Alii—\ä’l ́ē,ē\, Hawaiian for a Polynesian chief, noble or king—is a coffee maker for coffee lovers and casual drinkers. In lieu of plastic pods that ruin everything the brew quality to the environment, Alii uses paper cones pre-filled with fair-trade coffee, or empty paper cones for 3rd-party coffees.
Alii represents my senior thesis—applying design thinking to the single-serve coffee maker. This project involved disciplines like micro/macroeconomics, material processing, electromechanical design and testing, functional 3D printing and, of corse, coffee.
In an effort to build a functional prototype, I partnered up with Forrest Sheared, an Electrical Engineering student at RIT. While Forrest was initially focused on designing the electrical systems, his interest in the project grew beyond the technical details—eventually taking a 50% stake in the project and becoming my partner.