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ZR-71 - grinder project

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Hi everyone,

 

things are slowly falling into the right places, so I thought I'd start a thread to give this project a bit of an audience. Haven't really got a name for it, but temporarily I'll call it 'the grinder project'.

 

For years I've been annoyed with the fact that the market is filled with grinders that offer not a lot for a lot of monies. Even paying big bucks doesn't give you a product which is perfect, far from it, you get something which was designed for a cafe environment (nothing wrong with that to be honest, but still a problem if you are looking for the ultimate solution), which retains a lot of coffee, doesn't dose properly, forces you to use WDT or other distribution methods and overall simply doesn't represent good value for money. Having successfully converted a used Mazzer Major to a doserless, E-type, grinder I thought the next natural step would be to build a grinder from scratch. I've toyed with a few ideas, spent too much time on the web researching, built an MDF prototype, designed / re-designed / designed / re-designed far too many times and finally got a step where I'm slowly getting parts done to assemble a full scale metal (aluminium) prototype. Here's a short list of things I've had in the back of my head all the time and things which (hopefully) will be incorporated in the design:

 

- zero retention

 

- fuss-less grind adjustment, none of the usual manual methods and wrestling with the grinder to turn a massive collar, or lock something in place

 

- ability to use a hopper approach or single dosing

 

- weighing system for dosing

 

- grind-tamp-lock, eliminating the need for WDT or redistribution

 

'Looks good on paper' I can hear you say:) to be honest the above is harder to implement than I thought it would be, but fingers crossed, the final model will tick all those boxes.

 

I'd love to share a photo or a drawing, but due to the fact that the grinder uses some new ideas (never used before in the grinder world) that will have to wait. I'm not sure whether I can protect the design in anyway (patenting seems like a possibility, but I haven't talked to anyone in a patent office yet. Oh and it costs monies), so the only way to make sure I don't see it sold by someone else is to limit the amount of sensitive information given away. I can share however that the grinder will not be small and will not be flimsy:) sorry to all those that hoped for something similar size-wise to a Versalab, but that's not going to happen, I needed quite a lot of space to pack all the magic making stuff inside and so it's 465mm x 190mm x 350mm (H x W x D), weighing at around 25kg, so close to a Robur. Look-wise it's more 'technical' than arty (not really a surprise due to my background), but hopefully not too bad looking.

 

The idea is to have this made and ready for the Titan Grind-off event later on in the year. Of course there's plenty of assembling, testing etc. to be done before, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

 

Any questions, let me know, I might be able to answer them at this stage:)

 

Regards,

T.

Edited by Glenn
thread name change at dsc's request

Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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I genuinely wish you the best of luck with this Tom, and i am really looking forward to potentially getting a play with it, it is a long overdue grinder for those of us who are genuinely interested in getting the best that is available, I am sure many more on here will share my enthusiasm for this project.


AKA Toffee chips

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I, am looking forward to probably buying one!

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I love reading about projects like this - can't wait to hear more!


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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I know for copyright, you take 2 sets of plans to a solicitor, they and you sign under oath to say that the design belongs to you and they they are kept by the solicitor and stay hidden until battle commences. that is much cheaper than the Patent Office but obviously that is your best bet in the long run

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This sounds fantastic....best of luck

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I know for copyright, you take 2 sets of plans to a solicitor, they and you sign under oath to say that the design belongs to you and they they are kept by the solicitor and stay hidden until battle commences. that is much cheaper than the Patent Office but obviously that is your best bet in the long run

 

Copyright just exists in any work your create that meets the criteria, you don't need to actively get your work protected. Copyright applies more to artistic works than design but taking photos of any parts of the machine containing original ideas/work and posting them to yourself in a sealed envelope would be enough provide evidence that you can up with the idea on a certain date and give you some basic protection if anyone tried to rip it off (this is a bit old school - time stamped digital photos might be OK now).

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Cheers guys.

 

As you can imagine I can't wait to get my hands on the parts and assemble something that took so long to design. I'm sure there's bound to be some 'crap that's not really designed well' moments, but at least it's going to be a test bed for any future improvements and design changes.

 

Regards,

Tom


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Tom. Are you the dsc on tmc with the T1?

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I am indeed:)

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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I'm a dick. I should of looked at your profile at the bottom of your thread. :o

I am indeed:)

 

Regards,

T.

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Lol:)

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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All the best with this! Really like the idea of designing an affordable grinder from scratch.

Are you going to crowdsource on Kickstarter or IndieGoGo? Sure you'll have great support on there.


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Cheers! not so sure about the 'affordable' bit though, especially when you throw 'precise' in the bag:)

 

I thought of Kickstarter, but I'm not sure that's needed, other than maybe for the crowds. I've got almost all the parts for the prototype, funding is done by myself, and I can't really see any other advantages of those websites.

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Cheers! not so sure about the 'affordable' bit though, especially when you throw 'precise' in the bag:)

 

I thought of Kickstarter, but I'm not sure that's needed, other than maybe for the crowds. I've got almost all the parts for the prototype, funding is done by myself, and I can't really see any other advantages of those websites.

 

Regards,

T.

 

This is a great project

 

I recently had a look at producing a "versalab style" grinder at home (CAD, fabrication of parts etc.)

I figured out that with all the external production of CMC parts, it would cost me well in excess of the cost of a new versalab (oops!)

 

Have you found a cheap way of getting your parts fabricated?

 

Regards


Andy

 

Wilfa CGWS-130B | Acaia Lunar | Bonavita 1.0L | Kruve | Aeropress | Kaffeologie S

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That is I'm afraid the biggest obstacle on the way to building...well anything really. The cost of manufacturing is astronomical for one-offs, especially CNC cut parts and especially in the UK. I've had quotes for very simple parts (say a rectangle aluminium plate with a few holes) which took the cost well above reasonable levels anyone is prepared to pay for a grinder and that is purely for a few parts, not mentioning stuff like the motor, controls, electronics etc. Unless you know someone in the industry who can do a job on the side (which quite often is a risk for the person doing it say on company owed machines without prior agreement with the employer - close to zero chances of getting that) or can do it yourself, I'm afraid it might be something stopping a project completely.

 

I wouldn't say I've found a cheap way, but I've done a LOT of research and contacted a lot of people which thankfully resulted in the parts being cut by someone experienced for reasonable monies. Whether that works in the long run, to keep production going if this project ends in success I don't know.

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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That is I'm afraid the biggest obstacle on the way to building...well anything really. The cost of manufacturing is astronomical for one-offs, especially CNC cut parts and especially in the UK. I've had quotes for very simple parts (say a rectangle aluminium plate with a few holes) which took the cost well above reasonable levels anyone is prepared to pay for a grinder and that is purely for a few parts, not mentioning stuff like the motor, controls, electronics etc. Unless you know someone in the industry who can do a job on the side (which quite often is a risk for the person doing it say on company owed machines without prior agreement with the employer - close to zero chances of getting that) or can do it yourself, I'm afraid it might be something stopping a project completely.

 

I wouldn't say I've found a cheap way, but I've done a LOT of research and contacted a lot of people which thankfully resulted in the parts being cut by someone experienced for reasonable monies. Whether that works in the long run, to keep production going if this project ends in success I don't know.

 

Regards,

T.

 

On the plus side, I think it'd be really nice to have your own built grinder though (cost aside).

Perhaps once you've got the prototype together, you could look at bulk producton etc. ?

 

I'm sure some forum members would assist if the grinder was really desirable!


Andy

 

Wilfa CGWS-130B | Acaia Lunar | Bonavita 1.0L | Kruve | Aeropress | Kaffeologie S

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Indeed the satisfaction factor is rather important, it's the thing that fueled this project from the very start:) I will be looking at low level bulk production, as soon as I see that there's enough interest.

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Tom, subject to the usual palava, put me down as one who would like to be considered from the initial run

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Hopefully it will be good enough for others to use! :)

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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Just an update, got a courier booked and should have the majority of the parts next week:D shaft-y bits should follow up 1-2 weeks later.

 

Regards,

T.


Espresso: Londinium L1, ZR-71 grinder

Photography: Flickr

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really looking forward to this grinder tom


AKA Toffee chips

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