For my project, I am looking to make a beer tap handle potentially with some dynamic lighting effects to it. This is not something that is common, and will involve a lot of pieces I need to consider in order to make a successful product.
My first constraint that I want to consider is the aesthetic. Many custom beer handles that aren’t generic “Coors” or “Bud Light” incorporate some of theme around the flavor of the beer, and I would like to find a way to incorporate that into my design. My main inspiration for constraining myself to match a beer flavor was the handle featured in this post, which is a chocolate stout beer with a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory aesthetic to it. I think the best way to go about this would be to find the beer first and then shape my design in a creative way around it.
Next, this will likely involve some complex modeling to create a custom piece, and I will potentially need to brush up on some organic modeling skills in order to truly realize the design I come up with. I have done some surfacing within Solidworks, but not much, so I think finding some tutorials and exercises to get me more comfortable with the tools will help this project.
Additionally, the idea of incorporating electronics to be handled around a potentially hectic and messy environment will require me to consider methods of protecting the electronics. I have considered some epoxy coatings that would also give the handle more durability, but I don’t know how well it will work with electronics to waterproof them.
Taps at a bar can be spaced differently, so I need to consider the size of the handle itself. Tap handles are typically around 10″ tall, but what I am really concerned about is the width. If it is too wide, it may require that it be rotated or may not fit altogether in certain tap setups.
Finally, I need to consider how this will be made. The challenge of incorporating the conductive filament with the 3D printer is something I am completely unfamiliar with. I’m looking forward to trying it out, but I do know that there’s an equal chance of it going incredibly smoothly or terribly wrong.
Image source: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs9rVgdA_bS/