A pair of students from Liberty North High School have come up with a solution to an age-old problem using modern day technology. As part of a national program called Project Lead The Way, Jonathan Thompson and Tyler Richards have reimagined the ketchup cap to prevent it from dispensing the watery substance that forms when a bottle sits unused and the tomato paste separates.

The idea stemmed from the students’ love of ketchup. The only problem is that when you squirt it onto a bun, the runny water often soaks into the bread and you’re left with a mushy mess.

The two brainstormed ideas, sketched out a number of prototypes and ultimately decided on a mushroom-shaped design that holds back the water while letting the tomato paste flow through. The cap was designed in a CAD software before it was 3D printed. It’s a simple but ingenious idea that makes me wonder why condiment manufacturers haven’t thought of a similar solution thus far.

The teens plan to get a provisional patent for the invention and with any luck, they’ll be able to make some money off their creation.

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