The widespread adoption of 3D printers exacerbates environmental challenges as these machines increase energy consumption, waste output and the use of plastics. The choice of material for 3D printing is tightly connected to these challenges. Bio-based materials—particularly ones that are commonly wasted— have huge potential to reshape the sustainability of 3D printing. This work explores spent coffee grounds recovered from local coffee shops as a sustainable material for prototyping with 3D printing. In contrast to thermoplastics typically used in 3D printing, objects made of coffee grounds are easily recycled and composted.

Utility Research Lab