Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Extremely complicated variable parameter utensils

Tweaker's prandial delight
  [vote for,

Let's face it: Tableware is fairly boring. You've got the basic Spoon, Fork, Knife triad and assorted variations (and combinations, i.e. spork) according to use, but nothing much has changed since the electric knife (ca. 1960).

I'd like to see tableware with intricate adjustments. Variable depth spoons. Forks with adjustable tine length and number. Knives with adjustable serrations.

Possibly not very practical, and hard to clean, but could inspire collectors late in the next century. "Ah, yes, a fine rare example of a 2017 composite rotatable articulated knife. Notice the variable escutcheon."

csea, Dec 11 2009

Zenspoon zenspoon
Interesting, but not variable. [csea, Dec 11 2009]

An example of Historical Watch-making Technology http://trusted-forw.../short_history.html
Not exactly nanotech. [csea, Dec 11 2009]


       [bigsleep] Some more details:   

       Most of this is fairly elementary mechanical design.   

       Spoon depth could be adjusted with concentric conical sections (like a collapsible cup.)   

       Tine length could be based on telescopic tubing, requiring periodic lubrication. Additional tines could be added using small screws and suitable escutcheon.   

       Serrations could be adjustable for depth or breadth by internal rack-and-pinion mechanics.   

       Compare the inner workings of a fine mechanical spring watch. Functional, possibly even artistic.
csea, Dec 11 2009

       18th century watchmaking would be easily equal to the task [link].
csea, Dec 11 2009

       //It does sound a bit nanotech as of now//

What? Nah, simple mechanics is all that's required. +
DrBob, Dec 11 2009

       or use a rapid-prototyper to print off a new one every time you need a different shape.
sninctown, Dec 11 2009

       Yes, I like this too - there would be variations in form, some with the various adjustable wheels and nubbins mounted directly at the business end of the utensil, a sort of broccoli-like sprout of control structures that comes out perpendicular to the item.   

       Later versions might shift these control workings up the stem of the utensil, eventually reaching the far end - the controls looking somewhat like the tuning end of a violin or cello, the effects of these miniature gears being translated down the central shaft of the utensil using long transmission pins, tension wires, or a series of interlocking gears.   

       Finally, in the far future, someone will invent the remote-controlled spoon, featuring an individual remote featuring all the buttons necessary to effect the various control functions. Households will need to purchase special cutlery remote cupboards in which to house all of these remote controls - until one day someone finally invents The Cutlatrobe - a single, highly sophisticated cutlery control unit capable of recording personalised settings, going through "playlists" of configurations, and allowing you to download specialised configurations from the internet.
zen_tom, Dec 11 2009

       I wish I had 2 buns to give, one for the idea and one for [zen_tom]'s anno. I thing this whole concept is beautiful.
pocmloc, Dec 11 2009

       Too late now.
notexactly, Apr 25 2018


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