Calypso Cup

THE CALYPSO CUP

Senior Project

A solution for women with limited access to menstrual products.

This product provides a sustainable solution for underprivileged, low income, or homeless women to utilize reusable menstrual cups as a feminine hygiene product during their menstrual cycle.

Women who live in situations that prevent them from accessing feminine hygiene products during their menstrual cycle need a way to stay prepared. With menstrual cups, the solution is always at the ready – when a woman’s menstrual cycle starts, she could have instant access to a solution for her entire cycle.

But menstrual cups only work for women who have a home to return to at the end of the day to safely wash their cups – homeless women or women in unstable living situations do not have that luxury. The Calypso Cup solves that problem for women in need.

When determining the direction for my senior project, I wanted to focus on something that I saw as a definitive need in our society.
 
With multiple areas of interest, it was through the creation of mood boards and research that several topics of interest were found.
 
Ultimately, research into the exile of menstruating women in certain cultures and tribes of rural India, as well as the struggles faced by women today with limited access to menstrual products, piqued my interest and showed a need that I had a desire to address.

With a project topic in mind, several research methodologies were used to explore the problem.

Time was spent determining the most effective design approaches for this project.

Further exploration through a ‘PUNC’ analysis

Opportunity identified for a viable design project.

Insight found.

Initial sketch explorations include numerous notes about function possibilities.

(I’ve got pages and pages of this stuff)

Further explorations of form heavily influenced by production realities – how could this product be manufactured simply and cost effectively?

Prototyping stage saw many hours focused on the design of the cap.

With the design of the product up to this point being strictly focused on function, the cap allowed room for focus on the form. I wanted the carabiner attachment point to be functional, while also complementing the overall form of the bottle.

A mirror was added to the top of the cap to provide another convenience for the user, after much deliberation on ways to make the product multi-functional.

Many thanks to my dear classmates who spent much time in discussion with me over this component of the project – your feedback was invaluable. 

Final Solidworks parts ready for export and 3D printing.

Before export, Solidworks Assemblies were used to ensure threads would print successfully (creating functional 3D printed threads is no simple task, depending on your 3D printer!).

Photographs from the finishing process.

What a joy to see the project coming together, I think I may have even cried a little at this point in the project.

Flexible PLA filament was used to print the seals for the bottles, ensuring the accuracy of a high-fidelity final model and allowing exploration and thought for the entire manufacturing process.

Simple use for a simple solution.

Future goals include creating and illustrating an instructional manual for intended users.

Time was spent researching reasonable manufacturing estimates.

Future goals include design of  branding and packaging for the Calypso Cup.

The Calypso Cup is a discreet, functional product to help women maintain their feminine hygiene during their menstrual cycles, regardless of their circumstances.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This project was a joy to create. It allowed me to encompass my care for people and the joy of putting myself in the mind of the user, and truly understanding them. I thoroughly enjoyed the research, ideation, and creation process from start to finish.