Cellulose is one of the most abundant and broadly distributed organic compound and industrial by-product on Earth. Yet, despite decades of extensive research, the bottom-up use of cellulose to fabricate 3D objects is still plagued with problems that restrict its practical applications: derivatives with vast polluting effects, used in combination with plastics, lack of scalability and high production cost.
However, researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have recently demonstrated the use of cellulose to sustainably manufacture/fabricate large 3D objects. Their approach diverges from the common association of cellulose with green plants and is inspired by the wall of the fungus-like oomycetes, which is reproduced introducing small amounts of chitin between cellulose fibers. The resulting fungal-like adhesive material(s) (FLAM) are strong, lightweight and inexpensive, and can be molded or processed using woodworking techniques.
This material is completely ecologically sustainable as no organic solvents or synthetic plastics were used to manufacture it. It is scalable and can be reproduced anywhere without specialised facilities. FLAM is also fully biodegradable in natural conditions and outside composting facilities. The cost of FLAM is in the range of commodity plastics and 10 times lower than the cost of common filaments for 3D printing, such as PLA (polylactic acid) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), making it not only more sustainable but also a more cost-effective substitute. The researchers have furthermore developed an additive manufacturing technique specific for the material.
Co-lead of this research, SUTD Assistant Prof Javier Gomez Fernandez, also known for the development of Shrilk said: “We believe this first large-scale additive manufacturing process with the most ubiquitous biological polymers on earth will be the catalyst for the transition to environmentally benign and circular manufacturing models, where materials are produced, used, and degraded in closed regional systems. This reproduction and manufacturing with the material composition found in the oomycete wall, namely unmodified cellulose, small amounts of chitosan –the second most abundant organic molecule on earth — and low concentrated acetic acid, is probably one of the most successful technological achievements in the field of bioinspired materials.”
Co-lead SUTD Assistant Prof Stylianos Dritsas, added: “We believe the results reported here represent a turning point for global manufacturing with broader impact on multiple areas ranging from material science, environmental engineering, automation and the economy. So far we have been focusing on fundamental technology development, and little time has been invested in specific target applications. We are now at the stage of seeking industrial collaborators to bring this technology from the laboratory to the world.”
With the increase in waste and pollution, the urgency for more sustainable manufacturing processes is growing. The establishment of a technology based on unmodified compostable polymers of great abundance that does not require cropland or forest resources, will foster the transition to environmentally benign manufacturing and a sustainable society.
The Latest on: 3D printing with cellulose
via Google News
The Latest on: 3D printing with cellulose
- Electrical switching of high-performance bioinspired nanocellulose nanocompositeson February 26, 2021 at 2:44 am
Switching mechanical properties in stiff bioinspired nanocomposites is challenging as they contain high fractions of hard reinforcements. Here, the authors demonstrate reversible electrical switching ...
- Changing the silkworm's diet to spin stronger silkon February 25, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Oct. 8, 2020 — Researchers processed silk fibers into a versatile component of bioink for 3D cell printing technology. Printed objects retain their shape better than those produced without the ...
- The NOVUM Project is using Cellulose to Create a Novel Sustainable 3D Printing Materialon February 23, 2021 at 9:04 am
The Novum project seeks to use cellulose and additive manufacturing to create a novel sustainable production method.
- Create-your-own wipeson February 20, 2021 at 11:41 pm
The PIG Bucket of Cleaning Wipes allows you to add your own antibacterial cleaner, disinfectant or sanitizer. The cellulose/polyester blended, low-lint dry wipes work with EPA List N disinfectants and ...
- 3D printing with cellulose: The future of electrical insulationon February 20, 2021 at 2:57 am
The solution to this problem comes in the form of 3D printing with cellulose, which completely does away with the need for moulds while also significantly reducing the number of steps needed in ...
- 'Beer dress': Could this innovation be an alternative to cotton?on February 18, 2021 at 10:00 pm
“Imagine that we could 3D print ears, 3D print hearts, livers, and then use that 3D-printed microbial cellulose with human tissue grown on it,” he said. “To put that into a patient would be ...
- Even machines need their greenson February 10, 2021 at 9:23 pm
The idea for the bio-inspired ink came from trees that harness the power of photosynthesis to produce glucose, which transforms to cellulose and ... a newly invented 3D-printable polymer ink. Then ...
- Academe pursues plastics replacement goalson February 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Engineering cellulose for 3D printing Last March, MIT announced another use for cellulose to replace plastic—as a 3D printing material. New research at MIT has shown cellulose, an abundant material ...
- Developing fibrillated cellulose as a sustainable technological materialon February 3, 2021 at 8:34 am
Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on Earth, found in trees, waste from agricultural crops and other biomass. The fibres that comprise cellulose can be broken down into building blocks ...
via Bing News