MIT Researchers Design Way to 3D Print with Plants

Published by , March 24, 2017 2:39 am

(CampusTechnology) MIT researchers have succeeded in replacing the common plastics frequently used for 3D printing with cellulose, the same abundantly available fiber that gives plants their structure. The purpose of the research effort was to come up with a possible renewable and biodegradable alternative to the more commonly used ABS and PLA printing materials.
Research leader, post-doctoral fellow Sebastian Pattinson explained, “Cellulose is the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties. And because it’s so inexpensive, it’s biorenewable, biodegradable and also very chemically versatile,” said Pattinson. It’s also highly common. Cellulose and its derivatives are already used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as food additives, building materials and clothing, he pointed out. “A lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customization that additive manufacturing [3-D printing] enables.”

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