Is the Ultra Grinder a Monolith copy?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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Bluecold
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#1: Post by Bluecold »

DucaiMann wrote:Hi All!

For the past 5 months, LeverCraft Coffee (Based in Austin, TX) has been working with an independent designer in China who has been working on a new line of coffee grinders. He is a high end automotive engineer with a keen eye for detail. After having many discussions with the designer and a friend who speaks English, he agreed to start working on a 110v prototype that we could bring to the market. I have had the first iteration of this grinder in our cafe, and have been using it at home for some time. It is a seriously impressive grinder at a really competitive price point!

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Discussion split from [PROMO] LeverCraft Ultra Grinder
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

Rytopa

#2: Post by Rytopa »

What has James video got to do with this grinder? I am pretty much sure this grinder is in a league of its own in terms of design, unless somebody has a patent on horizontal burr grind chamber, servo motor attached to the grinder or remote control switch. :lol:

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Bluecold
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#3: Post by Bluecold »

@rytopia, LaPeppina
This is a Monolith copy. From the red collar, the exposed motor, the sliding pillar upper burr mounting, to the magnetic chute.

You can delude yourself any which way you like. In the long run, the coffee community will suffer as no one will invest in bringing a new product to market if it will be copied within a moment's notice, and people support that behavior.

People complain about a lack of innovation, but refuse to support the innovators. Instead, they support those who copy original work.
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."
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Bunkmil

#4: Post by Bunkmil »

Bluecold wrote: This is a Monolith copy. From the red collar, the exposed motor, the sliding pillar upper burr mounting, to the magnetic chute.
I disagree. You also said in another thread that the Molar was a copy of the Versalab. Which I also disagree.

Are the Bentwood and the coming Nautilus copies of the EK43 because they have vertical burrs ?
Are every E61 espresso machines on the market copies of the original Faema ?

We could do this exercise for hours but it would just be pointless IMHO. Almost every product that has been developed in the espresso field was inspired by the existing ones. Versalab probably wouldn't exist if LaCimbali drm burrs were not on the market.

I already know people who preordered the Ultra and have a Monolith. Do they expect the same product ? Definitely not.

Of course you can have your own definition of what a copy of a product is. People can have theirs.
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Bluecold
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#5: Post by Bluecold »

@Bunkmil
Please, keep the discussion fruitful, and discuss statements that were actually made. I never said that the bentwood was a ek43 copy.

If you believe that this, (and the Molar for that matter) are original designs, that's fine, but so far your only argument as to why you believe so is that the discussion can take a long time because everyone influences another. While that is true, I disagree that near-exact copies can't be called out for their copying. It's not a sole design feature. It's a whole range of design features which could have been solved in many ways, but in each case, the solution happened to be 'exactly like the Monolith'.

There are other grinders with a similar use case as the Monolith, such as the Niche and the Versalab. So not all single dose grinders have to look like another due to convergent evolution. Which begs the question, why does the Levercraft looks so very similar to the Monolith?
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

Rytopa

#6: Post by Rytopa »

Bluecold wrote:@rytopia, LaPeppina
This is a Monolith copy. From the red collar, the exposed motor, the sliding pillar upper burr mounting, to the magnetic chute.

You can delude yourself any which way you like. In the long run, the coffee community will suffer as no one will invest in bringing a new product to market if it will be copied within a moment's notice, and people support that behavior.
On well, luckily I am not one of those.. haha.. my color scheme is full black, on wait, its has already been taken by the Monolith damn.. :roll:

Magnetic chute design has been around for ages, surprisingly my first encounter with it was in a Made in China HC-600 Model ODG Heycafe in 2012, if going by your logic, Monolith has been copying Heycafe. Tilted burr design was first showcased in the Mythos which was in 2013 which is commonly found in the Monolith design.

Maybe it would be better to talk about differences, the Ultra upper burr mounting looks very different from the Monolith with its exposed springs + 4 screws compared to the Monolith 2 screws, however, I have no in-depth knowledge about how both of it works, so i shall skip this portion.

The magnetic chute on the ultra has been cleverly designed with a small metal strip between the chute and grinder, which the user can use to "flick" out the remaining grinds without removing the chute. Right after the chute, there is a " sloping path" for the grinds to flow, guiding it and making it land nicely on to whatever receptacle. Again right at the end of the sloping path there is a metal strip that the user can flick to agitate whatever grounds are left.

The Motor is a servo motor that does up to 1400 rpm, radically different from the MOnolith DC motor.

I have the unmost respect for the Monoliths and what they have done, however its very disrespectful to drop blanket statements without having a thorough comparative knowledge of both products on hand, both to the users using its and the Ultra creator himself.
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Bluecold
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#7: Post by Bluecold »

Again, it's not about single features, it's about the combination.
If you're making something, you are constantly making decisions. Those decisions, small and large, make your product. If a majority of those decisions are the same of those of your competitor, you can't claim those are accidents.

By taking inspiration from many different other machines, you can end up with a novel machine. If you instead only take inspiration from one machine, you will end up with a copy.

If you want to talk differences, perhaps the upper burr carrier is not the best place to start. The Levercraft and the Monolith are the only grinders that have the upper burr move on posts. Again, many many ways to make an upper burr carrier, but the Levercraft just happened to pick the way Kafatek did it.

The type of motor doesn't matter for a speed-controlled grinder, as long as you can keep the speed constant.
A servo could be nice for a hoppered grinder, by coupling dose to a set amount of revolutions. Easy to pulse too, you can let the servo move the burrs a quarter of a turn if you would want too.
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

Bunkmil

#8: Post by Bunkmil »

Bluecold wrote:@Bunkmil
I never said that the bentwood was a ek43 copy.
I reread my post and I didn't write that you said that. I just believe that your "copy" logic will lead to those kind of comparaisons.

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Bluecold
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#9: Post by Bluecold » replying to Bunkmil »

Ah, so we're doing 'slippery slope' arguments now....
It would be more productive if you would offer a real response as to why you disagree with me instead.
LMWDP #232
"Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death I Shall Fear No Evil For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

max

#10: Post by max » replying to Bluecold »

After reading this as an outsider, it looks like copying for you is the combination of "upper burr move on posts" and magnetic chute (as you seem to have dismissed the importance of motor).

Based on this I think it would be more productive if either you
1) state explicitly that that's enough for a "copy" in your book (I suspect there will not be agreement, but you can then agree to disagree).
2) or substantiate the copy-claim with more defining features of the monolith that are being copied.
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