Posted: May 2, 2013 8:38 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
BILLINGS - It's a bowl... It's a plate...Well, it's a bowl and a plate. Actually, it's called the Ripple. Invented and developed by two teachers in Billings, the Ripple lets people eat in comfort just about anywhere. "People who don't have or use a dinner table. For people who are at a party or a picnic or camping, where you don't have a traditional setting," said Ripple inventor Kevin Scharfe.
The way it works; a simple turn will lock and detach the bowl from the plate. The idea was born seven years ago in Kevin's ceramic studio. After teaming up with engineering instructor Karl Schwartz, it has evolved to the current product. "We ended up moving the bowl to the side, a whole lot of changes to the original design came from starting to look at it from an engineering standpoint," Schwartz said.
That's also how they came up with the name; the ripple effect of one idea leading to the next, and the similar appearance to ripples on water. To get the word out, the duo turned to kickstarter.com, a website where the public can pledge money towards projects. Just over 20 days away from their deadline, over 300 people from all over the world have pledged money to the Ripple. Already, Scharfe and Schwartz have exceeded their goal. All of it will go towards manufacturing. "I was born and raised here in Billings," Scharfe said. "So to know that someone from Billings was able to design this, to get this to the point where we can actually manufacture this all over the world, I think is a big deal."
The two inventors expect manufacturing to be in full swing by this fall. "The plastic we selected is a high quality plastic," Schwartz said. "It's FDA food safe, microwave safe, BPA free." Buyers can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $14. To learn more about the Ripple, visit the website at thefirstripple.com.