How to Make a Better Pringles Can

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Introduction: How to Make a Better Pringles Can



The Pringles can was a brilliant invention. It helps prevent the chips from breaking and keeps them fresh. But it has one major drawback. Getting chips from the bottom of the can is inconvenient. The can is too narrow for many adult hands and you will usually get your hand covered in the favor powder that builds up on the inside walls of the can.

So to get around this problem, you can either pour the chips onto a plate or design a better Pringles can. I chose the latter. There are a lot of ways that the Pringles can could be modified to work better. The design that I chose uses an adjustable platform for the chips so that they can be raised as the chips are consumed. The platform is loosely held in place by the friction and is adjusted by pulling on the platform with a loop of string that is attached to the lid.

Step 1: Materials

To make this mod you will need the following items:

Thin sheet metal that is suitable for use with food (I used a dollar store baking sheet)
Needle nose pliers
Tin snips
A Sharpie (optional)
Dental floss (or thread)

Step 2: Cut the Sheet Metal to Shape

Start by cutting out a 5in(12.7cm) diameter circle from your piece of sheet metal. Then draw a 2.5in(6.3cm) diameter circle inside your cutout. Be careful to keep the circles centered. The area inside inner circle will be the platform for the chips. The outer portion of the cutout will be used to make the spring-loaded supports that hold the platform in place.

Next we need to cut slots in the outer portion of the plate. The number and size of the slots is not crucial. I made about 40 slots that were about 3/16in wide.  

It may help to first draw a series of lines through the center of the plate. This gives you a guide to help keep the cut lines straight.

Step 3: Bend Down the Spring Supports

Using the needle nose pliers, bend the metal strips down a little less than 90 degrees. They should be flared out to be a little wider than the can. This helps insure than these strips will press firmly on the inside of the can. Then bend the end of each strip inward a little further. This helps prevent the tips from getting caught on anything when it is inserted into the can.

This is the chip platform that will be used to support the stack of chips. In a commercial version of this design the platform could easily be created from molded plastic. But for a rough DIY prototype, metal is more convenient to work with.

Step 4: Thread the Floss From the Lid to the Platform

Using the ends of the tin snips or another sharp object, punch two small holes in opposite sides of the plastic lid. Then cut off a piece of floss/thread that is about 24in(61cm) in length. Thread the floss through these holes so that the two ends come out of the bottom of the lid. Then tie the ends together. Feed this loop through the teeth of the metal platform.

This loop of floss is what will be used to pull on the platform to raise the chip level. This platform adjuster could also be made from other materials. It could also be made from a single rod with an arm bent underneath the platform. Any method will work as long as it is capable of applying even vertical force to raise the platform.

Step 5: Put the Assembly in the Can

Insert the metal platform into the Pringles can and slide it to the bottom. If some of the cardboard on the inside of the can is sticking out, there is a chance that the platform may get stuck. If this happens, just spin the platform clockwise and it will come loose.

Then all you have to do put the chips back in the can and you are done. The easiest way that I have found to get Pringles back in the can without breaking them is to make an upside down stack of chips, slide the can over the top and then carefully flip them back upright. Then whenever you want to raise the level of the chips, just pull up on the lid. The strings will pull up on the platform raising the chips, and friction should hold it in place.

This may not be very practical to do at home with every can of chips. But it does show that there are simple ways to improve the design of the Pringles can. If you can think of another product that is annoying or inconvenient, leave a comment and I will choose some of the better ones to improve in a later project.

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    57 Comments

    Some people have way to much time on their hands...I would nevvver do this...I could have that whole can ate before he got the bottom cut out!

    Where's the fun in that

    Your idea is good but I use a lazier one... ;)
    What about a simple sheet of paper (letter size) folded in half.
    You curve the paper a little, insert it in the can.
    You place the can on its side (paper under the chips, of course).
    You pull the paper and VOILÀ !
    Just my 2 cents..

    Pringles.jpg

    now that's a good idea

    What about just tipping the can over? Too simple? Too easy?

    Here's the good copy of the designs.
    DESIGN 1: By using a short can instead of circle sheet metal, the slots don't catch on to the inside of the can when you push the chip platform down. Also, by cutting a long slot in the pringles can itself and through that slot attaching a riser to the can, it's much easier to raise and lower the chip platform. A downside is the lost space for chips.
    DESIGN 2: In this design, it works like a push-pop. The chip platform is raised/lowered by pushing or pulling a stick handle which would feed through a hole cut in the bottom of the pringle's can (ignore that part in my picture about the orange ring- a hole in the bottom of the can would be easier and more practical). This design is better because it allows for much more space for chips and is easier to construct.

    pringles concept 2.png

    lol just had a closer look at your idea 2 and realised i just proposed the same thing minus the handle which makes complete sense to be taped to outside!

    however i would say you dont need two platforms at the bottom as the lower one is redundant as really the push stick does not need a guide hole.

    "Guide hole" meant the hole the handle would follow through. Without it it would easily fall apart. It would just be a small hole cut in the base.

    what about a flexible plastic base that is a tiny bit more wide than the can, plus that side slider idea of yours, so that when you press the slider into the can, the plastic base is bent and allows you to move it up and down, but when it's released, it get's back to it's original shape, forcing outwards against the can's wall and holding the chips in place.
    That would take the space of like 3 chips.