Will.i.am partners with Coca-Cola for 3D printer with a difference

The Black Eyed Peas frontman and self-styled tech entrepreneur is promoting a new compact 3D printer from 3D Systems that is as focused on recycling as it is on creativity.

That's because filament (i.e., 3D ‘ink') for the Ekocycle Cube printer is made up from, among other things, discarded Coke bottles. Each cartridge contains material recycled from three plastic bottles and there's even a $5 reward for owners that return the empty cartridge after use.

As well as promoting the device itself -- which can print objects up to 15 cubic centimeters (6x6x6") in a limited range of colors that unsurprisingly includes red, black and white -- will.i.am will be working on accessories for the printer and features for its app in his role as 3D Systems' Chief Creative Officer.

He has already been hard at work curating a selection of designs focused on music and fashion that will be preloaded into the printer when it goes on sale later this year.

And when it does hit the shelves, it will do so with a $1199 price tag and no small amount of eulogizing from the Black Eyed Peas frontman who is clearly fired up by the possibilities of the product in terms of unlocking consumers' creative potential and heightening their environmental responsibility, as the launch video shows.

As he says: "Waste is only waste if we waste it."