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The birth of Thermik


by Ryley Lyon March 25, 2016

In December of 2015 we set out to create a better handle for Yeti Rambler 30 oz tumbler. Like many others, we loved the huge capacity of the 30 oz tumbler, but at times it was a serious mission just holding onto the thing. When full, it weighs over 3 pounds, and for someone without the hands of a yeti, there's not a lot of leverage.

We researched what was available on the market, and found it lacking. It seemed like the most popular solution was heating up a tervis handle with a hot air gun and jamming it on. Clever, but we knew we could do better.

First of all, we wanted a handle that could fit in cupholders. We wanted it to be bullet proof strong, with no moving parts. We wanted it to stay on the cup. This meant one ring, with an open bottom. But would the wedge shape of the tumbler provide enough friction? To verify our concept we made a hideous prototype out of Shapelock.

 

First hand molded prototype

The red-headed step prototype

 

The answer we got? More than enough friction. We thought it was going to break getting it off. Next step was designing something that didn't look like part of Toht's face in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Thus began weeks of back and forth with our newly hired CAD designer. Various samples of Yeti, Rtic, and other brands of tumblers were measured carefully on a granite surface. Hurdles were jumped and more than a few nights were spent on the couches at Techshop in San Francisco. Very quickly, we invested in our own 3D printers.

 

Thermik printed prototype handles

The few remaining test models not fit to give away

 

Finally, with an awesome design in hand, we set out to find a reputable factory to build it for us. This turned out to be the biggest challenge yet. We received a range of quotes from near pennies to "it can't be done". With product quality being our chief concern, we landed on the most expensive molder, who's quote was twice that of the next priciest.

Add to that the cost of unexpected tooling, and a molding fee that had to be raised due to the complexity, it hasn't been cheap. But it has paid off, one look at the pre-production samples told us we had made the right choice. And with over 5000 handles sold and nearly 250 five star reviews on Amazon (at the time of writing), I think our customers agree.

Ryley - Co-Founder




Ryley Lyon
Ryley Lyon

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