Hey, remember parties? And going out? And like…touching other people? Me too. Those were good times, and those good times are going to come back eventually! But while everyone out there is clamoring for “back to normal,” companies like Pirani Life are working toward making sure the next normal is a better one world. Brandegee Pierce, the co-founder of Pirani Life lives in Florida, which you might know as the top spot for spring break, but what you probably don’t know, is the just how much waste is produced during these kinds of mass gatherings, or even at the smaller scale, the aftermath can always be seen, and what is more identifiable as the aftermath of a good (but irresponsible!) time, than the red party cup?
We had the chance to interview Brandegee recently, and while like so many things, the Pirani party cup seems very simple at face value, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes and under the surface!
To understand Pirani Life, and the mission set, let’s start at the beginning. Brandegee, an Art Institute alumni has worked as an industrial designer at several places, including three years for Mr. Coffee, and three and a half years for Quantachrome Instruments, working as a designer and mechanical engineer, applying R&D to scientific instruments, so as you can imagine, he’s quite well versed in CAD, but has only been using Fusion 360 for the past 18 months!
Pirani itself is a two-person operation, run by both Brandegee and his wife, Danielle Del Sordo; this duo can design a product 100% themselves by bringing their product to life through a network of freelancers. When we sat down with Brandegee, he took us through how they achieved this! After all, to have a product available for purchase globally, when you’re only two people, can be an almost insurmountable task.
“The main thing that makes this possible is Fusion 360,” Brandegee tells us. He’d been exposed to Autodesk through prior work. He had seen Fusion 360 in the Product Design & Manufacturing Collection, where he started playing with it out of curiosity, using it in his personal time. Enter Jeff Smith, all-around superstar, industrial designer, and an adoption specialist at Autodesk, who showed him how to use the CAM side of Fusion 360, leading Brandegee to entirely abandon MasterCAM in favor of Fusion 360, where he machined a crazy surface “just to test and stress the software” initially. Pirani Life started with all their data being created in Inventor and migrating content to Fusion 360 using STEP files, before eventually relocating to full adoption of Fusion 360.
“It was just really, really easy to use, but the cloud was scary at first because it’s different, I guess…” today, Brandegee only regrets not having adopted Fusion 360 sooner. In particular, he noted to us that the variety of ways to model, and the freedom to create complex geometry is what excited him the most about Fusion 360, “What we did with Pirani was limited geometrically, but future projects are heavily reliant on these complex tools.”
Ok, so what about the Pirani Life party cup itself? Remember those red cups we talked about? For all the efforts to make them recyclable, or compostable, a few simple truths cannot be denied. People still just throw them on the ground, litter beaches, and don’t forget about the sheer volume of unnecessary production, energy in recycling, raw material lost, landfill increased, The list goes on and on for the reasons single-use products make no sense, at all! Brandegeee and Danielle grew sick of seeing party cups litter their beaches in Florida, and so, the party cup was born!
The slim low profile cup still managed to squeeze a vacuum wall in, enabling you to keep your drink cold for longer (responsible drinking guys, it’s cool trust me) or that hot drink too! While such a simple solution, we really dig the Pirani Life party cup, and how such a basic solution fixes the problem, creates something memorable (who doesn’t love a party souvenir?) and can be used over and over.
You can get the Pirani cup here, and Pirani is expanding into future products that bring better ways to live sustainably.