As you can probably imagine, the final design you see in front of you is not the same design as it was originally conceived. The Spoaster was originally designed from the ground up (or should it be table up?) to function as a spill proof coaster. The goal for me was to create a coaster which would improve on the same generic flat piece of metal/plastic/paper which has basically remained the same since its inception. After a few days of sketching/modeling, the result is the very first prototype version of what would become the Spoaster.
Immediately, there were design issues which needed to be addressed. Being a snug fit for most bottles, it was just a little too tight for some wider bottles, cans and most drinking glasses. The Spoaster was remodeled to be widened slightly and so the iterative process began.
With each iteration came improvements and the designs were 3D printed and tested over the course of many gaming/party/work sessions. Below are snapshots of some of the major designs which have been designed and tested over the course of two years.
ROOK (V1.0) - As the prototype version still tipped over relatively easily, a ring was added to significantly increase the base and stability
CROWN (V1.2) - As the previous version was designed purely to test performance, aesthetics had not entered the picture yet. Chamfers were added in and this is the first version to integrate stackability (two could be stacked upside down)
SPIDER (V2.0) - A revolutionary breakthrough in the Spoaster world, so important it had to be bumped up to 2.0. This version incorporated the first ever "cup guider". While using the last version, I would constantly find the bottom of my cup being "rejected" by the top of the Spoaster. These cup guiders did their job of guiding the drink into the Spoaster by just using your peripheral vision. In order to make it stackable, stacking forks were designed into the cup guider, allowing this version to stack indefinitely (or at least until center of mass and gravity takes over)
DADDY LONG LEGS (V3.0) - Once again, another revolutionary breakthrough in the spill resistant drink coaster category (yes, that's a real thing, and if it wasn't, it is now) Allow me to explain. Sometimes, you might not necessarily have a spare hand while you relocate. And so, the "cup holder ... holder -_-" was first implemented. Designed to allow you to relocate yourself with your drink just by using your pinky, it also finally gives us all a reason to drink with your pinky in the air (if you so choose to pick up your Spoaster with your drink) This feature was integrated with the newly designed cup guiders because while the forked cup guiders on the last version worked, they snapped like a twig when they dropped or when a full pint glass came smashing down. A redesigned flattened top rim means that these coaster were much more compact when stacking multiple Spoasters.
HEDGEHOG (V3.2) - While the design was being validated by testing, 3D printing these versions meant that I could have designs which saved material but would need to be slightly altered to be manufacturable. All future designs were created with this in mind.
FLOWER PETALS (V4.0) - Feeling pretty enthusiastic about how far my design had come, I showed the last version to my Mom and promptly got my dreams shattered by her saying : "it doesn't look cute" and "nobody would ever buy this" (yup, I'm asian). Thanks, Mom ... No, really, Thanks Mom! Without her advice, I wouldn't have started looking into making it more "cute". Overcoming a self imposed mental hurdle, I realized I could connect the legs while still retaining the stacking feature. Overall, you can just see that this version has had the feet and cup holder/guider smoothed so the sharp lines are minimized. Validated through public opinion, this version was a lot more well received than the previous. I guess it's like they say, Mom knows best.
SKATE RAMP (V4.3) - A minor iteration, the legs were tucked in to give it a sleeker appeal. However, this version ended up being less stable than the previous after testing because the effective base radius was shortened. The legs had to be redesigned which leads to the next version.
NINJA STAR (V5.0) - Finally, after a few months of being stuck on the last design....breakthrough. After creating this design, I instantly fell in love with it. Now, it also creates an awesome multiple-propeller blade look when they are stacked on top of each other.
YOU NEED ONE NOW (V6.0) - Legs were hollowed in order to cut down on overall weight and material used to create each one. This is what you currently see as the final design! While the history has been condensed to this page, it took over two years to get from the ugly duckling you see at the top of this page to the final Spoaster design!