In the brewing process there are several waste products. One of those is distillers grain which is the leftover malted barely after the sugar/starch (which will become the alcohol through fermentation) has been extracted. Typically this waste is sold to farmers as feed for livestock as it’s rich in protein, but it also has the ability to be transformed into plastic and that means you could turn it into 3D printing filament.
The company 3D-Fuel has launched a line of filament called Buzzed that they make from brewery waste. The polymer has similar performance to PLA and is manufactured in Fargo, ND or Moville, Ireland. According to the 3D-Fuel website:
Buzzed is a beer based 3D printing filament made using waste byproducts from the beer making process. Buzzed uses those beer left-overs to create a special 3D printing material. 3D printing with Buzzed beer filament results in visibly unique print finishes. The filament produces products with a rich golden color and a noticeable natural grain. Now a stein printed with Buzzed is a true “beer stein.”
Plastic is a polymer and nature is full of natural polymers such as carbohydrates, lignin and protein. Many companies are already taking plant based plastics mainstream like Coke’s plantbottle. 3D printing with biopolymer surely isn’t the cheapest option right now, but doing it out of beer waste at the very least makes for a great conversation pieces and a win for the environment as well.