CDME Student Collaboration with Edison Brewing Company

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Conceptually Designed and Additively Manufactured Beer Tap Handles

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When Wil Schulze, owner of Edison Brewing Company and The Ohio State University alumnus, was interested in creating unique beer taps, he reached out to the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) to collaborate with CDME students to additively manufacture a more functional design.

Led by Karsten Hansch and Bennett Wettengel, student research assistants, and Josh Leidich, CDME program manager, CDME used their state-of-the-art 3D polymer printing technologies to conceptualize, prototype and manufacture beer tap handles.

To kick off the project, design brainstorm sessions were held to sketch ideas and generate concepts that would represent Edison’s proximity to John Glenn Columbus International Airport, their selection of internationally inspired beers and the brewery’s electricity theme.

After creating a design, a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model was created in SolidWorks to prepare a prototype for testing using the Stratasys F370 polymer material printer. The front of the first beer tap design included a yellow handle body displaying Edison’s logo, a depiction of the John Glenn International Airport and Columbus skyline. On the back, an extruded resemblance of a lightbulb’s filament to allude to its actual appearance in addition to the metal base.

3 sides of printed prototype that looks like yellow lightbulb
Round 1: Stratasys F370 3D Printed Prototype

The team received permission from CDME’s Medical Modeling, Materials, and Manufacturing (M4) Lab to use their medical 3D printer for the second prototype. The Stratasys J5 MediJet prints complex multi-color and translucent projects using resin material for better print quality and structure.

3 sides of printed prototype that looks like yellow lightbulb
Round 2: Stratasys J5 MediJet 3D Printed Prototype

Design adjustments after the first prototype resulted in the filament being inwardly extruded and encased by a translucent bulb. When viewing from the side, displayed is a traditional patterned filament lightbulb though from the back the filament’s curvature highlights Edison’s “E.”

Final Design

3d printed light bulb design
Round 3: Stratasys J5 MediJet 3D Printed Prototype

Completed Project

3 images showing completed project taps

Student Reflection 

“Designing beer tap handles for Edison Brewing Company was a valuable and rewarding experience! I had the opportunity to learn and run various 3D printing software’s and associated printing technologies including the Stratasys F370 and J5 MediJet. The partnership created with Edison Brewing Company has set up a positive relationship, and I look forward to future collaborative projects.” – Karsten

“Working on this project, with Karsten, was a great step in my path of becoming a well-rounded engineer. In addition to learning about 3D printing, I was able to gain insight into the design process consisting of methods of concept generation, refinement and small-scale prototyping. The opportunity to work on such a unique project as the beer tap handles and make outside connections through CDME has continued my excitement and passions towards a career in engineering.” – Bennett

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To learn more about this project, contact Josh Leidich,

View a PDF Summary of this project.