Every time I write an article, I learn something new. Today’s lesson? That there appears to be a raging debate surrounding the merits of grinding weed. Before my house becomes the target of unwanted supervision, I would like to note that this came to my attention because of a joke made by Merchat Rémi, the creator of a 3D printed grinder…that he uses to grind spices.
Rémi, an architecture student living in Paris, learned about 3D printing as part of his architectural education. In the past, he has used 3D modeling to create buildings and was interested in a project that applied that technology to a small scale design. Previously, he has designed and printed small pieces such as an ashtray or a twisted glass, but to challenge himself, he wanted a project that involved multiple components and moving parts. In an interview with 3dprint.com, Rémi shared the printing process and the timeline for his project:
“Being an architecture student, I use 3D modeling and have learned 3D design software. In this case, I used Rhinoceros. I modeled the nine different parts, keeping in mind the 3D printing constraints. The speed for this print was 45mm/s and the temperature set at 185 degrees celsius. It took around six hours to print the whole thing. The hardest part to print was the biggest one, which included a 30 mm bridge. On Monday, I thought about creating a grinder; on Tuesday, the digital model was done; on Wednesday, I had a grinder!”
Not one to be selfish with his creations, he uploaded the files to Thingiverse to share with others. After revising his post to correct for a file error and for the omission of the file for printing the handle, his grinder is ready to print and use with the only non-printed parts being three screws and a bolt. No sooner had he released the design, it was put to the ultimate test: someone else printed it. That someone was Thingiverse member Alexander Hill who goes by the handle Roaburn:
“Had to design a handle, but other than that it was a fun and quick build. If I were to print it again I would scale the axles for the gears down just a little bit. They fit so tight that I’m sure I’ll never get them out of the cylinders ever again!”
It’s not meant to pulverize and so it’s not suitable for things like espresso coffee, but Rémi has been satisfied with his design, noting that the wheels turn very well and none of the ground substance gets stuck inside.
“This is really useful in my kitchen, I mostly use it to grind black pepper and it’s possible to grind many other spices. The grinding size is exactly what I wanted; small pieces, around 1 – 2mm.”