Wine Knife Final Report pt. 2

During the expo the Wine Knife was displayed, and the comments were generally positive, there were some sharp corners and potentially hazardous edges that will round out with use, as well the material selection for the foil knife was a concern, 6061 aluminum is a bit soft for a blade, however as a prototype the final design hits all the major points I was initially going for. I would have liked for more people to view the piece at the expo to gather more feedback, thus I took it to work with me and showed it to fellow servers (people who would use this daily), and got great feedback (add serration to the blade/ color matching for restaurants, etc) and if I could lower the cost, a few orders.

I had initially wanted cutouts for the handles to see the inner workings however due to the pin construction method I needed more material surrounding the pins thus the cutouts had to be removed. This however gave way to a new design using the sanded g10, allowing for the wave patterning on the handles which gives the piece a striking exterior finish which I greatly prefer as the interior structure can still be seen through the open top and bottom areas.


Designed Exterior
Designed Exterior
Actual Exterior
Actual Exterior

Given a bit more time I would have made the PLA filler pieces (seen in red) out of either Black PLA or machined out of aluminum. I must admit the red does add a splash of color that is quite eye catching. I would also like to change the fasteners to black torx head screws and get the aluminum pieces anodized to a blue or black color. Mechanically the piece works amazing, I only need to break it in a bit and practice using to make it a fast fun tool.

The biggest take away from this experience is that designing something simple and small can be very difficult when looking at actually producing that product, I was restricted by the sizes of materials I could find and by the strengths of such small pieces. Simplifying this design to fit the constraints of size, weight and feel took far longer than I had expected. Also I learned a ton about milling odd shaped pieces to meet a design, and the importance of prototyping to check fitment and functionality.

Overall I am satisfied with where the project is now, I will find time to make a few small changes to increase its functionality, swapping out the bolts for torx head as well as swapping the knife for one made of steel, summer milling project once I get the end mill needed.



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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Rachel Grosskrueger
    April 30, 2016 9:58 am

    I’m so glad this turned out working for you and most importantly is FUNCTIONAL! I would agree that you might need to upgrade some of the material in your wine key to increase the longevity and durability of it. I guess the best way to find out is to keep using it and see how long it lasts and if it is really necessary to manufacture new pieces. Great work on this and I’m glad the other servers like it as well!

  • Sreyas Krishnan
    April 29, 2016 6:26 am

    It’s amazing how small and simple things can be incredibly difficult to make because of the required attention to detail. However, you’ve nailed it here. You should also consider delrin as a possible material for your filler pieces. It machines really, really well and comes in a nice variety of colors. Also, it has a super low friction coeff. so you might consider using it on or between some of your sliding pieces. Alum-Alum and Alum-Steel interfaces wear out over time.
    Next up: actual swiss army knife! Great work Ryan.


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