Friday, October 23, 2015

Additive Manufacturing Goes "Green" with Coffee Grinds, Mud, Clay

With sustainability becoming increasingly more and more of a priority for individuals and nations alike, it seems only natural that the inevitable future of manufacturing- namely additive- be held to a higher environmental standard than its oil and gas predecessors.

This is not lost on the pioneers of 3d Printing technology, as more and more start ups are using the new industry as a method to develop more sustainable and eco-friendly chains of production. The following are only a few of the many experimental and small-scale excursions into the concept of environmentally conscious 3d Printing that are waiting for large-scale investment to demonstrate their true worth:
Coffee-based filament used to 3D print products.
3Dom USA Eco-Friendly Products

A merging endeavor of Fargo 3D and European-based 3Dom, 3Dom USA recently revealed an unlikely source for its spool products: coffee grinds. With the help of bio-composite company, c2renew, 3Dom USA's firmament is sturdy, natural, and degrades in dumps at a much faster rate than plastic-based spooling. Seeing as how most printers in the market currently are designed to only use plastics for use anyway, 3Dom USA's printers have to come with whatever coffee-based materials they use. But the cost-efficiency more than makes up for any initial buy and the variety of hard products for retail, utility, and even construction, are enough to warrant consideration.

WASP's BigDelta Mud House Printer

World's Advanced Saving Project has a variety of innovative projects, none more impressive than BigDelta. Following ancient Mediterranean techniques that use only clay, water, and plant materials, WASP created a massive 40-foot 3D printer that constructs mud houses.

A massive 3D printer used to produce mud and clay houses.
 Though phased out when the Industrial Revolution went global, mud houses are still extremely cheap and durable from the outside elements. Surges in global population among third-world countries all but guarantee their value as a logical choice in mass housing in many parts of the world.

Model clay houses built by WASP using its 40 foot, 3D printer.

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company.

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