One of our team members lived in Tanzania for a little while and observed the process of coconut meat for coconut oil. He thought that the process could be streamlined while keeping the product just as easy to use and cost-effective. The materials must be easily mechanically replicated in countries that already use a similar device, called a mbuzi, like Tanzania, Ghana, and the Philippines.
What it does
CocoGogo uses a hand crank mechanism to turn a blade which grates a half coconut at a time.
How we built it
We cut PVC and attached it with joints to make a simple hand crank. We put that through a box to create a functional stool based on the current design of the mbuzi. We made the blade, which we first designed in Solidworks, using acrylic and attached it to one end of the PVC. You can use one hand to crank and the other hand to hold the coconut at various angles to get all of the meat out the coconut.
Challenges we ran into
Many of the challenges we ran into were meeting the design requirements, including the fact that the device had to be easy to clean, easy to make spare parts (no irreplaceable gears), cost effective, portable, easy to use without a lot of muscle power, and being able to remove all of the meat.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We started without a lot of ideation and continuously iterated on our design. We worked very hard in the machine shop and tried to keep the stakeholders in mind at all times.
What we learned
We learned how to use many new machines, including the horizontal band saw and laser cutter, which were both very helpful for our device. We also learned the importance of rest in the design process – we came back to work more energized and eager to continue.
What's next for CocoGogo
We want to try and iterate on our design to make it work even better!