there’s nothing worse than having a mouthful of syrup when you finish a milkshake, and this is a basic problem that mcdonald’s has set out to alleviate. the fast food chain is shaking things up in the design world with their re-engineering of the humble drinking straw, and has employed a team of aerospace and robotic engineers to reinvent the slurping experience for optimum milkshake consumption.

mcdonald -straw re-engineered designboom 02-16-2017
the J-shaped straw is designed to merge multiple layers of milkshake in one sip

 

 

the main problem faced by the mcdonald’s team has been posed by the chain’s new milkshake menu for shamrock season. the exclusive half-mint half-chocolate layered shake initially meant that the drinker would struggle to combine the two flavors in a single sip without waiting until the shake had fully melted.

mcdonald -straw re-engineered designboom 02-16-2017
the STRAW comes in its own sleek black box 

 

 

since no-one wants their chocolate to mint ratio to be compromised by poor technology, mcdonald’s turned to two highly-qualified engineering firms, JACE and NK labs to create the STRAW—that’s Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal, by the way. the STRAW is a J-shaped, snorkel-like vessel that provides optimal flavor flow dynamics. the tube has side openings to suck in both layers at once, and is engineered to work just as well at the bottom of the shake as it did at the top.

mcdonalds-straw-redesign-designboom-16-02-2017-818-006
the 50% chocolate 50% mint beverage poses problems for the everyday straw

 

 

principal engineer seth newburg elaborates that ‘from a physics perspective, it’s actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors in a single sip.the team used over 100 milkshakes in the testing phase, modeling the milkshake flow with computer software and using 3D printing to perfect the design. thanks to their efforts, the STRAW is a marvel of fluid dynamics.

mcdonald -straw re-engineered designboom 02-16-2017
the STRAW has side openings to suck in both layers at once

 

 

the STRAW is on course to reinvent the user experience of milkshake drinking. after taking onboard customer feedback, the director of menu innovation realized that improving the milkshake was not about the drink itself, but rather the technology with which it was being consumed. 2000 STRAWs have been produced so far, and shamrock season will tell how well the re-engineered STRAW is performing.

mcdonald -straw re-engineered designboom 02-16-2017
the mcdonald’s STRAW is a marvel of fluid dynamics

mcdonald -straw re-engineered designboom 02-16-2017
the engineering team map out the concept for STRAW

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news