EL DORADO HILLS (CBS13) – Two high school students in El Dorado Hills got creative during the pandemic. They turned their passion for 3D printing into their own small business by inventing a product they hope will help the environment.

Oak Ridge High juniors Cole Johnson and John Enders admit they were bored during the pandemic.

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“Everybody had trouble finding things to do,” Johnson said.

“I’m looking at these guys and they’re bored out of their minds,” said mom Christi Johnson.

So they picked up a new hobby: 3D printing. It’s something the pair got into after spotting a printer at their local library.

The machine itself is small and pretty much silent. A nozzle spits out a tiny stream of plastic that can be molded into pretty much anything your mind can dream up.

The teens quickly ran out of filament material to create their 3D designs, but they noticed their printer left a lot of leftover material behind.

“We end up with a ton of waste. All of this extra plastic, which is perfectly usable,  ends up going in the trash,” Cole Johnson said.

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Johnson and Enders wanted to find a way to recycle the leftover plastic scraps to help save money—and the environment, too.

“We looked on the internet and we couldn’t find anything that did this, so we decided we had to make our own,” Cole Johnson said.

“I decided, ‘Hey, I can do something about this, I have a 3D printer. I’ve been inspired,’ ” said Enders. 

So in comes Fuzer: the device they printed that quickly fuses the leftover 3D printing filaments together. Knowing other avid 3D printing enthusiasts end up with drawers full of extra material, they hope to market Fuzer to the masses.

“Our goal is it’s something everybody has near their 3D printer,” Cole Johnson said.

The product, they say, was born out of sheer boredom, but they say it was in fact COVID that coerced this duo into getting creative.

“They found a solution to a problem so they could keep building the projects they wanted to do,” Christi Johnson said.

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Johnson and Enders say they’ve gotten some industry youtube pages to review the product to help with marketing. They’re also fundraising for Fuzer and plan to donate some of the money back to their local library—the place where they dreamed up this entire project.