Cup Runneth Over

Oregon Pint was Prototyped on a Makerbot Replicator

Oregon Pint

How Makerbot helped North Drinkware design and develop the Oregon Pint, a beer glass with a replica Mount Hood embedded at the bottom.

North Drinkware is a handmade glass company set up by two friends from Oregon. Their passion for talking about beer and mountains led them to envision and create a pint glass with a miniature Mount Hood in the bottom section. Thus, every pint would feel like drinking beer from the peak of Oregon’s highest mountain.

Such a small feat of design would have been very difficult to achieve in the past, where development costs would have been prohibitive. But with 3D printing, ideas like this can be realised quickly, effortlessly, and at a relatively low cost. That’s what the team thought, anyhow, and that’s exactly what they did.

North Drinkware bought a Makerbot Replicator and began experimenting with data from the US Geological Survey to build a digital model  of Mount Hood. After some testing with the shape and size, they had their first plastic molds ready to go. Important to note: producing five molds in the “traditional” way would have cost them upwards of $20,000.

North Drinkware shows their 3D printed prototype molds of the Oregon Pint.
North Drinkware shows their 3D printed prototype molds of the Oregon Pint.

From then on, the project took off like a rocket. The Oregon Pint launched on Kickstarter where it quickly passed its funding goal with the support of the vast beer loving community in Oregon. It reached its $15,000 target in five hours and fifteen minutes, and the campaign went on to raise more than $500,000 by the time it closed in March 2015.

But the campaign’s success wouldn’t have been possible without a prototype to showcase in the first place. The use of a Makerbot Replicator was crucial in this part of the production process.

The handmade glass company now employs seven people (besides the three founders), job positions that were indirectly opened up through 3D printing. North Drinkware won’t stop at Mount Hood, of course. Future plans include the creation of pints that resemble landmarks from California, Colorado, Vermont, Washington, and other states. {via MakerBot blog}