73 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2017 10:36 AM by Dave Bear

    Designing a simple can opener

    Max Bassis

      Hello everyone,

      I am working on designing a simple can opener that consists of an adjustable round blade and a can holder and I would like to know what materials I should use for this device, thank you!

        • Re: Designing a simple can opener
          Dave Bear

          Hi Max,

          I'm guessing here that this is probably for a school project, so a little research on your part is required. Having said that, you need to be looking along the lines of hygienically safe plastics and metals as obviously the materials will be used to open cans of food. The can opener will also be exposed to water so any metal needs to be anti-corrosive. The round blade will also need to have some form of tensile quality so that it maintains its sharp edge.............

           

          Time for you to make Google your friend young Grasshopper!

           

          Dave

          • Re: Designing a simple can opener
            Rick Becker

            One could also used either Vibranium or Adamantium.

            Vibranium is stronger than adamantium...

            • Re: Designing a simple can opener
              Max Bassis

              Lol I appreiciate the help and the humor on the question, the reason im asking here is because we need to show we consulted professionals in order to pick our materials correctly, im sorry if it seems to be unprofessional on my behalf but thats the reason im asking here

                • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                  Rick Becker

                  Max,

                  I appreciate you comments.

                  Can I ask you a few questions?

                  What makes you think there are any Professionals on this forum?

                  Is it possible that this forum is just a bunch of students talking to each other?

                  If you pass along a material suggested here, how can you confirm that a Professional gave you the advise?

                  What does you teacher require for proof that you consulted with a Professional?

                   

                  What would help is your question being presented is as Professional a manner as possible.

                  Imagine you are sitting in a Professionals office. Your are paying this Professional a large consulting fee. You are paying per minute of his time. What information does the Professional need in order to properly access and determine the best answer?

                   

                  Now ask yourself, Have I given that level if information here on the forum?

                    • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                      Max Bassis

                      Okay I see your point,

                      What we were asked is to basically ask for information on this forum because according to him this forum is being used by engineers that may help us.

                      The proof of the consultation will be provided as a screenshot of the conversation here.

                      With that being said I can see in your profile that you are an Engineer so I guess my teacher isn't totally wrong,so may I ask what information do you need in case you still interested in helping me please?

                        • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                          John Stoltzfus

                          The forum can be a good place to start, however there are also a lot of us that are "Not" Engineers, just designers using SW for our jobs.  Sometimes it can be an awesome place to assist in Software issues and user assistance...

                           

                          Your question is based on a specific project that we haven't seen any drawings or pictures of and normally when someone just posses a question without a model or pictures, it appears like people want us to do their work etc...

                           

                          To be honest, you could have mentioned you have a project to work on and you are searching for a legit Engineer that can do a finite analysis or  just assure the proper materials are used.  For an Engineer to give you this info, #1 he/she needs a Drawing or a Model - and the second #1 is money for services rendered.  Unless you are up front and layout the project and say you're a student, their are retired guys here on the forum that at times just want to help someone out, but first they want to see what you have done.....

                           

                          Also - just a heads up there are a lot of people here on the forum that use an alias, so you never know who you're dealing with..........

                          • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                            Rick Becker

                            Describe, in as much detail as possible, the operating conditions of this can opener.

                            Here is a picture of a simple can opener... (I have a couple of these and have actually used it to open cans)

                            can opener.png

                            Is this opener a powered device? Hand operated?

                            What kind of cans are going to be cut?

                            What material are these cans made out of?

                            What plating is on these cans?

                            Are you intending to cut the can from the top or sideways thru the bead?

                            What is the life expectation of the opener? (How many cans should it cut before failure?)

                            Are you designing built in obsolescence?

                            How is the rotation accomplished?

                            How much force do you expect to see on the cutting blade on first contact?

                            How much force do you expect to see on the cutting blade during use?

                            Have you completed an initial design concept yet? (if so kindly post you assembly)

                            How will you confirm that my recommendations are correct or even appropriate?

                             

                            I want to add to my questions...

                            What materials have you researched already?

                            What material would you select based on your research? What lead you to that conclusion?

                            Have you considered platings?

                            Have you considered different cost of raw materials and manufacturing cost differences?

                            What quantity will you be manufacturing?

                             

                            There are more questions. I hope you see that Engineering is not really as easy as asking a question.

                              • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                Max Bassis

                                I have a prototype of the model I was thinking of designed in SW already, I just don't know how to upload it here?

                                I think that if ill find a way to send you what I have so far you will have a general idea of what im looking

                                  • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                    Rick Becker

                                    Max,

                                    Reply to a message on this forum.

                                    When the dialog box pops up, click on Use Advanced Editor in the upper right corner

                                    Then...

                                    In the lower right corner click on Attach.

                                     

                                    Have your design PackandGo as a Zip file and attach that.

                                    • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                      James Riddell

                                      Max, you can at least use the 'Snipping' tool from windows.

                                      That being said, I am a degreed engineer and can tell you that materials "depend".  You want something strong and hard for the cutting wheel since it makes an almost point puncture in the steel can.  You will need some food-grade materials as suggested above - easily cleanable and rust resistant.  You'll want something durable for a bearing/bushing material depending on how you mount the cutter wheel.

                                      Dare I suggest you visit IKEA or Walmart and actually look at a can opener closely.  You will probably find some materials chrome plated.

                            • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                              Dave Bear

                              Hi Max,

                              I totally agree with everything that both Rick and John have said to you here. Both guys are knowledgeable and helpful and aren't coming from the point of a personal attack. There's been a sudden influx lately of students placing very vague posts asking for advice, usually about materials but some about design, for their school projects. Now there is no harm in asking for help, it's how we all learn but virtually not one single student so far has offered up one shred of any form of evidence that they've done research so far themselves which is annoying. I would also add that in my opinion, for your lecturer to guide you to this forum alone for advice on materials rather than use "Google" or other known standards is poor form on his part. If it was for advice on CAD, then yes, that would be different. Personally, I think you could have been better guided IMHO.

                               

                              Dave.

                              • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                Max Bassis

                                These are the unassmebled parts of what I was thinking about, I hope it is helpfull.

                                 

                                Thank you for your patience, if ill have any further questions in the future ill make sure to provide all the necassery info about what I need and what I have done so far.

                                • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                  Max Bassis

                                  Is this opener a powered device? Hand operated? Hand Operated

                                  What kind of cans are going to be cut? Food cans, like tuna,pickles etc...

                                  What material are these cans made out of? Aluminum sheets

                                  What plating is on these cans? Zinc

                                  Are you intending to cut the can from the top or sideways thru the bead? From the top

                                  What is the life expectation of the opener? (How many cans should it cut before failure?) About 1000 cans

                                  Are you designing built in obsolesce? Im sorry but I don't know the meaning of that word

                                  How is the rotation accomplished? I was thinking that the rotation is accomplished by the movement of the blade

                                  How much force do you expect to see on the cutting blade on first contact? 200 Newtons

                                  How much force do you expect to see on the cutting blade during use?70-80 Newtons

                                  Have you completed an initial design concept yet? (if so kindly post you assembly) I didn't assemble the parts yet

                                  How will you confirm that my recommendations are correct or even appropriate? Ill use the SW analysis

                                    • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                      Rick Becker

                                      Max,

                                      You are impressing me. Thanks for sticking with this.

                                       

                                      Max Bassis wrote:

                                       

                                       

                                      Are you designing built in obsolesce? Im sorry but I don't know the meaning of that word

                                      How is the rotation accomplished? I was thinking that the rotation is accomplished by the movement of the blade

                                      Built in obsolesce is purposeful design for failure at a predetermined point.

                                      In other words... If I design a set of brake shoes and will warrantee them for 20,000 miles. My Company wants me to Engineer the shoes to last at least 20,000 miles (so they don't have to replace any shoes). However, my Company also wants me to Engineer the shoes so the wear out at 21,000 miles and not a lot more (so they can sell another set of shoes to the customer)

                                       

                                      The rotation can be direct drive from the handle to the cutting wheel or it can be geared to increase torque or speed.

                                       

                                      Tackle these questions also...

                                       

                                      What materials have you researched already?

                                      What material would you select based on your research? What lead you to that conclusion?

                                      Have you considered platings?

                                      Have you considered different cost of raw materials and manufacturing cost differences?

                                      What quantity will you be manufacturing?

                                        • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                          Max Bassis

                                          I have thought about stainless steel but it might be expensive?

                                          I have not considered platings but ill try and consider this option

                                          I wont be manufacturing this product, just presenting it as an idea

                                            • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                              Rick Becker

                                              Max,

                                              As a designer you need to consider how this product will be used, as well as misused.

                                              I can assert that the blade (wheel) will come in contact with the food in the can at some point.

                                              I can assert that the can opener will get wet and dirty and the user won't necessarily clean it properly.

                                              I can assert that human fingers (or other human parts) will come in contact with the blade.

                                              I can assert that some of the cans opened will be plated steel cans of various diameters and heights.

                                              I can assert that there are several different types of beads on different cans.

                                               

                                              From this, and other considerations, I can say that the design must account for all of these and more.

                                              This is where teams and peer review are critical to effective design. Don't try to design a product in a bubble. I know you are asking here. That's good. I'm also saying turn to the people around you. Ask what they want in a can opener. Ask how they use can openers. Ask them to review you design and be open to criticism.

                                               

                                              Stainless steel for the wheel is a must. What grade depends on much of the criteria above. Try 17-4 H900 or 316.

                                              The rest of the opener can be an inexpensive carbon steel plated for rust and corrosion resistance. You will need to research food safe coatings. Google is your friend.

                                               

                                              I will invite you to upload you assembly here and we will be pleased to review it.

                                               

                                              You seem like an outstanding young man willing to learn. There is much in this thread to learn.

                                               

                                              Keep asking questions and design on.

                                            • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                              Glenn Schroeder

                                              Rick,

                                               

                                              Not to change the subject here, but I think the word you're looking for is obsolescence, not "obsolesce".  Now carry on.

                                               

                                              Glenn

                                          • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                            Max Bassis

                                            This is the assembled part, just did it, this is what I expect the final product will be.

                                            • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                              Tom Gagnon

                                              Aside from your actual material question, this sounds like the exercise of, "building a better mousetrap." Good ones already exist. Don't let me hinder your process, though.

                                               

                                              For criteria of simple, I find the Edlund #1 Manual Can Opener, which is commonly used in restaurants everywhere, unrivaled for adaptability, few parts, and ease to clean. It's hard to beat tried-and-true.

                                              • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                                Max Bassis

                                                Okay so this is the file that contains all my parts and the assembly,should work now I hope

                                                  • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                                    Kevin Andrews

                                                    OK - so just out of curiosity (Max)...

                                                     

                                                    Are you an engineering student or are you a CAD student?

                                                     

                                                    The reason I am asking is because, while Rick is absolutely SPOT-ON with his questions regarding the back end engineering, the information you are seeking may not, necessarily, need to be in such depth. (no offense intended Rick).

                                                     

                                                    Maybe I missed it in all of the postings, but what exactly is your professor requiring from you? Is he requiring you to design based on failure and time or did he/she not mention anything regarding those aspects?

                                                     

                                                    Following Rick's information should definitely get you in the extra credit category - and I would absolutely applaud you for that effort if I were the instructor. I am just afraid that we may be causing you to overthink the information that you need at the moment and don't want you to lose sight of your goal.

                                                     

                                                    Truthfully, if you were looking to design this as an actual product for production, then everything Rick is asking is extensively pertinent....

                                                  • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                                    Dave Bear

                                                    Hey Max,

                                                    Just wanted to say good on you for sticking this out, seeing our point of view, having a laugh with us and hopefully learning something. I'm relatively new to this forum myself and I don't claim to be nowhere near as switched on about engineering or Solidworks as these other guys, but they will all go out of their way to help those that just show a little sign that they are indeed trying to help themselves, which you've now done.

                                                     

                                                    Don't be afraid to come back and bounce things off the members of this forum, you just might get a laugh too!

                                                     

                                                    Dave.

                                                    • Re: Designing a simple can opener
                                                      James Riddell

                                                      I'd be willing to bet that about now Max Bassis really wishes he had never asked this question.