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Pill Crusher

Cristina Fawaz Syracuse University ‘16 Industrial and Interaction Design Human Factors - IND 375

Table of Contents


Project Brief

2 - 3


4 - 5


6 - 7


8 - 9

Materials and Manufacture

10 - 11

Final Design

Project Brief Project: Pill Crusher Being able to crush pills is an important aspect in the lives of people who depend on feeding tubes. Individuals need feeding tubes for a variety of reasonsv, but often it is because they cannot swallow, eat, or absorb food. Feeding through a tube implies that everything that person ingests must be able to pass through the tube, in other words, everything must me ground or liquefied enough to be able to pass through the tube. The objective of this project was to design a pill crusher that fucused mainly on functionality. My design primarily focuses on patients that use feeding tubes on a day-to-day basis, without disregarding caretakers. For my design I also focused on three main criteria, hand held, a twisting motion, and an easily understood shape, in an attempt to address some of the issues that people who need feeding tubes encounter with crushing pills.


Research User

Feeding Tubes

Feeding tubes are mainly used when a person cannot eat, digest, or absorb food. There is a variety of feeding tubes in the market and their purposes vary. However, long term feeding tubes are typically place in the area of the stomach in this manner: Important Precaution: bumper

Subtances passing through the feeding tube must be very fine, otherwise the system could get clogged.

tube (outside)

tube (inside)

bumper stomach lining


Case Study #1 The following patient is one who suffers of Dysautonomia, and she depends on a feeding tube in order to “eat� and maintain healthy. Her daily nutrition comes from a formula that was prescribed to her; however, she also has to ingest medications, some of which only come in pill form. Whenever she has to take medications, in pill form, she must go through the following process:

1. Inserts pills into pill crusher.

2. Screws top on to grind the pills.

3. Checks powder consistency and repeats process x4.

4. Pours the powder into water so it dissolves.

Crushing Experience:


user must crush pills at least 4 times before achieving desired consistency pill powder sticks to the walls of the pill crusher + pill crusher is small and compact


5. Inserts mixture into siringe and finally into the tube.

Research Pill Crushers

What’s on the market?

Motion: twisting Cost: about $7 + small and compact + stores pills + also serves as a pill cutter - pill powder gets caught inside

Motion: pressing Cost: about $100 + process is quick and simple + uses bags to keep it sanitary + big and heavy - mainly for industrial setting

Motion: crushing and grinding Cost: about $30 + easily washable - open surface (unsanitary) - mainly stationary - highly dependent on motor skills

Motion: pressing Cost: about $20 + single step process + high strengh due to pressure + uses bags to keep it sanitary - limited crushing space

Motion: pressing Cost: $160 + uses cups to keep it sanitary + single step process + home and industrial settings - no pills storage space

Motion: twisting and grinding Cost: about $80 + small and unobtrusive - industrial and heavy looking - use of metal makes it heavier - open surface (unsanitary)


Ideation Sketches


Testing Models Testing Tips: As I decided to focus on a crushing and twisting motion, or process, for my pill crusher, I initially tested out various tips with different shapes to see and understand which one worked best and how.


This tip has a slight curve to the sides, but remains rather flat at the very center. Its edges as roughly rounded, so that it is easier to move around the crushing cavity when crushing. + ease of motion - pressure causes air and powder to rise up - process must be repeated at least 4 times to achieve fine powder


This tip is completely rounded, and contains not flat surfaces. Its edges are rounded; however, because it mainly focuses on one point (the rounded center) it often pushes the pill around the crushing cavity, and makes it difficult to crush the pill. - does not crush pills to fine powder - shape of tip limits twisting motion


This tip consists of a pointed, conical shape. I initially intended for this tip to cut through the pill and then serve as a grinder. Even thoough it worked to an extent with soft pills, when crushing harder pills it did not achieve fine powder. + tip serves as crusher and grinder (slightly) - process must be repeated at least 4 times to achieve fine powder


Testing Refining

Refined Model:

Even though there were a few changes from this model to the final model, this model reveals the closest shape and function to what the final design is. Like the final design, this model focuses on a large, round lid.


Testing Refining

Griping and Process: 1.






Step-by-Step Process: 1. User grabs pill crusher and separates the parts. 2. User inserts pill into female part, or crushing cavity. 3. User places male part, or lid, into cavity and performs the first crush. 4. User begins the twisting process. User will repeat this step until the desired powder consistency is achieved. 5. Powder form is mixed in with water. 6. User connects the parts together so that the pill crusher remains sanitary and is ready for storage.


Final Design Materials

Function: This piece is meant to initiate the crushing process and continue to function as a grinding mechanism. Material: Polypropylene (white) Manufacturing Process: Injection Molding Observations: In the case that this piece is too light and not as efficient as expected, it would be made from stainless steel.

Function: This piece is meant to hold the pill to be crushed and grinded. Material: Polypropylene (green) Manufacturing Process: Injection Molding

Description: This pill crusher is designed to be handheld and lightweight. It is made up of two pieces, a female and a male, that fit into each other. When in use the pieces separae and are used accordingly. However, when it is set aside it assembles together so that it does not take up extra space. There are three steps to crushing a pill with this pill crusher: 1. Insert the pill into the female, or green, component. 2. Insert the male part into the female part with an “initial� force. 3. Grind the crushed pill until pulverized.


Final Design Rendering




Pill Crusher Design Process  
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