The US start-up Slant 3D has developed a 3D-printed thermo mug that is intended to be an alternative to conventional vacuum insulated mugs. Additive manufacturing makes it possible to integrate specific air chambers into the wall of the cup and thus improve its insulating properties.
According to Slant 3D, 3D printing offers unique design freedom in terms of material and shape. For example, the thermo mug combines a stainless steel inner container with a plastic insulating jacket. The air chambers in this jacket hinder heat transfer much more effectively than a vacuum.
In addition, 3D printing enables customizable structures on the surface. The cup can thus be equipped with different haptics and optics without having to produce new tools. This significantly reduces the costs for product differentiation and small series.
According to the company, the 3D-printed cup outperforms commercially available products in terms of break resistance and customizability. Slant 3D sees such innovative applications as a clear competitive advantage of additive manufacturing over conventional processes. The company is already selling the thermo mugs via its own online store.