3D printing has been around for a while now and has changed many different industries and the way some businesses are conducted. It has not grasping the brink of the cannabis industry in how people smoke.
With the amount of hype around 3D printing over the past few years, it would come as a surprise to find someone that has actually come across something that was 3D printed. It has even has taken hold of the medical industry in terms of how the surgery is prepared with 3D printed organs from MakerBot. Though it is still rare to see or get your hands on something printed in 3D.
It is now being introduced into the cannabis industry in the form of 3D printed bongs. Currently, people can navigate and are able to find a 3D model that will let them print a bong straight from the comfort of their living room if they have a 3D printer, that is. And it isn’t cheap getting your hands on a quality 3D printer that does the job right. They are said to start at a hefty $1,000, which uses certain and specific types of plastic. Over some Reddit discussions, some have expressed concerns over this plastic, and if it is non-toxic or biodegradable. The more commercial artist will usually dabble in different media. Al Jacobs, who is the co-founder of Printabowl, has stated that he and his co-partner Saul, wanted to make things that are durable and that will stand the test of time. They come from an artistic background, so it’s safe to assume they wanted to add a flair of creativity into their work as well. Al said that plastic wasn’t the way they wanted to go for their company. Printabowl was founded in 2015 and they create very detailed bongs, much more elaborate than what you will see produced on a factory line in your local glass bong store.
Initially, Al and his business partner researched printing with glass, but the technology just wasn’t up to date yet in that regard with the quality and standards that they had in mind. After researching, they figured out a process that involves using a 3D printer to make an initial mould that is then shaped in order to develop the end product in porcelain. Of course, there are the doubters that will comment and say that the bongs aren’t 100% genuinely printed in 3D. Al and his partner say that the people who say that are kind of ignoring the point that their work is more focused on the artistic way it is created and far different to the traditional glass style of making them. They state that their vision for the company is to make marijuana more accepted in society.
Saul Jacobs who is the brother of Al, also comes from an artistic background and has shown his teachers some of his elaborate works of art and was almost immediately shunned off because they were something you could smoke weed out of and weren’t really considered to be a work of art. Saul and Al both attended the University of Washington right in Seattle. During a chemical engineering class, they were taught to think and ponder about the overall bigger picture that their discoveries can lead to. They both took the course and thought that it was just a measly two-credit course that they would push through, but little did they know that it would have a much greater impact than what they once thought. They specifically say that a Printabowl is a labour of love and that it could take up to almost 3 days to have the finished product complete. It is not an easy and quick process as some might assume. They have to print and get the mould ready, cast it, fire it, do a glaze on it, and fire it once more. On the other hand, even thinking of the initial design process is a completely different thing altogether.
Their Ferro design for the company was created with ferrofluid in mind. This is a liquid that reacts to magnetic forces. Al stated that if you observe a piece they created, it kind of resembles a downward spiral in a sort of Fibonacci form. It is something that simply cannot be attained with old-fashioned hand made porcelain or blown glass. Al and Saul also have something called an Alpha and Tessellate, each with their own specific design. These are made from porcelain and include a 10mm glass stem and slide to use with cannabis. Al stated that they once had a quarts banger that could be included and that they might consider doing that again in the future. With these types of bongs, one doesn’t have to be worried about the heat level, because they are fired up at 1,700 degrees Fahrenheit. this is much higher than what a bowl or bucket is heated at.
Another thing the pair are experimenting with is metals such as gold, silver, and platinum. They recently sent a sample out to Leafly, but it was still only in ceramic. One notable design they recently were working on was inspired directly from the Shanghai Tower. The shape they had in mind was of the spiral looking design of a strand of DNA. The Edifice series they created and is the first of the company’s designs are called Hai. It’s no surprise that it’s pronounced “high”. Because Printabowls are genuine works of art, take time to make, and are original, they run at a price of around $299. It is similar and comparatively priced to hand-blown glass. Their Hai runs at $109, which is a lot more affordable for the everyday user that is just looking for a little change instead of glass. Some state that they like the Hai better for concentrates, but that the amount of water it can hold is a little on the small side compared to the standard bong. But word has it that it handles cannabis perfect and that the porcelain feels great and doesn’t have any chance of getting water on the lips as a result of good design proportions. The Pelican Case, which is priced at around $45 is a great case for holding everything in place, including all of the glass parts. Over at Leafly, they were said to really enjoy the uniqueness of it.
Because a Printabowl is much different than the glass bong, it will take hardcore users some getting accustomed to. You can’t see the smoke going up the chamber and some users will find themselves checking once or twice to see if they have cleared it. There are also many that simply don’t care about that. For $109, you really can’t go wrong with a unique and original bong. It appears like an artistic flower vase, which is something that brothers had in mind when creating them. Al has stated that when the T model car was first released, people said it was ugly. But then when you take the functionality out of the equation and dress it up a bit, people will view it with a set of completely different eyes. As the future progresses, maybe you will soon find yourself purchasing a 3D printed bong.