Main Project Aesthetics: Plans and Alternatives

Main Project Background

I love to drink sparkling water. As a result, I go through many aluminum cans which all end up in the recycling bin. Each aluminum can takes up a substantial amount of volume in my recycling bin meaning I need to empty it often. In Michigan (where I am originally from), you would get a store credit for bottle return which is not possible where I am currently living. Therefore, I will be making an aluminum can crusher that you can place the can in and then crush it. There are existing devices that utilize a motor and an actuator to crush an aluminum can. However, this takes out the fun of crushing the can yourself. Having this functional device in my kitchen will allow me to fit more cans into the recycling bin and therefore minimize the amount of recycling runs I need to make throughout the week. The aesthetic I am incorporating in the design of the can crusher is the industrial aesthetic.

Industrial Aesthetic:

The industrial aesthetic is a design style that draws inspiration from the characteristics of the industrial spaces and machinery. This aesthetic can often be found in architecture, fashion, product design, and interior design. To achieve this aesthetic, I am planning on implementing raw materials into my design. Some of the materials I am planning to incorporate into my design include steel, such as steel piping, wood, screws, shafts, and linkages. The mechanical device of the design will also help emphasize the industrial aesthetic. The design will also incorporate a sense of minimalism because the industrial aesthetic tends to embrace a minimalist approach, focusing on the essential elements and components. This simplicity will contribute to the clean and uncluttered look. The design will also have a neutral color palette dominated by shades of grey, black, white, and earth tones. This color scheme will compliment the raw materials and therefore contribute to the overall industrial ambiance. The first design of the can crusher emphasizes a more minimalistic aesthetic version of the industrial aesthetic. It is designed to have a smaller footprint allowing for easier storage. The handle would be made out of a stained wood or a steel pipe with a leather handle. The main components would be made out of would or aluminum.

Motorized/Mechanical Aesthetic

The second design emphasizes the mechanical parts of the system. The design would implement an electric motor to drive a gear or belt system. The rotary motion will be transferred into linear motion using a linear slide and rail system and linkages. Even though this design would look very industrial, it takes up a very large amount of space and it is bulky which makes it difficult to store. The base would be made out of a hardwood. Pillow blocks would be used to secure the shafts. Another concern with this design is it can be very dangerous because there are a lot of moving parts which would not be covered.

Aerodynamic Aesthetic

The second design emphasizes a more aerodynamic look as it replicates the profile of an airfoil when viewed from the side as seen below. The downside with this design is that the device would be larger and bulkier as a result of the the tail end of the airfoil.


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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ethan Polacsek
    March 10, 2024 11:10 pm

    Tim this idea is really cool . I like how you have three separate design ideas though up that all involve crushing the can in a different way. For the Robotic/Mechancial aesthetic how complex and efficient do you think you would be able to get the belt system without making fabrication and tuning real complex? I really find these ideas interesting.

  • Great work on this post Tim! I like your idea and think that this will be a good scope for the project. I was wondering how you will use color to help communicate whichever aesthetic you decide on, whether industrial, robotic, or aerodynamic? I think that using all of one dark-tone color would work well for whichever you choose. While I like that your idea will be useful, it might also be worth looking into how the design can change based on pure aesthetics rather than its use.


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