SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 1: No Poverty
Target Users (Target Impact Group)
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Distributors / Implementing Organizations
MIT's D-lab and partners (community partners, Whirlwind Wheelchari International)
Direct competitors include Iketsetse Single Stroke Maize Sheller.
Do it yourself (DIY) instructions are available online. The user needs to build a metal jig which requires welding operations. The metal jig can be used to produce as many corn shellers as desired. Once the jig is ready, a piece of metal sheet can be shaped into a corn sheller following 7 simple steps (Cutting the metal sheet, forming the ridge, forming the cone, riveting, spot welding, finishing the sheller). Tools needed to make the corn sheller include: metal jig, hammer, shears, pliers, wood block, pipe or rod.
Intellectural Property Type
User Provision Model
Do it yourself (DIY) instructions are available online, workshops can be offered through local partners to teach the communities how to build and use the product
Distributions to Date Status
D-Lab’s corn sheller and jig have been taken to more than 10 countries.
Shelling capacity (kg/hr)
Manual or motorized
Perforation sizes for nuts (mm)
Shelling efficiency (%)
Different corn varieties, size is adaptable
Nut breakage rate (%)
D-Lab corn sheller is highly portable and requires no electricity. It can be built from any type of metal sheet locally available. The mold for the sheller, is cut to fit the local variety of the corn. The sheller is placed on the corn cob, and the corn bob is span while being held still with the hand. The ridges in the sheller pulls out the grains from the cob as the cob is being span in the sheller. It requires virtually no training to be used, and some tool handling skills to be built. It can be built varying the corn sheller diameter depending on the user's needs.
The product is distributed through help of local community partners and usually easy to use, in cases of further assistance, partners can be reached for assistance, although this would be rare.
It can be built with locally available materials, which can be used as replacement as well.
It can be recycled afterwards.
Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters
Ability to build anywhere with local materials, affordability.
Vetted Performance Status
The sheller is said to work at least four times faster than by hand
Potential cuts while building and handling metal sheet. Depending on the materials used the tool can present rusting.
Complementary Technical Systems
Academic Research and References
Trottier, Katherine. Low-Cost Maize Shellers for Nepal. (2014).
Compliance with regulations
D-lab corn sheller can be used as part of creative capacity building workshops. Ward, L. 2008. MIT's Guru of Low-Tech Engineering Fixes the World on $2 a Day Popular Mechanics How To: Corn Sheller instructions Do it yourself (DIY) instructions Corn Sheller metal jig Built it corn sheller MIT's D-lab and partners The product can be made with locally available materials and is DIY so the cost varies depending on the region and materials used. MIT D-Lab Corn Sheller YouTube video Performance evaluation