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3D Printers

Coffee-based filament turns java into brown 3D-printed objects

Coffee bean hulls take on a new high-tech life as renewable 3D printing filament. It only comes in one color, though.

From coffee beans to 3D printing. 3Dom USA

Do you like the color brown? Do you enjoy using your 3D printer? How about coffee? Do you like coffee? Of course you do. That means you'll get a kick out of a new java-based 3D printing filament from filament manufacturer 3Dom USA in partnership with bio-composite company C2renew.

Wound Up is a filament with a caffeinated history. It uses coffee waste byproducts (coffee bean hulls) to create a material with "a rich brown color and a noticeable natural grain." It will work for any printer that uses regular PLA filament and can be substituted in for your normal print jobs.

Because the filament is made in part with coffee, you might want to print off some unique items, like a coffee mug, caffeine molecule or conical coffee filter holder. One thing you won't want to do is try to eat your creations. Despite its origin, it's not edible. I won't blame you for trying to lick it, though.

3Dom USA showed off some items printed with the new filament, including a ship, a cat and a cup. The objects have a unique, warm look to them, almost like burnished wood.

Even the packaging has an environmentally friendly glow about it. It comes wound onto an Eco-Spool made from plant-based materials. Wound Up costs $49 (about £30, AU$70) per 2.2-pound (1 kg) spool.

As 3D printers continue their slow march into businesses and homes, there will be increased demand for printing materials. "Renewable" materials like Wound Up could be a good option for the same sort of people who enjoy organic foods, recycling and keeping an eye on their environmental footprint.