duPont Hospital for Children and the University of Delaware
Vol. 2, No. 1 -- Fall 1996

Egg Breaker Design Team

by Jane Fee

In the two and a half years of working on the Eggbreaking device the design team has gone through many stages of development. In the beginning, the team worked out the design criteria along with the PDS (product design specifications) for the Eggbreaker. A small design company, Dynamic Devices Development, was brought on board to help design and build a test bed. After several months of using the test bed, the design team turned its attention to developing a market plan. While the group gathered statistics for the market plan, an industrial designer joined the design team.

The group reviewed everything with the industrial designer and new concepts of how the device would look and operate were explored. Some of the concepts were:

  1. a tube pierces the egg, cuts it, and then dumps the egg out;
  2. pinchers grab the egg, the spring on the edge of the pincher pulls back and cuts the egg; and
  3. a blade pierces the egg, two hinged hooks pulls the egg apart along the hole.

Another concept was an "ice cream scooper" that allowed you to "scoop" up the egg. A blade slides across the top of the "scooper" and cuts the tip of the egg off and keeps the yolk intact. The design team decided to move ahead with the "ice cream scooper" concept and have the engineers work on the mechanism.

* Work being done now is concentrating on the slicing blade of the device. The group cracked more eggs with some of the new blades. The new blades were various sizes, a few different shapes, and had various thicknesses. It was decided that not only was the sharpness of the blade important, but just as important, was the thinness of the blade, regardless of the shape of the blade. The thinnest blade made the cleanest cuts of the egg shell.

Another part of the "ice cream scooper" being looked at is the part that holds the egg. This "cradle" inside the scoop must hold the egg firmly in the same position each and every time that this device is used. The foam lining the inside of the scoop often moves the egg a bit when the device is being tested. One suggestion from the design team is to try shrink wrap tubing with ribs as a possible material for the lining.

The next few months should be exciting for the design team as the group moves closer to a working prototype of the Eggbreaker. Stay tuned for progress reports!

For more information, check out the Egg Breaker Design Team Home Page.