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  • Designing your own machine

    Hi all,

    After doing a bit of research on the net, I discovered this wonderful resource! Im hoping somebody will be able to point me in the right direction...

    I have decided to design and manufacture my own coffee machine as a home project. Im a mechanical engineer, so it shouldnt be too difficult but finding where to start nonetheless is a little daunting!

    My question is: Has anybody ever attempted to design, manufacture and test their own machine? How did you go about it? Did you design everything from scratch or build something with a mix between top quality, high end parts with your own personal touches on the exterior? What challenges did you encounter and most importantly, how did your espresso taste?!

    Any help would be much appreciated

    Cheers,
    Tara

  • #2
    Re: Designing your own machine

    Hi Tara and welcome

    what your reason for wanting to build your own out of interest.

    is it better espresso or just the challenge?

    so many ideas to consider.....
    dual boilers, e61, saturated group heads, lever, volumetric... the list is long.....

    good luck in your quest and keep us posted if you go ahead

    Leeham

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Designing your own machine

      Hi Leeham,

      Im interested in the challenge! People can build their own cars so I figure I can do the same with a coffee machine

      So far, Im thinking dual boilers, single group head, lever action.

      Hopefully better espresso will be a bonus outcome!

      tara

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Designing your own machine

        Hi and welcome,

        might be easiest to see if you can get hold of a junker of some sort to have a play with in your research and design if you decide to go ahead. Evil Bay has lots of old commercials that tend not to bring to higher price and may be a good start to look at. example my 2 matching 2 group machines owe me about $300 total

        You will find some here that have done tinkering around the edges and chapping and changing of bits, but that is about the extent of it.

        Initial question is it for home or are you considering a small commercial (larger) machine?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Designing your own machine

          Typing as you were You could try a small single group commercial for the steam boiler and chassis as there is normally a fair bit of spare room inside the shell and have a look at somthing like a good domestic boiler/PID combo for the brew boiler? There was a Z9 Rancilio 1 group lever went yesterday on the bay of evil for around $800

          Lever excellent 8-) love the levers

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Designing your own machine

            hi Tara, I know someone who has done it - the current NSW Barista Champ Matt Perger had a go at making his own machine, probably without the mechanical engineering background you have though.

            If youre on twitter that would be the easiest way for me to put you in touch if you wanted to chat to him about it. Im easy to find there, user name is the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Designing your own machine

              Thanks for all the input guys!

              Ill be keeping an eye out on ebay for anything of quality that pops up and in the meantime trawl the internet for any info of use.

              To answer your question Beanflying, it would be for home use only.

              Also hazchem, Im not on twitter but that can change easily enough.

              Will keep this updated with progress

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Designing your own machine

                Nice, are you wanting to do something new? As yet no one has been able to replicate the temperature stability of synesso, or LM without the cost of relatively large boilers and saturated groups.

                A group/boiler design that could achieve this, without getting hotter or colder with successive shots at a price point aka VBM or Giotto would be 8-) That said sunbeams electric heated groups are interesting.

                Im thinking a pid adjustable group, attatched to a pid adjustable boiler would be pretty cool as it would allow you to have either a flat or various different intra shot temperature curves depending on coffee, roast etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Designing your own machine

                  Hi Tara,

                  any update with your project?

                  (Im on the tail end of a B.E(mech) degree myself and will follow this thread with great interest if your project ever gets off the ground!)

                  Good luck,

                  David

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Designing your own machine

                    Hey there

                    good luck with this project. if you need anything pm me, i have restored many machines and built quite a few custom one-offs. i always try to incorporate tried and tested parts that i know are of good quality and design thenmodify them if needed. i am in the design stage of a new project and will mail you the designs when finished to give you an idea of how i attempt new projects. also try buying an old junker and play around to get the understanding of temps and layouts etc.
                    good luck
                    george

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Designing your own machine

                      Hey George,

                      Its great to hear somebody out there is doing this! So far, no progress to be reported however Im trying to track down an old crapped out machine to tinker with... Unfortunately I didnt get a chance to comb through all the junk on the footpaths for the annual kerbside waste collection last weekend to find a coffee machine so Ive got to find one another way!

                      Ive got a fair few ideas, most of which include, as you put it, tried and tested parts of good quality and design, its just a matter of putting it all down on paper and knuckling down to do some research!

                      Cheers,
                      Tara

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Designing your own machine

                        Have a 2 group that is gathering dust if that suits, probably too big though. And just saw you were in perth so pretty expensive to get there too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Designing your own machine

                          Thanks for the offer, however Im not sure if it would be worth sending it all the way to Perth?!

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