College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Sarah Harding


This Final Design Report outlines the “Novel Wine Opener” senior design project completed by a team of mechanical engineering students at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. The project was sponsored by Bill Swanson, owner of the Center of Effort vineyard and winery in Edna Valley, CA. The goal of the project was to produce a novel wine pouring machine for the Center of Effort. This device should be able to remove the foil cap from a wine bottle, uncork the bottle, and pour a glass of wine at the winery and at public events. The finished product should fit the aesthetic of the remodeled winery and serve as an attraction for wine tasting visitors. After determining our sponsor’s needs and wants for the project, we refined the problem into a set of engineering specifications. Existing technologies were researched and compared to identify similar developments already on the market. The lack of similar technologies found confirmed the presence of a need that our project seeks to fill. The first step we took in tackling this design challenge was to divide the project into six subsystems: bottle gripping, foil removal, cork removal, lifting and pouring, pour volume sensing, and user interface. Our leading concepts comprise a rotating tower for foil and cork removal, a pivoting pouring tower to hold and pour the bottle, a load cell to measure the pour volume, and mechanical buttons and toggle switches for user interface. To verify the feasibility of our designs, we built conceptual and structural prototypes of the rotating tower, cork remover, and foil cutter. The next step in the design process was to redesign each individual function as needed. Prototyping highlighted areas in need of design changes. These changes were implemented, and new prototypes were made. This cycle continued until each individual function operated successfully. The final design consists of improved versions of the leading concepts selected before prototyping: rotating tower, pouring tower, bottle gripper, load cell weight sensing mechanism, and user interface. Next, the final design was manufactured and assembled with final materials. Most prototyping materials included plywood and acrylic. These materials were switched out with aluminum parts. After each function was successfully manufactured and functional, all subsystems were integrated together onto one base plate. Some redesigning and remanufacturing were necessary for successful integration of the entire device. Once the device was satisfactorily assembled, the device was tested against the engineering specifications originally identified at the beginning of the project. This document contains the research, ideation processes, design decisions, design outcomes, manufacturing processes, and test results of the entire process to date.