. We may have to revise the glass design after the tests, which will cause delays. But we have several experts on our side who agree with the workability of the design, including the Professor managing the Drop Tower, who has 1000 hours of parabolic flight experience.
There are limits to what parabolic flight companies will allow to be done on their vehicles. For one, any non-water liquid needs to have multiple layers of protection. We have to get permission for flying the test article, which could be too bulky for a crowded flight. We are also subject to their limited flight schedules. We may even have to go overseas to flight test the glass!
A production 3D printer is slated to arrive at the ISS in October 2015. Many factors could delay our opportunity to print on the ISS, including technical issues with the printer, launch delays, or even catastrophic launch failure (aka the rocket blows up). We also have to consider the expense of the plastic material being sent up and the demand for using the production printer. For this reason we may have to settle for a smaller drinking cup shape that uses less material yet still has our unique groove system.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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