Why the shape of Pringles potato chip is hyperbolic paraboloid?
I found several articles that say the shape is hyperbolic paraboloid, but cannot find out why it is so. Does anyone have reasonable (and/or mathematical) answers?
But these are all true in hindsight; the real procedure is to do ridiculous amount of user study and then figure out why it works.
For example why washing machine doors are circular? Why toothbrush manufacturers want to have angles in fact you can easily rely on the technology known as your elbow etc.
The reason for it might be something like this- Anything when given heat tries to minimize its surface energy. e.g. Bubble are formed because of surface tension force, to minimize stresses on surface of bubble, it forms spherical form, hence only stress acting on it will be normal pressure (Actually it is more precise to say static pressure). But potato chips are discs with an-isotropic behavior, contracts and expands with different rates when water is evaporated, so it can neither form a spherical bubble to minimize energy nor any other closed shape because of high surface energy. Hence it ends up having highly distorted multidimensional geometry. But if you can develop a material which has different rated of contraction in only two direction, it might be possible to get a hyperbolic paraboloid.
The hyperbolic paraboloid has an area, hence volume, that is greater than the chip would have if it was in the form of a flat disc in the same cylindrical package. So, the deceptively small package is cheaper to make than a cylinder that would accommodate a chip of the same volume in the form of a flat disc. And the shape is kind of neat in a solid geometry sort of way.