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When I first heard of it, I asked, "what is a circular juice bar, and why is its engineering notable?" The answer has two parts. First, it is a self-contained circular economy machine: manufacturing -> consumer use -> recycling. Second, it is a machine that demonstrates a practical use for 3D food printing.
This juice bar is about 10 feet in height, has rails that feed 1,500 oranges into a cutting, peeling and juicing machine. While the oranges are being squeezed, the peels are collected. The orange peels are dried, milled and mixed with polylactic acid then heated and melted into filaments "off-line," then loaded back into the juice bar. The filaments are fed to a 3D printer in the juice bar that prints the cups. After users watch their cups being printed, they are then filled with freshly squeezed orange juice for drinking.
CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, in partnership with global energy company Eni, has developed this experimental Circular Juice Bar and called it "Feel the Peel."
To quote from their website: "The principle of circularity can be an inspiration for tomorrow's everyday life objects," says Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: "Working with Eni, we played around (with) a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. In the next iterations of these projects, we might add new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing."
Credit: A project by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati for Eni