The CAPS ME challenge
Jean de Boisredon and Thibaut Louvet took advantage of the lockdown in 2020 to design a system to easily refill 3D-printed coffee capsules. And everything is reusable. The two students managed to develop a functional prototype in their improvised workshop. They worked for several months on iterations using their own 3D printers.
“Our goal was to create a really simple system, but this was in fact a really complex challenge.” Thibaut Louvet, co-founder of CAPS ME
They launched a pre-ordering campaign to obtain market proof and to validate the system through a wide range of users. The two young founders received 1,900 orders, of which 400 were for dispatch just before Christmas. A major challenge facing the two young entrepreneurs!
The design stages of the CAPS ME refiller
Having created a first prototype, the two friends turned to various potential partners. Using 3D printing for a mechanism located inside the refiller was the objective to be achieved. KIMYA quickly showed itself to be the most promising in terms of cost. KIMYA Factory then helped the two founders to configure the 3D printers and files. They committed themselves to the two students by conducting the necessary tests in their presence before launching production.
KIMYA Factory fully understood their needs and expectations for this 3D-printed coffee capsule project. Conformity of sizing and quality control are just two of the strong points of the experts at KIMYA. The team was highly responsive and the 400 items were delivered as planned two weeks later. And this despite the very short deadlines. Following this first delivery, the two founders of CAPS ME confirmed their intuition about the usefulness of their invention and the proven market potential. After minor modifications following feedback from the first testers, CAPS ME is continuing its partnership with KIMYA to print the internal mechanisms of their refiller. A total of 3,000 units have been printed in the space of just a few months.
The advantages of KIMYA filaments for 3D-printed coffee capsules
3D printing was the most suitable production process for the challenge posed by this project. This was due to the production volume forecast at the outset and the number of iterations. The PETG black 3D filament was selected due to its compatibility with the “dry food product contact” standard. After the analytical and design work, the CAD led us to carry out several iterations before arriving at the definitive file. Printing trials were also vital for defining the right assembly combination of the parts. Design of the parts led to seven different versions during the printing process of the entire volume.
“One of the advantages of additive manufacturing is that inventors are guaranteed the highest level of responsiveness and significant flexibility, enabling them to continue to adopt iterations, including when actually 3D printing the parts.” Lucas Bellec, Key Account Manager, KIMYA Factory & Lab
KIMYA Factory personnel then mobilized a large part of their printers to meet the deadlines. Notably by launching automated production in 2×8 mode on 50 machines simultaneously. During the first half of 2021, a total of 6,600 kits (26,400 parts) will have been printed.