3D Printing May Be Cheaper and More Sustainable Thanks to The Vegetable Cellulose, Say at MIT

A group of MIT engineers have developed a system that replaces the polymers derived from petroleum that are commonly used as a material for the a type of vegetable cellulose 3D printing It offers many advantages to the traditional system.

This alternative is renewable and biodegradable, but it is that according to researchers, the use of this material would make 3D with cellulose out cheaper and more resistant results printing. Not to mention another singular advantage: anti-microbial properties.

3D printing cheap and sustainable

Sebastian Pattinson, one of the leaders of the study, said that the cellulose is”the most abundant organic polymer in the world”, and its application to all types of industries makes it also to be used for 3D printing candidate”.

These engineers have actually used cellulose acetate, allowing you to take advantage of it in the extruder’s printers and achieve that when acetate evaporates material to solidify quickly. “After printing in 3D”, explained Pattinson, “restore the network of hydrogen bonds through a treatment with sodium hydroxide”.

The result, an object whose hardness is greater than the successful with most of materials commonly used in 3D printing, including ABS, and PLA. Antibacterial layer added to cellulose “ink” made that the microbes were eliminated by exposing them to ultraviolet light. Remains to be seen if the method is put into practice and cellulose actually becomes that sustainable alternative that could help boost (and cheaper) the use of 3D printers.