Now You Can 3-D-Print With Food Waste, Just Like You Always Wanted

As the number of 3-D printers grows, so does the amount of plastic goo used inside them, and the piles of potentially useless plastic doodads they create. One designer has come up with an alternative material for printing: food waste.

Italy-based designer Marina Ceccolini created the material, called AgriDust, after taking note of the shape and strength of a dried tangerine peel. She whipped up a blend of some of the most commonly wasted foods in local landfills—coffee grounds, bean pods, peanut shells, tomato skins, and orange and lemon peels—and held everything together with a 3D-printer-friendly binder made from potato starch.

The material could replace plastic in certain short-lived products, like packaging or plant pots, and could also be used to print out samples before making a final product. “These technologies are mainly used to create the first prototypes and objects that serve only for a first phase of the study,” says Ceccolini. “I don’t want to eliminate the use of plastic, because in some sectors that is unthinkable, but in the case of disposable products, you might start to think and act differently.” … (read more)


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