Jan.3, 2014

Two Dutch designers, Olivier van Herpt and Joris van Tubergen, developed an open source extruder that can be used for printing with beeswax. Using this extruder anyone can create temporary disposable objects out of beeswax on their desktop 3D printers.

image credit: Joris van Tubergen

Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees of the genus Apis. It is an exciting medium for art. Beeswax has a relatively low melting point range of 62 to 64 °C. Once it has been extruded in a desired shape, the beeswax hardens. The 3D printed beeswax products are completely natural, made with the help of bees, with no artificial color, no artificial scent.

image credit: Joris van Tubergen

"As a designer I feel a real creeping unease about my vocation." said van Herpt. The designer feels uncomfortable adding more materials and objects to the world that has been filled with things. "Creating, crafting and manufacturing objects brings me immense joy. Nothing in life is as satisfying as making a resolved, working, beautiful and useful thing." added van Herpt. But he sees also that factories produce millions of things that were used only for a short while and then dumped into the ocean or buried in landfill.

image credit: Olivier van Herpt

Throwaway products were seem as a convenience and as a way of creating jobs and sustaining economic growth but it takes long time to decay, or some never decay. Disposable products increased pollution in the world. The two designers want to be able to do their work, whilst not feeling guilty of making yet another disposable plastic object. Beeswax seems to be a pretty unusual material to create objects on 3D printers, but the designers are inspired by its feasibility and infinite possibilities for reuse.

"This is the spark that lead me to the 3D printed beeswax project. If the world wants temporary things and wants to consume things at higher rates then let's create a way to give this world the temporary things it need through a sustainable process." said van Herpt.

image credit: Olivier van Herpt

Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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Mee wrote at 5/31/2016 9:01:24 AM:

So where's the "source"?

Erik Jensen wrote at 2/12/2016 8:34:54 AM:

This looks exiting. Can this printhead achieve a resolution of 0.1 m/m. Cam I print honeycomb exactly like the bees themselves, that is a wall thickness of 0.1 m/m in a standard Longstroth frame? Can I obtain a printhead and fit it to a Cocoon 3D printer? Erik

jd900 wrote at 1/7/2014 4:23:20 AM:

I don't think it's a good sign when the top picture looks like they 3D printed an onion ring.

poke wrote at 1/4/2014 7:43:09 AM:

Sounds good expensive.

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