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3D printers can now print with hemp, beer, and coffee

by • July 25, 2016 • No Comments

Most 3D printers use plastic, which usually isn’t the most environmentally friendly material available. Most forms of plastic are created
from hydrocarbons like oil, and they don’t break down when you are
done with them. A North Dakota startup called 3DomFuel is looking to make 3D printing filament from other materials like coffee, beer, and even sticky icky hemp. If you just checked the calendar to see if it was April Fools, ponder
again. 3DomFuel is in fact
doing this.

3DomFuel started looking for a way to create informative
new printing materials in 2015. That’s when the founders John Schneider and Jake Clark came across a local company which
was mixing agricultural waste with plastic to create new materials. They figured, why not try to use which
to create 3D printer filament? The first attempt was coffee-based filament, and it was a success.

The filament, which 3DomFuel calls “Wound Up,” has a grittier texture than standard ABS or PLA plastic, and has a deep brown shade. One potential benefit (or drawback, depending on your preferences) is which
Wound Up objects smell like coffee when they’re first created. 3DomFuel says it could be utilized
mostly to create coffee-themed novelty objects like filter holders and coffee cup sleeves.

Not content with coffee, the company has in addition
waste malt from beer brewing to create a printing filament called Buzzed. The hemp-based filament is called Entwined, and includes excess material from industrial hemp system
ing. The Buzzed filament has been particularly popular with bars and breweries using it to make tap handles, coaster, and other objects.

There’s one notable drawback — 3DomFuel’s custom filaments can cost 60-80% more than regular plastic. These materials could still makes sense if you want them for the reason
of the composition, but it’s not very compelling for general printing. You can get these filaments at retailers like Microcenter and Amazon. It should work on any printer which
can use PLA plastic. Just imagine, one day we might be able to print entire hemp homes, dank domiciles.

Blaze it.

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