3D-Printed Ketchup Cap Will Prevent That Gross, Watery Mess
If you want to get students excited about new technologies like 3D printing, you have to let them follow their passion — even if that passion is ketchup.
Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson, two high school seniors from Liberty, Mo., have a shared love for the popular condiment and creativity. The teens are part of the Project Lead the Way program (a national STEM learning initiative) and decided to focus their attention on a particularly frustrating problem: minimizing the watery mess that results from the first squirt of ketchup.
According to local news station Fox4 in Kansas City, their teacher initially nixed the project idea, but Richards and Thompson collected enough research, data and patent information to convince him. Soon, they were inventing a 3D solution to ketchup’s messy problem.
Richards and Thompson designed a new bottle cap that forces the ketchup away from the cap and into a small tube at its center, which the ketchup then squeezes out of. This manages to separate the water that settles at the top of the ketchup from the actual red stuff.
The two first sketched the idea on paper, then designed it with CAD software before printing it on a 3D printer. Fox4 reports that the teens are pursuing a provisional patent for their invention, but no word yet on whether they plan to bring the product to market or sell it to Heinz.
You can watch their results in the video above; it’s a smart solution for a universal problem.