A New Zero-Waste Juicing Machine Makes Cups From Orange Peels Using A 3D Printer

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International design firm Carlo Ratti Associati teamed up with the power company Eni to come up with a new prototype orange juicer that espouses zero-wastage. “Feel the Peel,” as the juicer is called, turns used orange peels into biodegradable cups. It utilizes 3D printing technology for the drink dispenser. In this age where people are more aware and sensitive to recycling and proper waste disposal, as well as climate change, any help to preserve our planet is welcome, and definitely needed.

The juicer has a spiraling rack that can hold around 1,500 oranges, and is about 10 feet tall. It works by squeezing the juice from freshly peeled oranges as soon as a customer punches in an order. All the leftover peels accumulate at the bottom of the machine, until there are enough for the 3D printer to make a cup. 

In the meantime while waiting, the peels are dried and mixed with Polylactic Acid which converts the material into bioplastic. Once the peels are converted, they are heated and melted into a mold that is shaped by the machine’s built-in 3D printer.

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Upon completion of the process, the machine spits out a cup and fills it with freshly squeezed orange juice for the customer.

The “feel the peel” juicer was unveiled at a recent event in Rimini, Italy.It was then featured in the Singularity University Summit in Milan last October. Carlo Ratti explains that the purpose of the machine is to show that consumer products can be designed to encourage zero-waste behavior.

“The principle of circularity is a must for today’s objects. 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,” Ratti said. We hope there is more to come, and that others will follow. Help make the world a safer and better place to live in.

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