Client Work

UPPAbaby Cup Holder

UPPAbaby, a manufacturer of high-quality, style-driven strollers, needed an updated design for their universal cup holder. I was responsible for ideation around functionality, design for manufacture, and assembly solutions, as well as final Rhino and SolidWorks CAD.


Industrial Designer


Jeanette Numbers

Design Director

Walmen Dumaliang

Industrial Design Lead

Photo courtesy of UppaBaby.

The Problem

Our team was tasked with updating UPPAbaby’s existing cup holder to fix mechanical issues that led to the product frequently inverting and dropping drinks to the ground. The main goals were to lower the center of gravity of the drink/cup holder system, secure the hinge so the cup holder would no longer tilt, and create a more reliable solution for holding drinks in place when inside the cup holder. We also wanted the new version to better align with UPPAbaby’s visual brand language.

Mechanical Solutions

I designed “fin” systems for the cup holder that would help keep drinks secure. We used 3D-printed prototypes to evaluate the form, size, and functionality of the cup holder and fins. After considering many options for manufacturability and assembly, we decided on four fins composed of a single part. To assemble, the part would be pressed down over four tabs inside the cup, permanently locking both parts together.

We leveraged UPPAbaby's existing rail system, additionally incorporating asymmetrical geometry to allow the cup holder to attach to either side of a stroller and prevent it from tipping.

When the design was complete, I rebuilt the rough Rhino CAD in SolidWorks to hand off to the client and factory. It was important to maintain curvature-continuous geometry throughout the cup holder's outer surfaces.

Two-Part Assembly
Asymmetrical Hinge Lock
Rhino Curvature Analysis
The Result

The final design is composed of just two parts permanently assembled together. The hinge is higher, no longer rotates, and is more integrated into the body, and the soft curves and open form align more closely to UPPAbaby’s visual brand language. The cup holder is compatible with UPPAbaby's most popular stroller models.

Photos courtesy of UppaBaby.

The Bottom Line

According to customers, the new version of UPPAbaby's universal cup holder is a massive improvement on the old version.

© Dan Grove + respective copyright holders