The First Truly Food Safe 3D Printed Salt & Pepper Grinders?

Brown Pepper Grinders

Could these be the first food safe home 3D printed salt and pepper grinders?

I read an article a few weeks ago about the issues of food safety and 3D printed items and after some further Googling it became clear that one of the biggest issues is with the actual process of 3D printing itself. It seems that you can purchase so called food safe filaments, but apparently once you stick this in your home 3D printer you could be left with a printed object that is no more food safe than any other standard PLA Filament so what is the point? There is also a whole spectrum of other issues and considerations with the whole process of 3D printing items for use with food, not to mention the more obvious bacteria build up etc that is likely to be a common problem due to the nature of the slightly ridged layering process. I am not going to continue to bore you with any further details on this matter, but just from this snippet of information you can clearly see the many hurdles that the future of 3D printing must jump if it is to be considered a serious rival for traditional manufacture methods for such products.

With the above in mind I was eager to find out how we could work around this issue to design food safe products that are still mostly 3D printed. Our first attempt at this is relatively simple. We came up with an idea for Salt and pepper grinders where we simply remove the issue of food contact by including a food grade/safe plastic capsule insert into the design which ensures that the salt or pepper never actually comes into contact with the 3D printed PLA part, but still allows us the design freedom to go all out with our designs. Note: we do not consider the designs here, to be “going all out” these are but our first simple examples to get the basic internals correct to fit the mechansim and liner. Some more wacky and off the wall designs are sure to follow so keep your eye out for us on Thingiverse and social media as we publish some of these later this year.


Also because our insert is transparent you can also create a nice viewing area in your designs to keep an eye on your salt and pepper levels 🙂 We have so far created 2 simple yet elegant designs for you to print. The first design is a very modern and minimal cylindrical grinder with a shaped viewing window.


The second design (as above) is a very traditional wooden looking grinder of which we are still working on but cannot wait to print with our light Oak – Real wood PLA.

We will make both of these available on our site later this month for free download and also on Thingiverse and Pinshape.

We would love to see what designs you may come up with and would love it if you would share these with us on social media. Follow us now on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates on these and all other products that we release.

Along with the download all you need to complete your salt and pepper grinders at home are our high quality ceramic mechanisms and the inner food safe capsule, both of which will be available to purchased from in store alongside the downloads once we upload them a little later this month.

We will be back soon with  further updates.

The Pongo Team