Filtering Coffee Through 3D Printed Glass

Typically, when we think of 3D printing, we think of gooey melted plastics or perhaps UV-cured resins. However, there’s a great deal of research going on around printing special impregnated filaments with alternative materials inside. [Ahron Wayne] has been working on these very materials, and decided to make himself a brew with a prototype print.

Tasty, but [Ahron] notes you shouldn’t drink in the lab.
The subject of [Ahron]’s experimentation is a glass-impregnated filament under development by The Virtual Foundry. The filament is full of tiny glass particles, and the idea is that it can be printed like any regular plastic filament. From there, it’s heated in what’s known as a debinding process, which removes the plastic in the print. Then, it’s heated again in a sintering process to bond the remaining glass particles together.

It’s a complex process, and one that leads to some shrinkage in dimensions as well as porosity in the final part. However, where some might see failure, [Ahron] saw opportunity. The porous printed part was used to filter coffee, with the aid of a little vacuum from what sounds like a water venturi.

[Ahron] notes it’s not a particularly efficient way to make coffee but it did work. We’ve seen exciting work with steel-impregnated filaments, too. Video after the break.

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