Final Report Part 1: The Bottle Display

My project stems from an empty Hornitos bottle from my birthday weekend that I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. This left me wanting to display my bottles. I figured what better of a way than to base my final project around it. Then I needed to find some inspiration. I came across this bar top display that I wanted to emulate.

With this idea in mind, I decided that trying to follow a sleek and rustic aesthetic would make this more personal to me and provide a challenge to keep all of the functionality while making something that is pleasing to the eye. This photo below encapsulates the general aesthetic that I was going for.

With wood as a medium this is usually easier but there was still a lot of functional cable management that came into play. As previously stated, the idea from the Hornitos bottle that stemmed this all had very little to do with the bottle but instead the people that it was shared with and the memories that came from that night. I feel its only right to include a photo so that it might potentially resurface any memories that you the reader might have as well.

With a rough general idea of what I was going for it was time to take the pencil to paper, or rather the Apple Pencil to the iPad, sketching out the design for what I was going to create.

This set up the basic idea for the project. A wooden board with 3 integrated lights, with minimal exposed electronics that will sit flat on a table or bar top.

As for the specifications that I wanted to follow, they are broken up into three categories: look like, feel like, and do.

Look like is the actual visual aspect of the project. The focus here is on what the eyes can see. I wanted the project to look:






These are the marks of a finished product that has clear care put into it. Industrial to follow the aesthetic and make the board look like something that would be bought as opposed to homemade.

Feel like is the emotional aspect of the project. The focus here is on what vibe the board gives off or what you feel when interacting with it. I wanted the project to feel:






The feelings that should come from this display are that of awe and appreciation. As for the feelings that accompany a speakeasy, there is the secrecy aspect, a feeling of acceptance and an air of coolness as well. The classiness and sharpness come from the display being well crafted and clean, literally with sharp edges and beautiful bottles.

Do is the functional aspect of the project. In the requirements it stated that there must be a dynamic aspect of the project, something that changes with time. What I wanted the project to do was:

Display bottles

Light from the bottom

Change light color

Sit flat

Store easily.

The function of this display heavily relies on the light changing property but as an added bonus there is the dynamic aspect of the level of liquid in the bottles changing over time as they are drank from.

All of these requirements combined to steer the direction of my project leading to the final result.

I am super pleased with how the display turned out and it is even better in person.

To put it briefly, the display is made from 3 boards of knotted cedar glued together with routed internal electronics connecting the lights that sit flush on the face, it has many color changing features and the ability to display 3 bottles side by side.

I will discuss all the components and fabrication process in the next post: The How.

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Final Design Part 1

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Sophia Montie
    April 25, 2024 10:23 am

    Hi Chris!
    This is a really neat project. I love how you really cared about how it looked and felt, that you wanted it to have a professional look. I can really tell how much thought and work that you put into this project. The final design is sleek and eye-catching. If you had more time, would you alter your design to fit different shapes/sizes of bottles?

    • Chris Wachuta
      April 26, 2024 1:33 pm

      Thanks for the comment.
      No I don’t think so, three bottles is very clean and I think it fits sort of the three main liquors: vodka, tequila and whiskey. Any more than 3 and I think the display would get too bulky and large.


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