With the development of 3D printing, new 3D printers and new 3D printing materials will appear regularly. Today, we have chosen a brand new 3D printing material, which may surprise you. It uses plants as 3D printing material, and this innovative application will soon be adopted.
Perfect Solution for Manufacturing Lignin Composites
The new material was found in Tennessee, USA, and was produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The laboratory is particularly interested in 3D printing. They have developed a new type of printable material made of plants through various experiments. This special material consists of rubber, carbon fibers, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and lignin (a complex organic polymer). Lignin exists in cell wall formation, especially in wood and bark. This material is very rigid and not easy to rot.
These materials were chosen to make this lignin-based material because rubber and ABS bring tensile strength, while carbon fibers provide greater toughness, which makes it easier to print the entire composite material.
3D printing is always going further. The process of developing and using an all-new material is arduous, and it will become a challenge for many developers. However, ORNL researchers fully accepted the challenge and found a solution.
The ORNL team wants composite materials for industrial scale production, but because they are not suitable for all manufacturing technologies, they can be very complex. In fact, compression moulding and casting are the most commonly used technologies in organic polymers. They are looking for the best manufacturing process for this new composite material. How about 3D printing? The team decided to use FDM (Fused Deposition Molding) 3D printing of plant-based materials to create their parts. By mixing lignin with ABS, rubber and carbon fibers, 3D printable materials can be made. At present, this is the only way to print plant materials, but also in the next few years there will be a new method of plant 3D printing!
Plant materials, alternatives based on petroleum materials?
In fact, this 3D printable lignin can replace materials based on petroleum production. With the same mechanical properties, it can even be better than traditional plastics. This lignin complex is a by-product of petroleum materials. This organic polymer can achieve better adhesion between ABS layers and make the product more durable.
Amit Naskar, a researcher from ORNL, explained that the material took five years to develop, but they were still working on the lignin-based material to make it more resistant. The first experiment is very promising for the 3D printing industry.
All different industries have the willingness to create new environmental solutions. Scientists and researchers have come up with environmental issues such as avoiding pollution and reducing waste. And plant 3D printing is really a perfect technology of green manufacturing, renewable and environmental protection!
Source from: https://creality3dpro.store/