3D Printed Bar is Center of a Technological Party Experience

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Phillip Hornung (L) and Benjamin Grimeil attend the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Launch at 16th Street Station on December 6, 2018 in Oakland, California. [Image: Kimberly White/Getty Images for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey]

3D printing has made its way into alcohol establishments before, from bars that offer 3D printing services while you drink to bars with 3D printed taps. Distilling company Bulleit, however, has taken things a step further by 3D printing an entire bar itself.

Bulleit Bourbon “Beta Test” 3D-printed cocktail is seen at the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier Launch at 16th Street Station on December 6, 2018 in Oakland, California. [Image: Kimberly White/Getty Images for Bulleit Frontier Whiskey]

The 3D printed bar is part of a full experience called the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier. While the bar will eventually be installed permanently at the Bulleit Distilling Company in Shelbyville, Kentucky in 2019, it will first be part of several invite-only events in Oakland, California. 3D printed cocktails developed by robotics pioneer Benjamin Grimeil, who worked closely with local mixologists, will be served, as will 3D printed hors d’oeuvres.

Music will be provided by several local Oakland artists, including Meklit Hadero, whose music is created using star mapping technology, as well as Club Chai DJs 8ulentina and Foozool, whose set lists are inspired by Oakland itself. Ambiance will be enhanced by lighting and projection team Tanya Orellana and Elaine Buckholtz.

“There is nothing like this out there! We are flipping the script on how we share Bulleit with people by creating experiences inspired by the frontiers of the past, to forge new frontiers today,” said Sophie Kelly, Sr. Vice President of DIAGEO North American Whiskeys. “From reimagining what a bar could be, to partnering with cutting edge mixologists and robotics pioneers to print 3D cocktails, this experience defies convention in order to redefine tradition, taking people on a journey that explores new frontiers. We’re proud to call Oakland’s Sixteenth Street Station home for these events and even prouder that our partnership will assist in the urban renewal of this cultural landmark and spectacular space.”

The bar was designed by FAR frohn&rojas, which studied the shape and positioning of the Bulleit bottle label and created an algorithm that defined the geometry of the piece through a series of digital data sets. The amber color of Bulleit bourbon was the inspiration for the bar’s surface. FAR and Bulleit worked together to design and redesign the fine, intricate lattice structures more than a dozen different ways to allow for varying densities in different areas of the bar, to both maximize visual impact and allow for the functional needs of the bartenders.

“Partnering with Bulleit was exciting because it gave us the opportunity to think about 3D printing with a frontier spirit, and to design a bar that conceptually and technologically brings the spirit of doing things differently to life,” said Marc Frohn, FAR Co-Founder and Lead Architect. “We reimagined the support structure inherent to 3D-printing – one that is normally not visible – to become the bar itself. Light then turns this lattice bar into a lantern animating the raw spaces the bar inhabits.”

Design and fabrication studio MachineHistories 3D printed the bar, which took over 2,000 hours, using SLS technology and glass filled nylon. The bar consists of approximately 3,000 3D printed components, 1,700 struts and over 1,300 nodes. It was, impressively, finished in a little more than three months.

“Bulleit really challenged us to collaborate with a number of partners to rethink what is possible and throw traditional guidelines out the window,” said Jason Pilarski, Partner at Machine Histories. “That sense of freedom was scary and liberating all at the same time, but ultimately inspired this truly innovative intersection of art, design and technology.”

After the invite-only events in Oakland, the Bulleit 3D Printed Frontier will head to Austin, Texas for the first in a series of national stops.

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