Sustainable 3D Printing with Paper Pulp

It’s not an exaggeration to say that 3D printing is a revolutionary technology. Words like “disruptive” get tossed around a lot in the tech industry, but 3D printing is one of the few technologies that actually lives up to the hype. Even an inexpensive $300 desktop 3D printer is capable of fabricating high quality plastic parts, which is game-changing for prototyping. Unfortunately, however, that results in a lot of plastic waste. That’s a problem in our modern eco-conscious world, and this PaperPulpPrinter is the solution.

PaperPulpPrinter was created by Beer Holthuis for the express purpose of reducing plastic waste. While there are already 3D printers that can utilize paper-based material, it has to be thoroughly processed first. Holthuis’s PaperPulpPrinter is able to work with simple paper pulp that has been mixed with a natural binder. That slightly viscuous pulp solution is pumped through a tube and then deposited on the print bed, just like any other 3D printer. If the printed item stops being useful, it can be recycled again and the material can be used to print something new.

The downside of the PaperPulpPrinter is that the print quality is far worse than traditional FFF (fused-filament fabrication) 3D printers. Each layer is very thick, so the fidelity of the prints is lacking. That said, there may be potential for improving that. As it stands, it would be a good option for fabricating prototype parts — especially large ones since it prints quickly with the large nozzle— before moving onto more refined and durable plastic parts printed on a conventional FFF 3D printer.

Sustainable 3D Printing with Paper Pulp was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: Sustainable 3D Printing with Paper Pulp
Author: Cameron Coward