The Tappodario is a 3D printed light object that turns old plastic bottles into customizable designer lamps! The project combines the re-use of old objects (let’s not call them waste) with the creation of something new. The individual 3D-printing process and the assembly of the light object are an essential part of the “user journey”. This involvement of the user in the creation process of the Tappodario generates a strong identity with the product, which contributes to a hopefully long relationship between user and product. In addition, each Tappodario reduces plastic waste on our planet before it enters the waste management, by motivating people to collect bottles and screw caps directly after use in order to upcycle them. The open source project enables everybody to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste while at the same time creating an individual product for their own. As such the motivation to participate in the reuse and upcycling of used plastic bottles is accompanied by a personal creative process. Revaluing a used product by placing it in a different context could encourage people to think of similar solutions and motivate them to change their position from a passive consumer to an active and responsible prosumer.

Almost half of all plastic products are only used once before they are disposed of shortly after use. This applies above all to plastic bottles, regardless of whether they are offered in reusable or disposable systems. This is not only harmful to the environment and an unnecessary consumption of resources, but also a pity because with every discarded bottle a design piece is lost from which potentially something new could be created. A plastic bottle consists of different polymer plastics, usually HDPE (High-density polyethylene) for the screw cap and PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) for the bottle itself. We use these resources to create a high quality, durable and personalized design product by reusing the bottle as a design element in a new way and recycling the screw cap into a formable „digital material“. The screw caps are first washed, shredded and then extruded into a recycled filament that can be processed by a 3D printer into any desired shape.

The Tappodario is inspired by a chandelier and uses 3D printing technology to create an individual light object. All technical and functional design aspects are brought together in a coherent form. For this purpose we have integrated the geometry of the bottle screw caps into a platonic solid. The dodecahedron we use enables a compact radial arrangement of the bottles as well as effective illumination of the light object, which radiates evenly outwards from the center of the Tappodario. A broad variety of plastic bottles can be screwed in via the integrated standard screw cap, allowing the desired chandelier design and lighting mood to be individually determined. In addition, an E14 thread for the lamp socket is integrated in the model, so that the lamp simply needs to be screwed in. Only the material of 22 screw caps is needed to produce a Tappodario, without any additional support structure. At 55 grams, the printed model is very light as well as extremely stable thanks to the statically balanced geometry of the platonic solid. The printable 3D-file can be downloaded free of charge from our website. We hope you enjoy printing and assembling your own Tappodario!

  • Tappodario_01-bcc3d4d4
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRpFXdQmwnk
  • Marco Hemmerling


Marco Hemmerling