AMS Spring 2023

Washington State: Printabowl Creates Elegant 3D Printed Elevation Instruments for Pot Smoking

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UntitledThere’s no denying that currently 3D printing is smokin’ hot. It’s a completely new industry, full of innovative mavericks, making the rules as they go. And there’s no doubt that it was bound to intersect with the flourishing weed industry out west, raking in the bucks hand over fist for both individuals and state treasuries in places like Washington and Colorado, to name a couple. Considering the affinity that pot smokers have for collecting a wide array of accoutrements to be used for smoking the controversial herb, it only makes sense that 3D printing would come into play due to the customization and affordability elements, as well as offering the opportunity to be creative and extremely innovative in commerce.

Printabowl is cashing in on the current enthusiasm for both industries as well as the constant demand for paraphernalia, producing high quality ‘elevation instruments’ for pot smokers, who to the envy of many, live in areas such as Washington and Colorado, where the popular herb is now legal and causing a population influx and economical upswing known to area residents as the green rush.

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The company even offers ‘transit cases’ for their designs.

These instruments are artfully designed water pipes–often also referred to by smokers as bowls–and there should be plenty of people ready to snap them up and try them out. While Colorado was first to legalize marijuana in 2012, Washington came shortly after. Brothers Al and Saul Jacobs, a couple of twenty-somethings pursuing art degrees at the University, of Washington began developing Printabowl as legalization occurred.

With the idea of ‘reimagining’ water pipe designs as sculptures, they created the Cumulo Collection, which consists of three elegant designs. Using 3D printing as their medium, the sibling team was been able to explore and experiment with a wide range of ideas before settling on their current ollection.

“We think of these as pieces of functional sculpture. They’re made to exist and enhance the space we inhabit, not to be tucked away in a cabinet or in a shoebox under your bed,” Printabowl co-Director Saul Jacobs said. “We’re excited to be a part of further introducing this aspect of counterculture into everyday life.”

This isn’t just your everyday, basic 3D printing either. The Printabowl team has mastered fabrication with ceramics, using a molding process which results in high quality, ‘visually evolved’ works of art for smoking pot. The 3D models are printed as molds which they then fill with ceramic material and leave to harden. Once the mold is removed, the pipes are fired in a traditional kiln, glazed, and then re-fired one last time.

pipesThe collection, being released today, consists of the following pieces:

  • Alpha – Only 20 of these are being offered as a closed edition. This design was conceptualized in homage to ancient hand-spun ceramic ware. The designers created it in a minimalist fashion with subtle striations, meant to offer a ‘serene elegance.’ It is 7.75 inches long, and priced at $300.
  • Ferro – Only ten of these are being offered, as a closed edition. Inspired by ferrofluid, a dynamic liquid reactive to magnetic forces, the Ferro design acts as a prologue to the ‘possibilities excited by 3D printing with a pronounced textural appeal.’ It is 7.75 inches long and priced at $325.
  • Tessellate – Only 20 of these are being offered as a closed edition. An angular geometry is meant to recall naturally sharp angles characteristic of smokey quartz, a semiprecious crystal renowned for its ethereal grounding properties. Replicating the positive essence that informs smokey quartz’s metaphysical allure, Tessellate roots the Cumulo collection with its imaginative form founded from Earth’s agency as a matter-shaping entity. It is 7.75 inches long and priced at $300.

The Printabowl team embraces experimental design, using 3D printing to break through the boundaries previously limiting elevation instruments. Cumulo is their debut collection, and each elevation instrument has undergone thorough inspection to ensure the quality and durability expected of fine art, and suitable for the contemporary smoking culture.  Discuss this story in the 3D Printing and Weed forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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