Crème Design uses 3D printed molds to create HyO: 100% biodegradable cups

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New York-based design studio creates HyO: a fully organic, biodegradable cup made from a gourd that grows inside a 3D printed mold.

I’ve always liked how people get involved with 3D printing to create new products. Recently, I found about a biodegradable organic cup and how it was made from a pumpkin that grows inside a 3D printed mold to acomplish a functional shape.

3d printed mold
Image description: Gourds growing inside 3D printed molds. HyO (pronounced hi-o) is a derivative of the Japanese word hyotan, which means gourd. Source:

I remember reading something similar on my Facebook timeline. It was about how a group of gardeners growing fruits with several forms like an apple heart shape. This caught my attention and seemed good but I never thought veggies could be turned into vessels.

Fortunately Juan Aizaki, founder of Créme Design studio and his crew thought different and came up with the HyO concept.

Put in a nutshell, Gourds are fast-growing plants that bear robust fruit each season. Once dried, gourds develop a robust outer skin and their fibrous inner flesh becomes watertight.

Crème Design takes advantage of the properties above and creates its own bodegradable containers with the help of 3D printed molds.

3D printed molds allow to create HyO cups in any shape or size. Image description: a stackable set of cups that mimic the silhouette of a classic faceted glass cup.

In fact, they might serve as a sustainable alternative to the 250 billion fiber cups starbucks uses annually.

“We can grow gourds into customisable functional shapes, such as cups and flasks that can be composted instead of filling up landfills like the plastic alternative.”

Explains Crème Design.

Of course, there are many barriers to produce them in the open air. Weather, pets, humidity, and floods are a few examples. As a result, the crops are currently being grown in a container laboratory set up in a shipping container. Next step would be to grow them in an indoor laboratory.

On the other hand, gourds require at least 100 days to mature. For now, Crème is working on optimising the process of producing HyO cups.

Maybe we are close to see this cup in our favorite coffee shop. That would be great.

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