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3D Printing - The Future of Homebrew

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The worlds of Home Brewing and DIY have been joined at the hip since the beginnings of home brewing....
Born out of necessity, homebrewers have had specific needs that the commercial brewing market could not supply. This need fostered a huge DIY explosion in brewing equipment & gadgets from swamp chillers, immersion chillers, growler fillers and countless others.
For years avid home brewers have shared their ideas, creations & projects. This aspect of sharing ideas and collaboration is one of the great foundations of the home brewing hobby and in particular the HBT website. HBT has been an encyclopedic tome of home brewing fact (and yes some fiction) for many years.
I am an avid home brewer and DIY tinkerer. I have on many occasions said to myself, "I wish someone would make a widget/gadget to help brewers do this or that."
Recently I have had the fortune to get my hands on a 3D printer that is designed for the home office.These printers along with new, easier software is bringing the world of custom manufacturing to the common man.
The future of home brewing DIY is here....
Armed with a 3D printer, ruler, browser based software like TinkerCAD.com more and more brewers will be designing and printing their own gadgets. With the rich history of sharing and collaboration in the home brewing community I see a wonderfully rich and productive future ahead for all the yet to be invented gadgets for brewing beer.
With that spirit in mind I would like to share a few gadget I have created or improved.
Here are a few examples....
1. I always taped my fermentation chamber temperature probe to my carboy or shoved it under the brew hauler strap. The problem is it really gave me mostly the ambient temperature of the chamber rather than the temp of the wort. I designed a little probe holder that keeps the probe insulated from the outside air and allows for more accurate temp control.

2. I have built the well known DIY project for a kegerator 'tower cooler' in the past and always knew there must be a easier way to assemble the project, rather then getting a project box, hole saw and pipe fittings.... so I designed a simple funnel like part that essentially attaches the fan to the tube directly.


3. The new wide mouth glass carboys are a great item, although I prefer to use CO2 to transfer beer from my carboy to my cornie. The screw on lid on the wide mouth bubbler posed a problem on getting a CO2 line & racking cane both mounted.... I printed a specialized screw cap to solve the problem....


This year 3D printers will be less than $900 and design software like www.tinkercad.com is free. I predict that we are now going to see dozens and dozens of wonderful, creative new items popping up on forums throughout home brewing websites that will make our hobby easier and not to mention a lot cooler in the near future... because now, if you can imagine it you can probably print it at home!
 
Thanks for sharing the tinkercad info. There is a guy who 3d printed an awesome brewpi box. I'd like to do the same with an additional outlet add to the configuration. Maybe with this I can do it!
Also with 3dhubs.com you can employ a local 3d printer to print the object for you at a cost of course.
 
@Dolomieu
I have a BrewPi as well.... it never dawned on me to print a specialized case?? Thanks for the idea!!!
I would love to see the guys case if you can PM me an image.
 
The tap handle on my kegerator was printed with a 3D printer. Finally those engineering CAD classes are paying off!
 
This is great stuff. I'd like to see what kind of high-temp materials are available to make parts for MLT/HLT vessels. Thanks for sharing!
 
Oh man... That fan/tube thing is exactly what I've been looking for to help keep the lines on my kegerator cold. I've yet to find anything like that. I don't want the big bulky box. Now I need to find a friend who owns a 3d printer.
 
What kind of 3D printer are you using. The only ones I am familiar with are MakerBot - do these work? Are all of your materials plastic filament or do you use another material? If it is, what properties does the filament have (e.g., is it spongy, does it insulate, heat resistant, etc.)?
 
@sikkingj
I am using a CUBE2 www.cubify.com The material is PLA and the resolution is 1 micron thick....
to my knowledge it is on par with maker bot in resolution. but the maker bot has more options.
PLA is strong and lightweight... I don't know the melting point but would imaging it could withstand mashing temps. I will try to melt it in boiling water and report back
 
How about making a completely new lid for the glass big mouth bubbler? The current lid design stinks. Could do multiple layouts for varying needs. I wish I had access to a 3D printer :(
 
@DivrDwn
I believe that the printer I have maxes out at 5 cube The lid may be too big for my printer.... I'll look into it
 
One thing to think about with PLA....it was designed by the navy to be bio-degradable. That way they could dump it at sea. With thin objects being printed for wet/brewery applications, it could speed up the degradation process. Just a thought.
Oh, did you know it's made from corn? You're using adjuncts!!! Lol j/k
 
One thing to think about with PLA....it was designed by the navy to be bio-degradable. That way they could dump it at sea. With thin objects being printed for wet/brewery applications, it could speed up the degradation process. Just a thought.
Oh, did you know it's made from corn? You're using adjuncts!!! Lol j/k
 
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