3D Printed Beeswax

A simple printing extruder that allows 3D printing with beeswax

Together with Joris van Tubergen I developed an open source extruder that can be used on desktop 3D printers. Using this extruder anyone can create temporary disposable objects out of beeswax. The wax needs to be melted at 60 degrees and hardens once is has been 3D printed into an object. In this case the extruder is not only a tool for Joris and myself to complete this project but others can use it as well or build a better version of our extruder. Open Source gives you the ability to share both your designs and the tools that let you make them.

As a designer I feel a real creeping unease about my vocation. I’m fundamentally uncomfortable making new things in a world that already has so much stuff. Creating, crafting and manufacturing objects that work brings me immense joy. There is next to nothing in life as satisfying as making a resolved, working, beautiful and useful thing. But, at the same time factories spit out millions of things bad and good and these things are used for ever shorter time spans and then buried in landfill.

This disposable world we’re creating is a large scale mauling and grinding of our earth into temporary objects that are then left to pollute. I know of many designers that feel the same design angst about being a designer in a mass manufactured age. This is why we’re seeing people work with recycled items and creating machines and manufacturing processes.

This is the spark that lead me to the 3D printed beeswax project. If the world wants temporary things and wants to consume things at higher rates then lets create a way to out of beeswax. Give this world the temporary things it needs through a sustainable process.

Year: 2013

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