My brief for this recent project was to design and make a mechanical kitchen scales, which is interactive and gives feedback during the weighing process and uses no springs in its mechanism. Rather then boxing up and hiding springs and levers like in most scales, I wanted to allow the user to understand the workings of the scale, with the visible mechanism, validating the given reading.
The scales was originally designed to be sand cast in aluminium, but due to machine availability and the short 5 week timeframe, this model uses a CNC routed beech casing. 40 bespoke aluminium weights which weigh exactly 25 grams hang on an axle, each with a different length slot so they hang at different heights. A platform below the weights, is connected via a pulley to the filling container, so as ingredients are poured in, the container drops making the platform pick up more weights. A laser etched scale shows the weight of the ingredients.
If cast in aluminium, this scales would be a life long, ultra durable product, which would always remain accurate. By using a pure mix of easily separable materials, nothing is glued, and little is screwed, the scale can be repaired, and maintained indefinitely, and easily repurposed or the materials recycled.