Instructables

Electric Coffee Maker

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This instructable is for making a sustainable electric coffee maker. Nearly all components are from readymade diy parts & materials, so if any part ever breaks, you can repair or replace it. The parts from the casing were printed using Filabot filament, which is made out of recycled plastic. Other parts are made by casting local waste aluminum (such as cans, aluminum foil and chips from cnc milling aluminum). There is no glue used so you can always disassemble and reuse/recycle every part. So when I would ever get tired of coffee, I can send back my 3D-printed parts to Filabot (they have a recycling service) and I can remelt and reuse the aluminum for new projects. I tried using as much locally produced parts as possible and using as many components as possible which are not related to a specific model or product.

I made everything by learning from online tutorials, by using as much scrap material as possible and by utilizing the local fablab: Fablab Genk.

You will need a 3D-printer (I used the Makerbot Replicator 2X from Fablab Genk for the 3D-printed parts), a setup for casting aluminum and the right tools for assembling the internal components to each other and to the casing.

NOTE: This is a prototype, so some components or parts might have to be optimized. If there are any suggestions for improvement or any mistakes in my instructable, please let me know so I (or you) can adjust it.

Please keep all safety aspects in consideration. Electricity can be dangerous so double check everything before testing. I'm not responsible if anything goes wrong. Never leave the coffee maker running alone. Better be safe than sorry. :-)

(English is not my native language, so excuse me for any spelling mistakes or wrong use of certain words.)

 
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Hyshinara1 month ago

Hey! I was pleasantly surprised to see this on here, as I saw your coffee maker on EXIT14 :) (congratulations on the Cultuurplatform Design price, by the way! :D )

I was wondering though: where did you get the oil sand here in Belgium?

siemenc (author)  Hyshinara1 month ago

Hi Hyshinara,

Thanks, I got the sand from Dirks Artist Supplier, which is located in the Netherlands.

Cool, I'll be checking it out, then. :D
Michael_oz5 months ago

Hi, nicely done.

I'm having trouble following the wiring diagram. What colours are the Active and Neutral?

From the look of the switch, I can see why the middle is switched (ON) to the top (connecting to the thermo-fuse) to complete the circuit thru the heater then thermostat. But I can't understand connecting the bottom of the switch (OFF) to what looks like a short cuircut.

siemenc (author)  Michael_oz5 months ago

Hi,

If I understand your question correctly, you are confused because of the black wire running from the switch to the thermostat, right?

This is because I used a switch with a light inside which goes on when the circuit is turned ON. I don't know exactly how the switch internally works but it doesn't cause a short circuit. If you have a switch without a light inside, you can skip the black wire running from the switch to the thermostat.I'll edit that in the Instructable.

Does that answer your question?

Sorry, I missed your last sentence where you said you'd edit it. Good.
Yes, Thanks that answers it.
I thought it was a SPDT switch (which I believe that icon is usually used), where the center is switched to either of the two other poles when on/off.
You may want to point that out in the 'ible, as if someone did wire it that way (SPDT) it would be Bad.
jarfil6 months ago

If I understand correctly, the aluminium case is insulated. Shouldn't it be connected to ground instead?

siemenc (author)  jarfil6 months ago

That's a good question. I made sure the circuit can't make any contact with the casing. Hence I connected ground to the heating element for if something goes wrong. I looked at the circuit from an old coffee maker for this. Do you think it's better to connect it to the casing instead and if so, could you explain to me why? Thanks!

I would ground the aluminium case as well as the element. Any chance of the case going Live should be negated. Grounding It would force the fuse OR force an RCD circuit to trip in your mains circuit which is what you want if it goes horribly wrong. Even though you have insulated you just cannot rely on insulation alone. Over time insulation always breaks down somewhere then what happens...

Any way very good project -- like the casting..

siemenc (author)  chaoticandrandom6 months ago

You're right. It's better to be extra safe. I'll think about how to ground the casing as well.

Thanks for the feedback!

Tachyon6 months ago

Interesting project. I hope everyone will notice that you essentially kept the "food" portion of this machine's path in it's own isolated silicone chamber so it was not exposed to either the plastics or the aluminum. Good safety thinking.

siemenc (author)  Tachyon6 months ago

Indeed an important aspect. I'll soon try to highlight it some more in the instructable.

ikartal6 months ago

very good project, awesome!! İ like it !!

siemenc (author)  ikartal6 months ago

Thank you!

craftclarity6 months ago

Wow, this is super-involved! I've got some experience with prototyping, it's a lot of work. Much respect, keep up the good work here! Thanks for sharing this project...!

siemenc (author)  craftclarity6 months ago

Thanks for the compliment!

alcurb6 months ago

Nice project. I filed this one away as things to make after I receive my deltaprintr.

Any concerns about plasticizers leaching out of the "heat resistant" tubing? I've always been concerned about coffee-making machines that use thermoplastics that come in contact with the hot water.

siemenc (author)  alcurb6 months ago

Hi alcurb,

The heat resistant tubing is used as a safety isolation for the aluminum casing, so it does not come in contact with the hot water. The hot water runs through the silicone hose, which is safe. It does come in contact with the funnel, which is made out of Polypropylene, a thermoplastic that is also being used in coffee makers from the store. I'm not sure if this answers your question. :-)

bigjknudsen6 months ago

this is very awesome. i might have look into making one when i get my 3d printer. i like how you left it open so people can design and make their own using their own locally sourced parts. great instructable!

siemenc (author)  bigjknudsen6 months ago

Thanks for your comment, nice to hear! If you ever might have any questions let me know.

This is a really cool project! It kind of reminds me of this http://www.thetoasterproject.org/page2.htm

siemenc (author)  Danger is my middle name6 months ago

Thanks! I like the toaster project.

ac-dc6 months ago

Coffee makers and/or donor parts are available at yard sales for $2. I'm not saying do this instead, just pointing out what seems just as sustainable since yard sale items would otherwise end up in landfills or someone's attic/closet/etc if someone didn't buy them, and pointing out that there is an extreme amount of time and effort invested to make something that your homeowners insurance would surely flag if it ever started a fire.

My point is, just because you can do something that doesn't make it a good idea. Now excuse me while I go chop down a tree to make sustainable wooden wheels for my car. ;)

siemenc (author)  ac-dc6 months ago

Hi ac-dc, thanks for your comment. I see your point of view but I think you're missing part of the problem.

As you probably know, not all coffee makers and/or donor parts end up at a yard sale, at all. Producers make electric products like coffee makers in too big quantities to make it possible to sell them cheap. Off course it would be better to repair and reuse everything. But you need to have the knowledge to repair the specific product, which producers don't (always) show. For this coffee maker you have nearly all parts and information available.

Also, most of the time there isn't much information available about how the product was produced. For instance components that break down after a certain period to make sure you buy a new one. At the same time they often use special types of screws or glue to keep you from repairing your product, if you want to. I'm not saying this is in every product and that it's all a big conspiracy. I just believe there should be more transparency.

Yes, I could have used only spare parts from other models to make myself a new coffee maker, but then I would still depend on those specific parts from a specific model. If a part in this coffee maker then would break, I'd have a bigger chance I have to throw it all away since finding that exact component might not be as easy.

The fact that I spend quit some effort to make this, makes me hold on to the product more than if I would have just bought a cheap coffee maker in the store, where I wouldn't know much more except for its price. And even if I would get tired of this one, I can disassemble the parts and reuse them in an other way. The aluminum can be remelted into new parts, and if developments like 'filabot', 'filamaker' or 'precious plastics' continue to grow, it might be possible to recycle the 3D-prints as well into new 3D-filament or other products.

I think you're too much focused on this as a final stage, which it isn't. If you think it's not safe enough, make it safer and share it. If you think the shape is awful, change it. If you think its functionality can be optimized, great, let us know how.

Anyway, I'm not saying everything is exactly the way I wrote here. If you disagree or think I'm wrong about certain things, let me know. I'm open for discussion. :-)