Article

3DomFuel presents recycled filaments from beer, hemp and coffee

  • Nimish Sany
  • 28 July , 2016

3DomFuel, a startup from Fargo, North Dakota, has come up with 3D-Fuel; a 3D printing filament recycled from some less obvious products- beer, hemp and coffee.

"You can 3D print products made from beer, coffee and hemp," says Jon Schneider, the 26-year-old cofounder and chief marketing officer of 3DomFuel.

"The dominant material for 3D printing is still plastic for both desktop printing and commercial 3D printing, it's already a pretty competitive market for plastic filaments," he says. Both Schneider and his partner Jake Clark who were hungry for something different started their saga into unconventional materials in 2015. "We wanted to differentiate ourselves. We found a local company that specialized in mixing agricultural waste with plastics to create new materials. It was doing this with coffee waste from local roasters and we decided to try it," says Schneider. 

John Schneider

John Schneider, Co-founder and CMO, 3DomFuel  Image: CNN

Schneider admits it took some trials for the duo to get successful results; they were quite amazed with the results. “It also smelled so good, like sweet latte,” he says. "The color of it is deep brown with varying shades of brown flecks in it. It's perfect for printing novelty items like coffee filter holders and sleeves for cups but not a coffee cup itself. It's still plastic material and not ideal for hot beverages," Schneider explains, adding that coffee was only the beginning. "It worked out so well for us that we wanted to try other intriguing materials,” he says. The beer filament made from mixing plastic with waste mass after the malting process is named “Buzzed” and the mixture of plastic with industrial waste of hemp crops is named “Entwined”. He noted that “buzzed” bears the scent of fresh-harvested barley, in reply to the many questions he received asking whether the filament “smells like odd beer”, adding that the “smell evaporates once the 3D printing is done.” While the recycled filaments do bear a price tag much higher than cheap plastic ones, it moots recycling waste and people seem to love the idea.

3d printed using recycled hemp (left) and coffee (right). Image: CNN

"The word is spreading. We're seeing double-digit sales for these materials," Schneider says, adding that “buzzed” are used by customers to make custom beer tap handles and six-pack holders, etc. "Folks from the hemp industry have reached out to us," he says. "They love seeing other innovative ways to use hemp." Creative and sustainable, 3DomFuel has proved a pint with 3D printing.

Inputs from CNN

Author

Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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