Here’s the Dastardly Winner of the Worst Cup Ever Contest

3D Printing & Imaging Digital Fabrication
Here’s the Dastardly Winner of the Worst Cup Ever Contest

We had some really great entries to the Worst Cup Ever contest. Many of you put in some real time and creativity into trying to figure out a cup that would be nearly impossible to drink out of, but in the end there can be only one winner.

There were three main categories that you could lump the majority of the entries into: Siphons, Straws, and Handedness. While there were lots of takes on these and extra tricks, these were the methods most employed to try to trick the users.


Taken from the classic Pythagorean or greedy cup, these cups use a system of internal chambers to create a suction that pulls all of the liquid out of the cup and onto the drinker’s lap when they attempt to drink from an overly full cup. In one form or another, these were our most popular entries, likely inspired by the popular Thingiverse model. The example above was the well thought out Twisted Tantalus Cup.


Quite a few entries made it nearly impossible for you to access the liquids at all, or in many cases, would have left you with a soaked shirt, if not for their hidden straws to sip your drink from. Some of my favorites could be lumped into this category, like the Tricky Tumbler.


The last group that we commonly saw took a slight twist on the Pythagorean cup that relies on the unsuspecting victim of the joke being right handed and using the handle of the cup with their dominant hand. When held in the right hand and tilted, the siphon in these cups will be triggered, draining the cup onto the drinker. To get around this, simply turn the cup 180º and you can drink safely from the cup. I loved the April Fools Cup in this category because it does such a great job looking like a normal mug that it’s bound to trick those not prepared.

The Winner

While not strictly a cup, there was one entry that really stood out for taking the time to come up with a creative solution and really put in the engineering time to pull it off.


The Canteen of Denial has an internal set of bearings and a top heavy design so when tilted up the internal chamber spins to keep the contents from being consumed. Of course it wouldn’t be a trick if you didn’t have a solution to allow access to the liquid inside. The canteen has a secret cap with a center plug. If just the plug is removed, the rest of the cap locks the internal chamber in place allowing the owner to sip the contents.

I loved the thought and effort put into designing this object, and so did the other judges who looked through the entries. We are happy to announce Kiefer Read as the winner of the contest and I’m sure they will put the new H2 Delta Printer from our sponsor SeeMeCNC to great use!

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Matt is a community organizer and founder of 3DPPVD, Ocean State Maker Mill, and HackPittsburgh. He is Make's digital fabrication and reviews editor.

View more articles by Matt Stultz


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