As we’ve already mentioned, nothing causes more joy at Top 4 3D Printing then when somebody uses additive manufacturing to make the process of getting plastered more pleasurable. This week, therefore, has brought much merriment to the cramped confines of our usually unhappy headquarters, as two projects involving booze and 3D printing have been brought to our attention: the World Cup inspired SambaCan and a project that will allow the space tourists of tomorrow to drain a dry martini at zero gravity.
Tonight in Sao Paulo, a month-long feast of football kicks off as host nation Brazil take on Croatia in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup. If you can’t make it to South America for the festivities (or are terrified of being trampled by pesky, placard-wielding protestors at Rio airport) but still want to mimic the Brazilian mood while watching from home, SambaCan is the very thing for you.
Designed by Dutch companies 3DWergen and Kiva Kuva, the 3D printed device doubles as both a handy holder that keeps your booze cold and a make-shift samba shaker. You simply download the file from Youmagine for home print or order a print to be made for you through 3D Hubs. The design is 100% open source and completely customisable, so you can kit it out in the colours of your fave football team.
The can of your chosen beverage sits in the hollow centre of the SambCan, while you hold it from the handle beneath. This means your hand (sweat-soaked, no doubt, from all the end-to-end-action on the box) won’t warm up the alcoholic goodness housed inside the tin.
Once you’ve drained the drink, you merely rip off the ring pull and drop it into the can itself. Hey presto! You are now holding a samba shaker that can be rattled relentlessly in order to get into the carnival spirit/ irritate everybody else in the pub.
OK, so, obviously, you don’t have to put beer in your SambaCan. In fact, if you look at the pictures you’ll see the designers behind the device are using it to keep their Coca Cola cold. But, come on: soft drinks? At the World Cup!? Blasphemy!
Zero gravity cocktail glass
Ever tried to get smashed in space? No? Well, take it from us, it sucks. Once you try to tip back your beer, wine or whiskey, nature takes over and it floats away from your lips, leaving your mouth dry and your body stubbornly sober. Try to pour it into a glass first and things get even messier.
While this doesn’t pose too many problems for astronauts, who are probably concerned with things other than alcohol while they explore unchartered areas of the Milky Way, what of the humble space tourist?
Though, currently, only a handful of high-class holiday makers have ever been blasted into outer space for the purposes of recreation, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic project and Russian firm Space Adventures are aiming to inflate that number massively in the coming decades.
If and when they do, there’ll be one drawback. Though a trip to space might give you the chance to blaze a celestial path through the heavens, you won’t be able to kick back with a cocktail after a long day’s sightseeing around Orion’s Belt.
Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation is out to change all that. The boutique branding company specialises in products that can be used off-earth, and its latest offering is a gift for the alcoholic astronaut.
The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is developing a glass that can be sipped safely in outer space. Though shaped like a traditional martini glass, it uses a capillary action to move liquid from one point to another. A bulbous base holds the liquid, while the long stem transfers it to the drinker’s gullet when it’s time to party. Refilling the glass is done through a hole in the bottom.
Though, currently, it’s a 3D printed prototype, the team are planning to make biocompatible plastic, glass and stainless steel models soon. They are also planning to manufacture the totally tremendous-sounding Drinkbot – a mechanical mixologist that creates cocktails for thirsty space travellers in zero gravity conditions.
As Samuel Coniglio, the founder of Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation puts it:
The Zero Gravity Cocktail Project is an attempt to bridge the gap between the space tourism vision and mainstream reality. By creating a fun object that appeals to many people, we hope to show that space tourism is not an abstract concept but a stepping stone for improving the way people live, work and play beyond planet Earth.