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Dixie Cup dispensers. How does this machine work?

  1. Jan 29, 2013 #1
    Dixie Cup dispensers. How does this machine work?!?

    Ok, it's definitely not magical (just wrote that to get your attention), but checkout this machine:



    How does this machine separate one cup from the rest of the stack?

    Can you think of a simple mechanism to do the same thing?

    I'm very curious and I have been thinking about it :/

    Thanks for the help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2013 #2

    Bobbywhy

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  4. Jan 29, 2013 #3
    Re: IS THIS MAGIC?!?! How does this machine work?!?

    Judging from the airlines I'd say suction.
     
  5. Jan 29, 2013 #4
    Re: IS THIS MAGIC?!?! How does this machine work?!?

    If the concept in the patent was used in a university project wherein we have to build a cup vending machine, will that be legal?
     
  6. Jan 29, 2013 #5

    Bobbywhy

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    Re: IS THIS MAGIC?!?! How does this machine work?!?

    I am not qualified to advise you on Patent Law. Normally a patent-holder's monopoly expires after 20 years. You may get some background information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Term_of_patent_in_the_United_States

    But your University advisor should check on the legal ramifications.

    Cheers,
    Bobbywhy
     
  7. Jan 29, 2013 #6

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    Re: IS THIS MAGIC?!?! How does this machine work?!?

    Welcome to PF!
    You can see in the video a grooved cylinder on each side of the cup grabs the lip and pulls the cup down and away from the cup above it.
     
  8. Jan 29, 2013 #7

    AlephZero

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    Re: IS THIS MAGIC?!?! How does this machine work?!?

    If you don't want to just copy somebody else's idea from a patent, look at the way the "escapement" works on a mechanical clock or watch to let the gears turn one tooth at a time.

    Then figure out how to do something similar with a stack of cups, and gravity.
     
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