“I use to work in a juice bar and we use to make Juice out of oranges, apples, carrot ect. it was made by placing the fruit and vegetables into an industrial juicer and the fruit would turn into juice and exit though a funnel, then the left over fibers of the fruit would make a pulp and the pulp would be forced though another hole and fall into a bin below the bench,” wrote (sic) New Zealand design student Frances McMichael. “The pulp would then be unwanted and thrown away and either composted or used as worm farms or feed to pigs.”
This level of waste and unwanted organic matter was unpalatable, so she went looking around to see what other options were out there. McMichael’s search led her to discovering that juice pulp waste could be used in 3D printing, and that Czech Technical University design student Kristina Liaskovskaia had created an impressive way to utilize the pulp materials.
Liaskovskaia had wanted to create what she calls a “sustainable waste-free juicer,” but in addition to that goal, she also wanted it to feature “biodegradable eco-cups” made from the fruit or vegetable pulp mixed with resin and 3D printed.
She calls the result the PriO concept. The idea was that the juicer could use any one of a variety of downloadable 3D models for cups. Her vision includes an online software component that would allow users to develop their own cup designs.
That spurred her to begin thinking about creating “eco-directed appliances” aimed at building what she called planet-saving technologies capable of using recycled materials and bio waste.
She envisions a network of eco shops and cafes with appliances like the PriO in which anyone could to create a cup on demand and immediately enjoy drinking their juice.
Liaskovskaia calls the PriO concept a waste-free juicer which automatically pours freshly extracted juice into a mono-use eco-сup. The cups themselves would be produced from a 3D printing resin of bioplastic and vegetable pulp. The eco-cups would be 100% biodegradable and they’d let each user design their own style of container.
Aside from the practical concerns, Liaskovskaia says appliances like her concept would construct a new culture of health food preparation which “brings a bit of nature to the urban space and gives people opportunity to get together for the creative process and conversation.”
“The juicer became not only the functional, but an attractive device, which turns the process of the preparing health meals into the game,” Liaskovskaia says (sic). “Using eco-technologies and recycled materials makes the product really eco-taged.”
While the design is simply a concept at this point, it does provide an interesting challenge to materials developers to consider 3D printing with fruit pulp.
And the idea of cutting back the current system is interesting as well, especially as McMichael noted that a busy juice bar might produce 3-4 bags of pulp each day, which just get thrown out. As a standard, single-use plastic cup takes something like 50 years to biodegrade, Liaskovskaia’s fully biodegradable PriO is very cool indeed…
It’s not so far fetched an idea as it may seem. There is a series of tableware items called the WASARA Collection is already in use in Japan, and the items are made from reed pulp, bamboo, and a sugar-cane pulp called bagasse. LOLIWARE natural pectin сups made with evaporated cane juice and Solskin Peels are yet two more product lines which take up the idea of making bio-degradable cups at very low cost from relatively common waste products.
What do you think of thePriO concept? Can you see a time when appliances incorporate 3D printing technology to handle any waste products they might create? Let us know in the PriO forum thread on 3DPB.com.