Romanian designer, Ramona Enache, gets production help from Espirit Cam Software.
Ramona Enache is an architect, but she never imagined she would conceive an important design concept while sipping wine outdoors. “It all started while I was enjoying a glass of wine with friends, in one of the beautiful parks of Amsterdam,” said the Romania-born Enache, who now lives in Berlin. “I dislike drinking wine from plastic cups, almost as much as I dislike drinking wine straight from the bottle. This is why I almost always carried real wine glasses along.
“But they are not very stable, so after spilling wine several times in the grass, I realized I needed a glass that I could pin in the ground. Next day when I woke up I still thought it was a good idea, and I decided to make it.”
The Pointer wine glass, designed by Enache, is basically a stylish wine glass with the glass leg replaced by a stainless steel pin. She produced about 200 prototypes by hand and got a very positive response from friends and colleagues, so she created a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to go into production.
Key Help with Production
After reaching her goal of 15,000 Euros (about $16,000 in U.S. dollars), Enache worked with Logicad, a company in Piatra Neamt, Romania, to create a detailed design and determine the best way to produce the metal parts. Logicad is the Romanian representative for ESPRIT, a high-performance, full-spectrum, computer-aided manufacturing programming system for milling, turning, wire EDM and multi-tasking machine tools. ESPRIT is the flagship product of DP Technology, which has world headquarters in Camarillo, California.
Logicad created models and simulations to precisely define the geometry of her design concept, then 3D-printed prototypes so their style, functionality and manufacturability could be evaluated. It was determined that the metal stems should be manufactured on a CNC machine from steel bars as two modular parts that are later manually polished to obtain a smooth surface and assembled together.
The parts are made from stainless steel because they are to be used outdoors. Both of the parts that make up the stem have nonuniform, contoured surfaces, thin walls and overhangs. The parts are harder to make than it would seem; their sharp ends and tough material make it difficult to avoid vibrations, which would damage their appearance.
Ramona Enache and Logicad evaluated several suppliers and selected a Romanian contract manufacturer, Hermi Construct, which specializes in CNC machining with Okuma machine tools. The decision was made to produce the metal parts on an Okuma Multus multitasking machine, which performs milling and turning operations so it can produce the metal parts in a single setup. This machine is also very stable, so it can maintain a good surface finish.
ESPRIT software was used to define all of the machining operations, tools and working conditions on the machine. ESPRIT also provides a library of machine tool builder-certified post processors enriched with valuable feedback, observations and recommendations to get the best performance in any machining process; offers excellent technical support; and the ESPRIT web platform provides the ability to interact and collaborate with other ESPRIT users.
The parts were programmed by one of Logicad’s engineers, Cristian Toader, in less than an hour. Toader used ESPRIT’s simulation system to view the machining operations on his computer and estimate the machining time and production costs. The first parts produced with the program looked beautiful and met all dimensional requirements.
Only 18 months after Enache conceived her invention, she had produced and sold more than 1,500 glasses for customers in 22 countries. She has received requests for customizing and producing accessories for the glasses; the ones that involved metal parts were quickly accommodated by Logicad programmers. In September 2015, Pointer was awarded a Red Dot Concept Design honorable mention award in Singapore. Parts that make up the stem have nonuniform, contoured surfaces, thin walls and overhangs. The parts are harder to make than it would seem; their sharp ends and tough material make it difficult to avoid vibrations, which would damage their appearance.
“Pointer is the perfect tool to take along when you go for a picnic, to the beach or when you simply want to lie in the grass in the garden or in the park, sharing a bottle of wine with your friends or family,” Ramona Enache said. “It clearly stands out from other products in the same category as a delicate yet robust gadget most people would like to own and use.”
Details: tothepointer.com, espritcam.com
Dorin Dascalu is the manager of Logicad Solutions srl, an industrial design company based in Piatra Neamt, Romania that provides CAD/CAM, Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing/ Scanning services, software and solutions. Hélène Horent is the operational marketing manager of DP Technology Europe, based in Montpellier, France. She is part of the ESPRIT CAM software development team and responsible for overseeing marketing efforts for ESPRIT in Europe