Baby milk feeding bottles hit the spot

Mimic <>

The newly formed company Mimic, based in the Netherlands, approached Gemini Prototyping in 2019 with the opportunity to help them develop their baby bottle prototype. Mimic were determined to create a new type of feeding bottle that is suitable for use with either pre-dosed formula milk or expressed breast milk. Their goal was to provide babies with a smart bottle that was flexible, highly functional, safe and comforting to use. Their vision was clear, they wanted their design to copy the drinking technique and the shape of the breast. It was also important that they created a high-quality product that was durable and could provide the best possible solution for babies who were either fully or partly bottle fed.

Mimic consulted the team at Gemini Prototyping during the early stages of their concept design to iron out a few challenges, and ultimately enable themselves to have the best possible chance of gaining approval for manufacturing.

With the end user being a young infant it was essential to identify and comply with all the required regulations. As specialists in developing complex prototypes using a range of plastic moulding methods, Gemini Prototyping were able to offer a variety of design and production solutions, plus a clear timeline of what would be delivered and when.

How were Gemini Prototyping able to bring the most value?

From a technical perspective it was the assembly of intricate components that required specialist engineering to resolve. Gemini Prototyping were able to provide expert solutions for the function, assembly and production thanks to over 15 years of experience with these particular processes. The key aspect of the teat design required two different types of plastics (one of which is silicone) to form a permanent bond, achieved via over-moulding methods. Another key element was the collapsible diaphragm. This required a unique construction of flexible materials specially designed to ensure reliability and durability.

On a personal level it’s important for Gemini Prototyping to provide guidance and reassurance throughout every stage of the process. We understand it’s a big investment financially and emotionally to make a vision become reality. Therefore, we make ourselves available from beginning to end of the prototype project, and in this case, continue that service through to production.

What made the prototype design so unique?

One of the most prevalent requirements was to reduce the risk of colic, which has sadly been a challenge within the baby bottle market for some time. Mimic discovered they were able to help achieve this thanks to their innovation of allowing the baby to control the flow of the milk via the carefully positioned holes in the teat, and when the bottle is being rotated.

Another simple but clever aspect of the design was the inclusion of the measuring levels incorporated in the teat. This allows the exact measurement of milk given or left behind.

The bottle itself needed to be lightweight, secure and held easily. Whilst the feeding teat needed to be wide and flexible in shape, with a natural texture for comfort. Gemini Prototyping responded to this need by developing several varieties of new plastic textures for user testing.

Sustainability was also a priority, so the milk formula refill cups were made of mono-plastic and can therefore be 100% recycled.

A unique award-winning drinking system with the following features:

●          Easy to use thanks to the shape and soft teat making it easy to latch on

●          Comfort and colic risk reduced thanks to the controlled milk distribution

●          Long lasting bottle

●          100% recyclable quality pre-filled milk formula refill cups

“As Product Engineering Lead of Mimic (affiliate of Hero Group AG) I’m very happy with the cooperation with Gemini Prototyping. We really enjoyed the ride over the last couple of years. The continuous effort, experience and trouble solving attitude Richard, Jake and the rest of the team has become a vital element in the start-up phase of our company. Especially the production of the complex 2k teat made of PBT and LSR is the result of a delicate process to obtain maximum functionality, aesthetics and of course compliance. The end result beautiful high quality baby bottle, fully food compliant and certified to market in the complex baby food market. Parents love the shape and quality of the product, their baby’s love the revolutionary better drinking pace resulting in less cramps and ailments. This Red Dot Product Design award as a well-deserved honoration of something special.“

Frenkel, Mimic Product Engineering Lead, May 2021

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