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stormtrooper tapIf you know any home brewers out there, or just people who are really into their wet bars, then the idea of customizing through extra beer paraphernalia shouldn’t shock you much. For example, some home brewers create special labels for their beer. But what about some customized 3D printed beer tap handles featuring a range of characters? You’ve seen special beer taps before, right? You really can’t go to a micro-brewery without seeing a dizzying array of custom beer taps for various beverage choices, anymore. Well, “John Beere” has taken this world of the micro-brewery’s customized beer handles and done one better: he designed and 3D printed twelve different beer handles for his home-based private bar. And we have instructions on how he did this just in time to prepare your bar for the upcoming holidays!

“Some guys have man caves, I have a private bar.. It is primarily for my homebrew,” Beere noted of his designs.

tap2

Beere 3D printed these characters that include Ares, a Rocketship, Audrey II, Slimer, Predator, a Skull and Bones with Top Hat, Angry Pumpkin, T-Rex, Batman, and a Stormtrooper (of course!) on a TAZ 4. He explains he got the models off Thingiverse, and used MeshMixer to design them as taps.

The designs were sliced with Simplify 3D, and the printed characters each got an acetone vapor bath after they were printed. The Audrey II tap handle was his most tedious, he noted, and fully documented the creation process for a reprint of that design. If you’ll notice from the photos, each one of the 3D printed tap handles is is quite shiny. The acetone vapor bath does the trick here, and working with acetone is quite tricky, so Beere summarizes his technique, which works outdoors or indoors (with good ventilation, since acetone smells).tap3

There were many questions about how to work with acetone, and Beere explains his bathing method on a comment thread:

“Acetone boils quick, so the trick is to catch it just as it starts bubbling and turn the heat on low. Wait until the vapors fill the container, and then submerge your print. I usually hold the print in the vapors for 10 seconds at a time, take it out to examine it, the put it back in for 10 second intervals until I’m satisfied. It is important to note that the ABS is very soft after it comes out so you can’t touch it for a few minutes until it hardens.”

Of course, you can always print these beer tap handles without smoothing them with the acetone, but then they wouldn’t be as shiny! With the upcoming holidays, your home-based bar may be in full swing, so why not go for broke and decorate your own (or someone else’s) bar with some 3D printed beer tap handles that are sure to make all the beer drinkers in your life smile.  Discuss these designs in the 3D Printed Taps forum on 3DPB.com.tap1

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