A Preview of Form and Scale

2012 February 24

I’ve been doing a lot of math and sketching the internal design of the roaster. To see what the final product might look like, I used Google Sketch-Up to do two 3-D models of likely layouts. They are obviously very basic and devoid of beauty and detail, but do give an idea of the overall design. The first is the staggered tower version.

The second is the clustered tower version.





















Any thoughts you’d like to share?

7 Responses
  1. Seth permalink
    February 24, 2012

    Was it intentional for the staggered version to have a viewing angle much closer to eye level where as the clustered one seems to be lower? Or was that just because it was a rough layout? I’m also curious as to where the cooling tray will have an exit for the roasted coffee to drop once done cooling. Will the green coffee go into a funnel like most drum roaster or enter through some other way? Have you looking into using a large vacuum to move green coffee up to the roasting chamber? This would limit the roaster (person) from having to do lots of heavy lifting above their shoulders and would be considerably more efficient if green coffee is weighed onto a easily transportable cart of some kind.

    My first reaction was that the clustered version would be easier to maneuver and allow the roaster to move freely and quickly (if necessary) without many items to limit him. However, as the roaster will only really need access and have to interact with 2 of the 3 units (as 1 is the afterburner) the staggered may give the roaster more area to work with and would definitely alllow for more visibility of the roasting process…

  2. February 25, 2012

    Neither of them look anything like your prototype, so I’m not seeing the connection. The proto looks awesome btw.

    • February 26, 2012

      What is shown in the 3D model is the “skin” of the roaster. All of the mechanical components are housed within the skin. The window midway up the one tower is the viewing window into the roasting chamber and rotating bowl. The roaster can operate without the “skin” but it is there to clean up the appearance and to keep hot and moving parts away from people nearby.

  3. casey permalink
    April 20, 2012

    You should make it steampunk styled with exposed gears, guages and mechanical bits visible through protective glass. Why would you go through the trouble of designing something so beautiful only to cover it in a skin and hide it from the world?

    You will need a computer control system, Dan at USRoasters can supply you with that. His custom roaster control software works with drum and fluid bed roasters, can be operated and monitored remotely and allows manual and profiling controll over roasting.

    Pneumatic loaders are loud so you must use cablevey or place the loader motors in the roaster encasement or “skin”.

    If you need the help of an experienced Roastmaster in order to determine proper design attributes for optimal bean and flavor development you can contact me via email-Caseyb2050@mail.com

    • April 20, 2012

      Thanks, Casey, for your comments. I understand your point about the cladding of the machine. The point of the images I had for the post you refer to is strictly as a basic massing study. It did look very boring and would hide much of the craftsmanship. I intend for the real roaster to have much more detailing and visible workings. Even so, I do like to “hide” some things that are beautiful, so that they can be discovered with some digging. I appreciate, for instance, that my Vespa and Lambretta scooters have details in their castings that are not easily visible and would have been left out by some designers. It says a lot about what designers think is important. I want all parts to be functional and beautiful, even if not readily visible. The human body is that way.

      I also am not going to do a “faithful” steampunk style roaster, I only use the term to help set expectations. Expect lots of detailing and attention to fasteners, materials, finishes, shapes, “historicity” and, particularly the enjoyment of the roastmaster and viewers as they interact with the machine.

      I agree about the control system being desirable. It will be first designed to work beautifully and enjoyably as a manually controlled machine. However, I do intend to have automation that can take over the job, as needed. When I get to working on this module in more detail, I will most certainly look at the off-the-shelf products before deciding whether I want to go in a different direction.

      At this capacity, pneumatic loading is not required. I am planning on using a lovingly crafted, matching “bucket” to pour green into the delivery hopper of the roaster.

  4. casey permalink
    May 11, 2012

    Thanks for your reply. I’m very excited about your project and wish you the best. I hope you will sell some beans to the public once this baby is up and running. I’d love to taste some high quality bowl roasted coffee, the majority out there is commodity coffee.

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