This self-initiated project investigates future manufacturing methods for classic coffee machines.
The idea; creating a single manufacturing process witch requiters no complex assemblies therefore saves resources and labor. With the ongoing pricing reduction of metal 3D printing, and the wide spread of printing technology, we will soon reach a point in which products will be highly profitable to produce using 3D printing.
The first step was to build a functional prototype of a coffee machine from simple found materials. It incorporates all elements of classic coffee machines, including a pressure vessel, pressure gouge, safety valves, steaming nuzzle and knobs (see image 1). The prototype was later translated into CAD models, where it was evaluated tested and improved prior to printing.
3D printing with metals:
The initial idea was to print in metal only the minimally necessary functional parts to make a coffee machine, with the rest of the machine made from off-the-shelf components. This approach would balance the pricing of the machine in relation to current prices of 3D printed metals.
After partnering with a metal producer we concluded it will be interesting to print the machine in its entirety. This will allow us to create the knowledge base for printing pressure vessels valves and seals; all fundamentals features of metal 3D printing.
The current version of the machine was fully printed from stainless steel. The print took approximately 4 days to complete and included the main body (pressure vessel), portofilter,filter, tray and two knobs. (see image 2 and 3)
The machine was tested under pressure and showed it is very feasible to print good coffee machines. We now look forward for the next round of development and printing!