Introduction: Assistant Pourer

When cooking in the kitchen, it can sometimes be very difficult to lift and pour heavy pots and pans immediately after they have been removed from the stove or oven, especially if you have physical disabilities that lower your strength or dexterity. This device is designed to assist the pouring process of these hot heavy cookware, and allows a more handsfree process.

This device was designed as part of the MIT class Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (PPAT). The original client uses this device to pour the contents of her cookware from one container to another when these contents are too hot or too heavy.

The device can be separated into different parts:

The main frame structure

The overhanging support base,

The top plate

The actuation mechanism

The electronics

Below are the bill of materials and documentation of the necessary machines/tools needed to fabricate this device and the files necessary to print the 3D printed parts.

Step 1: HDPE Main Frame Structure

1a. Cut out all marked rectangles using the bandsaw, and refine the dimensions with the belt sander.

1b. Join the 1.5” tall HDPE pieces as indicated in the following diagram with screws.

Step 2: Aluminum Base Plate

2a. Use drill press to create through holes at the above location.

2b. Use hand drill to pre-drill holes in the side sections and screw in the bottom plate to the four sides of the platform.

Step 3: Top Plate

Create the top plate from HDPE with the following dimensions and through holes.

Step 4: Curved Pot Holder

8a. CAD the following pieces with a 12” OD, 11.5” ID, 10” length, 0.5” thickness, and 1.5” height.

8b. 3D print the pieces using a heat resistant plastic filament. Markforged with Onyx filament may be used for this.

Step 5: Aluminum Vertical Rods

7a. Cut two 7” lengths of the aluminum rod on the bandsaw.

7b. Face them on the lathe to refine the lengths.

7c. Drill a tap hole for the relevant screw into one end of each piece on the lathe.

7d. Tap the holes with the corresponding tap.

Step 6: HDPE Fold Out Base

3a. Mill out ¾” wide slits 1” away from the edge of the 12” x 12” piece.

3b. Drill two ¼” holes with a drill press ¼” away from the edge and halfway down the length using the drill press.

3c. Drill two ¼” holes with a drill press ¼” away from both edges in the corners using the drill press.

3d. Join the 12” x 12”, 4” x 4”, and the 1.5” x 11.25” pieces from the frame assembled above with 4 hinges, two along each contact edge as seen below.

3e. Join the free end of the hinges to the front edge of the main frame structure (the side closest to the counter edge).

Step 7: Aluminum Lift Arms

4a. Cut the ⅛” thick aluminum sheet into two 8” pieces on the bandsaw.

4b. Use the grinder to round the corners and remove burs. Drill a clearance hole for a screw into one end of each piece at the same spot using the drill press.

4c. Drill a 6mm clearance hole for the track roller on the other end of each piece using the drill press.

Step 8: Aluminum Cross Section Rod

5a. Cut a little more than a 10.5” length of the aluminum rod using the bandsaw.

5b. Face the length of the rod down to 10.5” on the lathe.

5c. Drill a tap hole of 5 mm in diameter and 0.5” in depth into either end of the rod using the lathe.

5d. Tap both holes using an M6 x 1 tap.

Step 9: Aluminum Tracks

6a. Cut two 12” lengths of the aluminum track on the bandsaw.

6b. Use the grinder to refine the lengths and remove burs.

Step 10: Linear Actuator (Lead Screw)

a. Create ¼” hole at the back side plate of the device consistent with the drawing above.

b. Cut out rectangles from aluminum sheet with the above dimensions.

c. Create a center hole in the larger sheet of aluminum.

d. Insert the rotor of the motor through this hole and using glue, locknut and HDPE couple the lead screw to the rotor.

e. Using the right angle pieces, secure the lead screw-motor assembly to the bottom plate as shown above.

f. Use lock nut to secure the end of the lead screw at the back plate.

Step 11: Friction Covering

9a. Cut the friction covering into a 10” x 14” and 12” x 12” rectangles. Cut out ¾” wide slits 1” away from the edge of the 12” x 12” piece.

9b. Attach the 12” x 12” piece to the 12” x 12” HDPE with similarly cut out slots using the Crazy Glue. Attach the 14” x 10” piece to the 14” x 10” HDPE using the Crazy Glue.

Step 12: Tension Strings

10a. Cut the rope into two 12” lengths.

10b. Thread one end of each length in one of the holes in the 4” x 12” HDPE and the other ends of the lengths into the holes in the 12” x 12” HDPE.

10c. Tie a knot on all the ends and make sure they are at tied at a length that limits the rotation angle of the 12” x 12” HDPE to 90˚ relative to the 4” x 12” HDPE.

Step 13: Suction Cups

11a. Cut out 1”x2” sections of the aluminum sheet metal.

11b. Use drill press and metal brake to create holes and bend section of aluminum as shown by diagram above.

11c. Using screws, attach the suction cups to the sides of the main frame structure towards the end away from the counters edge as shown in the picture above.

Step 14: Electronics

a. Using the above diagram, layout the electronics setup on a board.

b. The final layout should look like the image above.

Step 15: Electronics Enclosure

a. Using a 3D printer, print the electronics enclosure file.

b. Place the electronics board in the enclosure so that the switches line up as shown above.

c. make sure the led is facing the side with the small hole to make it more visible when the device is turned on.