CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, in partnership with global energy company Eni, has developed an experimental Circular Juice Bar that uses oranges to make bioplastic, turns it into filament, and 3D print disposable cups to drink the freshly-squeezed juice.
The “Feel the Peel” prototype is a 3,10-meter high orange squeezer machine, topped by a dome filled with 1,500 oranges. When a person orders a juice, oranges slide down into the squeezer, while its peels are accumulated above, then transformed into bioplastic through a process of drying and milling. Once heated and melted, the polymer becomes a filament, used by a 3D printer incorporated into the machine.
“The principle of circularity can be an inspiration for tomorrow’s everyday life objects”, says Carlo Ratti, founding partner at CRA and director of the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Working with Eni, we played around a machine that helps us to understand how oranges can be used well beyond their juice. In the next iterations of these projects, we might add new functions, such as printing fabric for clothing”.