3D Printing Cups PLA

Juice Bar Turns Orange Peels Instantly Into Bioplastic Cups

circular economy is all about designing out waste and pollution. with this in mind, carlo ratti has developed an experimental orange squeezer for eni which 3D-prints a bioplastic cup out of the orange peels. called the feel the peel, this prototype aims to bring circularity to everyday life.

created by CRA- carlo ratti associati, the experimental circular juice bar takes the squeezed oranges, turns them in filament, and 3D prints disposable cups to drink fresh orange juice. the prototype, which will start touring public spaces around italy in the next months, aims to demonstrate and implement a new approach to environmental circularity in daily life. measuring 3.10 meters tall, the machine is topped with a dome filled with 1,500 oranges.

the process goes as follows: someone orders a juice, the oranges slide down into the squeezer, and as the oranges are cut in half, their peel falls into the lower part where they accumulate. through a process of drying, milling, and mixing with polylactic acid (PLA), the peels become bioplastic. this material is then heated and melted into a filament that is used by a 3D printer placed inside the machine. the resulting cups can be used to drink the freshly-squeezed juice and then easily recycled.

‘the principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects,’ says carlo ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of the senseable city lab at MIT. ‘working with eni, we tried to show circularity in a very tangible way, by developing a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. the next iterations of feel the peel might include new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing from orange peels.

’this project continues a series of collaborations between CRA and eni that explore circularity and design with different materials like the circular garden during milan design week 2019 that used mycelium from mushrooms as a recyclable building material.

orange peel bioplastics
images by nicola giorgetti, courtesy of carlo ratti associati

project info:

name: feel the peel

a project by: CRA carlo ratti associati for eni

CRA team: saverio panata, alessandro tassinari, oliver kazimir, luca bussolino

CRA graphic team: pasquale milieri, gary di silvio, gianluca zimbardi

technical sponsor: 3D printing WASP

video by: ActingOut

photos by: nicola giorgetti

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Published on designboom.com

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