How I learned to impress my friends by 3-D printing my own Brewista scale accessories for free.
BY JOSH TAVES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
I am a luddite in the truest sense of the word. I can log in to my email, but beyond that I’m pretty useless on a computer. So, when I was faced with the task of 3-D printing my newest coffee gadget, needless to say I felt more than a little over my head.
If you haven’t heard, Brewista is a newer company (formed in 2014) that has exploded onto the specialty-coffee scene, offering unique products specially catered to our needs with cool touches like titanium and iridescent finishes and custom logo laser etching. The Smart Scale II is a great compact scale they make, and when given the opportunity to play with one, I quickly scoured Brewista’s website to see what sorts of options and accessories they offer. This is when I came across the “Printables” section on their website. Brewista offers 3-D-model plans of several different accessories for the Smart Scale II for free on their website; now I just had to figure out how to 3-D print.
My first stop was Google to search for places near me with 3-D printing services, which is where I found that my local library offers 3-D printing for free! So, after receiving the files from Brewista, I was off to the library. I reviewed the plans for two different items with the staff at the “IdeaLAB,” and unfortunately I was turned down. The files were too large to print on their little printers and would occupy too much of their time to get it done. The UPS Store offers printing services, but after seeing the price, I decided to look around for cheaper options. Back to the internet, where I discovered that a different library district 30 minutes from my house offers free 3-D printing with fewer restrictions. Success!
All I had to do was email them the plans, provided by Brewista, and two weeks later I got a call saying that my portafilter holder was done. To top it all off, they printed my portafilter holder in PLA, which is made from renewable resources and is biodegradable. So, for the cost of a bit of gas, I had myself a cool custom portafilter holder that fits perfectly with my Smart Scale II and turns it into a complete espresso-weighing system.
The beauty of the Smart Scale II is its compact size. It functions great on the drip tray to weigh your shots in real time, and if you really want to get into it, Brewista offers a 3-D model for a tray that expands the surface of the scale to better hold espresso cups, as well as a drop-in holder for the scale to be permanently installed in the drip tray of your espresso machine.
The issue with the scale’s compact size, however, is that it becomes nearly impossible to set a portafilter on it. Enter my new 3-D printed portafilter stand! Combining these two made this scale the most versatile in my lineup, and definitely my new go-to.
Other features that make the Smart Scale II awesome are the USB rechargeable battery, 0.1 gram accuracy, and backlit display. To top it all off the Smart Scale II is water resistant, which means it will last you awhile on your drip tray. And if you are into time-saving techniques behind the bar, the Smart Scale II also comes with several different auto functions that can do things like auto-tare and auto-time when you set an espresso cup on the scale.
So, if you want to be transformed from a luddite into the person with the coolest coffee gadgets like me, grab yourself a Brewista Smart Scale II and head down to your local library to let the 3-D printing fun begin!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Taves is the director of quality control and business development for Novo Coffee in Denver. He’s been working in the coffee industry since 2006 and enjoys taking advantage of all the great adventures Colorado has to offer. He is also the inventor of the Rattleware Cupping Brewer and a 2017 USBC finalist, so he knows his way around lots of different coffee gadgets.