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Can anyone help?!

designstudent99

New Member
I am a final year product design student and desperately need advice on how the internal technical aspects of my product will work! It is a skincare (face only) dispenser with 5 individual 100 ml tubes that house the liquids. It will sit on a surface in the bathroom environment. I imagine each tube will need a pump and motor to push a pre-determined volume of the liquid out of the nozzle into the users hand. The user will be able to select the product they require and when they put their hand under the automatic sensor, the product they have selected will be dispensed once into their hand. I hope this makes sense. I am not an engineer/mechanics/electronics student so I really am just trying to understand the basics or if anyone could offer some advice/direction I could take that would be amazing. skin dispenser mash up.jpg
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
One obvious solution to how to make it work would be a simple micro controller, which would sense which selection button had been touched, read the proximity sensor, and run the appropriate motor for the required length of time to dispense the "look beautiful juice".

Problems:

What is the power source?
Mains supply in a bathroom is awkward with UK regulations.
Batteries, will have a short life driving motors.

Environment.
A bathroom will be humid, lots of scope for water condensation on the electronics.
Have a look at electric toothbrushes to see how they do it.


JimB
 

designstudent99

New Member
Thank you both for your help! In terms of a motor, would the correct direction be to look at stepper motors? And would the motor compress a tube (like a syringe) to dispense the product? I am also assuming different nozzles where the liquid is dispensed from will be needed due to the different viscosity's of each liquid. Thank you both again - really really appreciate it!
 

Visitor

Well-Known Member
A peristaltic pump will dispense a controlled amount of fluid depending on run time of the motor. They also have no contact with the fluid being pumped.


They used to be extremely expensive but are pretty cheap these days, and can even be 3D printed.

Screenshot_20210304-105015_Edge.jpg
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Let me know via PM when you are ready to go to market. I can introduce you to the materials, molding, decorating and electronics integration companies. There are some really cool methods to make seamless designs. Yours isn't completely seamless but it could and should be in a shower/bathroom area.
 

MrDEB

Well-Known Member
as a suggestion have the back of the unit with a clear panel so user can see when it needs to be refilled.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
as a suggestion have the back of the unit with a clear panel so user can see when it needs to be refilled.
Or, if he uses a positive displacement pump (like a parastaltic pump), he can simply count the rotations of the motor and. Flash a warning light on the front panel.
 

Visitor

Well-Known Member
Thank you both for your help! In terms of a motor, would the correct direction be to look at stepper motors? And would the motor compress a tube (like a syringe) to dispense the product? I am also assuming different nozzles where the liquid is dispensed from will be needed due to the different viscosity's of each liquid. Thank you both again - really really appreciate it!
Please look at the link I provided for peristaltic pumps to understand how they work.

If the fluid being pumped is a thin liquid, it would flow out of the tube from either the high point of the tube or the pump roller position if it's past the top when the pump stops.

If the fluid is more of a gel (think thin toothpaste), it won't flow from the tube when the pump is stopped. If the end of the tube is flash with the upper surface of your round opening, a wiping motion with the fingers will get everything that's been ejected from the tube.

The diameter of the tubing in the peristaltic pump will depend on the consistency of the material being pumped, and the volume of material desired. For a thin liquid where a small volume is desired, a narrow tube will be desirable. Where the material is thick, like a gel or a cream, a larger diameter tube would be needed. If you were to 3D print the pumps, a pump could be designed to accommodate several different size tubes so different products could be used.
 

designstudent99

New Member
Thank you everyone for your advice on this! I am still developing the aesthetics of the design but this has been so helpful in terms of electronics and internals. If i were to include a peristaltic pump for each tube (there are 5 individual tubes) would they each require their own motor to force the liquid out of the dispensing nozzle? Thanks again!
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Thank you everyone for your advice on this! I am still developing the aesthetics of the design but this has been so helpful in terms of electronics and internals. If i were to include a peristaltic pump for each tube (there are 5 individual tubes) would they each require their own motor to force the liquid out of the dispensing nozzle? Thanks again!
A clutch system would be difficult in such a small space - a clutch that would engage only the cam/cams for the fluids you want I'm afraid you're going to run out of space or your device will have to be much bigger The very small motors will not be strong enough
 

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