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Smart Cups: 3D Printed Energy Drinks For Everyone

Published on January 2, 2018 by Jamie D.
smart cups

Smart Cups have just revealed plans to ship empty biodegradable plastic cups with polycapsule flavors created with additive manufacturing. But will it catch on?

California-based startup Smart Cups have revealed something that hasn’t previously been seen. They are selling empty cups, but when you add water, they turn into tasty energy drinks. This is because the water reacts with the 3D printed capsules at the bottom of the cup, creating your drink. They plan to release an initial four flavours of their energy drinks.

smart cups

Pucker Up Brain Boost flavor.

Smart Cups: Background

Created by Chris Kanik along with The Additive Advantage, Smart Cups have revolutionised the plastic cup industry. These cups are not only biodegradable, but offer a number of other benefits over traditional energy drinks. Once water is added, the 3D printed layer at the bottom mixes with the water, flavouring the water to create the advertised soft drink.

Typically restricted to the medical fields, these microcapsule layers are produced with additive manufacturing techniques. A variety of materials are printed within the soluble polymer shell, which are released when in contact with water. Their Katalyxt layers then transform the water into the energy drink.

Smart Cups’ first run of these 3D printed energy drinks include four flavours: Pucker Up Brain Boost, Tropical Recess, Magna Cum Latte, and Nerdy Lemon-T. If successful, we could be drinking 3D printed cola and lemonade by Smart Cups in the near future.

smart cups

Smart Cups’ initial 4 flavor release.

3D Printing in Consumer Goods

This is one of the most revolutionary and one of the first uses of 3D printing in consumer goods. Though improving, 3D printing is not as effective as traditional manufacturing on a mass-production scale. However, Smart Cups might have solved the problem in their industry. 3D printing may still be in its infancy, but it allows Smart Cups to create their Katalyxt layers and therefore an innovative new product. This offers gains on not having to carry liquids with you in your bag, you can just use a water tap wherever you go. In addition, enough cups can be carried for whole families in a normal-sized bag, cutting down space required. Overall, we’re very impressed with these 3D printed drinks.

You can find out more on Smart Cups’ website here.

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