Cigar smoking isn’t exactly my thing, but I have many friends who love to kick back on the beach and smoke a fat cigar on the weekends. While cigar smoking has been around for ages, many feel that we are about to see a renaissance of the old pastime, as Cuban-USA relations continue to improve and import restrictions on the much sought-after Cuban cigars have significantly been lightened. Once seen as a hobby for older men, more and more of the younger generations are turning to these tobacco products more so than in the past. Currently over 5% of adults in the United States smoke cigars. This translates into approximately 13.5 million people nationwide.
One cigar aficionado, named Ray, is one of those individuals who loves to occasionally puff on a cigar. At the same time, like so many other cigar smokers, he also doesn’t always finish a cigar in one sitting. Large cigars can take hours to finish, and let’s face it, in today’s busy world, we don’t always have that much free time on our hands. With laws restricting the smoking of tobacco products in most public places, Ray found that he needed a way to extinguish and preserve his unfinished cigars for later use.
“I am a premium cigar smoker,” Ray tells 3DPrint.com. “A premium cigar can sometimes take an hour or more to smoke, but many times a person doesn’t have time to finish a cigar. I was looking for a portable cigar ashtray that would extinguish a partially smoked cigar while keeping the wrapper intact. All the portable ashtrays I found were lacking in the characteristics I was looking for.”
Ray found that many of the portable ashtrays available would simply just let a cigar burn out on its own, and would not have a lid on it to keep the odors contained. He, however, was looking for a device that would extinguish, hold and then preserve virtually any size cigar for a decent period of time without allowing odors to escape. This is what gave birth to his unique idea for the “Cigar Saver Ashtray.”
Ray ended up getting in contact with a company called J-CAD Inc., which specializes in 3D printing and design.
“We were contacted by [Ray] who was very passionate about cigars,” Jason Vander Griendt of J-CAD Inc. tells 3DPrint.com. “In the midst of the Cuban – USA relations improving in 2014, he wanted us to design a device that could be used as a cigar ashtray with some added design benefits as he predicted an immediate increase in the Cuban cigar industry in the USA.”
J-CAD Inc. was able to come up with a simple yet effective design that would allow a user to place any sized cigar into this ashtray, twist a ring around the circumference of the tray, and voilà! The cigar would successfully be extinguished and preserved for later smoking. When the ring around the top of this unique ashtray is turned, it activates a set of blades inside which closes off the top, holding the cigar in place and cutting off the oxygen supply which fuels the burn.
“Without the invention of 3D printing, prototyping this design would have been incredibly expensive because of all the custom intricate parts it required! Due to 3D printing technology, we were able to create [it] for less than $500,” said Vander Griendt.
The design was printed using UV-cured acrylic on a 3D Systems Projet 3000 3D printer. In all, it took approximately 20 hours to print out plus an additional 1-2 hours to remove the support material, paint and assemble it. Both J-CAD and Ray were very pleased with the end result.
What do you think about the use of 3D printing to create this new innovative cigar ashtray? Would you use this ashtray yourself? Discuss in the 3D Printed Cigar Ashtray forum thread on 3DPB.com.