The Tri-Grip

Made by Aaron Lee

I observed the usability of a cooking spoon and re-designed the spoon's handle in a way that the user would be able to more comfortably access its different applications.

Created: March 18th, 2019



In order to produce my final cooking-spin design, I had to look through a few options first. There were many grips to think of, using most on a daily basis, but there were very few grips that I could confidently say I felt uncomfortable using, so I turned towards an item that I didn't have a problem with per se, but could be happier using: my cooking-spoon.

I used the spoon for many things (i.e. cooking ingredients in a pan or foods with sauces), and I noticed that the way I gripped the spoon handle made that entirely possible. However, there were no design-centric tutorial for people picking up the spoon for the first time to see that it could be a multi-faceted tool. I created a sketch of the tri-grip, which can be held in at least three different ways. To bring my idea to life, I used high-density foam core as a solid base in the general shape of the grip, and then shaped the clay around it. After finishing touches on the grip, I used a laser cutter to create a replica of the spoon's neck and head and attached it to the grip. 

Sketches of the tri-grip from all 2D viewpoints
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Prototyping Phase

I first laid out some sketches that would capture the general shape of my existing handle, and transferred its outline for me to cut out of a block of foam core. While using a wood-saw and exacto knife to slowly chip away at the thick foam care, I carelessly sliced away at asymmetrical angles, reducing my handle's structural integrity. So when redoing the structure, I drew its outline on both sides of the foam core through straight lines and a little bit of math, to assure that the spoon surfaced symmetrically. I chipped away at it from both sides and met each cut in the middle, succeeding this time. 

Foam core outline
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Foam core outline from other side
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Developing Phase

After making a clean outline of the core, I needed to flesh out the curves of the actual handle, since the final design wouldn't have a rectangular overhead view. After doing some light chipping away at the foam, I created my desired base and started adding clay. This part of the process was much easier because I didn't have to be extra careful with how much clay I added or took out. After creating the general shape of my grip, I started to add a few more intricate details:

  1. Stippling on finger placement points
  2. A smiling face on the lower end of the handle (strictly for aesthetic purposes)

After my handle was finally finished, I needed to present some more contextual information, so I recreated the rest of the cooking-spoon with 3mm acrylic. Then with a heat gun, I curved of the acrylic to match the original.

Tri-grip sideview

From there, the last step was to just attach the clay and the acrylic. It was a fairly easy finishing touch, and the clay supported the weight of the acrylic very well.

Grip #1
Grip #2
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Grip #3


If I were to redo the project, I would consider including a more unique and significant aesthetic element to my design. Not considering a contrasting look from existing cooking-spoons could possibly not give my new product a competitive edge if it were introduced into the market. However, I was happy with the general molding outcome and functionality of my project.


For more questions, please contact me at

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Offers students hands-on experience in DIY product design and fabrication processes. Students work individually or in small groups to design customized and personalized products of their own and bu...more

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I observed the usability of a cooking spoon and re-designed the spoon's handle in a way that the user would be able to more comfortably access its different applications.