Portuguese student creates a 100% biodegradable cork filament for 3D printing

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Now it is possible to make 100 percent biodegradable 3D prints with a cork-based material thanks to the student Tatiana Antunes. She developed this method at the University of Aveiro (UA) for her Master’s thesis in Materials Engineering. Her work addressed the real problem of cork waste resulting from the manufacture of stoppers.

The cork filament is a totally innovative and ecological solution

Certainly, most filaments currently in the market are not friends of the environment since these contain plastic ingredients.

In contrast, cork filament can be an excelent alternative to average FDM materials and also give the touch, smell and color to printed objects that only cork could provide. Very surely, we could use it instead of the synthetic filaments available in the market.

So, how did it become possible to produce a 3D printing material from cork?

Tatiana reveals that it is a composite filament. It was developed using a biodegradable plastic matrix and incorporating cork particles that are part of a residue resulting from the process of manufacturing caps.

cork filament
A sample of biodegradable cork filament before and after 3D printing. In addition to being eco-friendly, it is the perfect solution for the reuse of cork waste.

The filament has brown tones, a slightly rough touch and, during the printing process, emits a slight smell of cork.

descrição para leitores de ecrã
Image: Team of researchers responsible for the implementation of the project. Elisabete Costa, Tatiana Antunes, Martinho Oliveira and Sara Silva. SOURCE: UAONLINE.UA

“We have, thus, a filament for 3D printing, with personality and friend of the environment. It can be used for the most diverse prints, because it allows the printing of objects with excellent aesthetics and quality, with an associated characteristic color”. Says Tatiana Antunes.

Would you use this amazing material for your next creations? Let us know in the comments section.

Article in Portuguese: http://uaonline.ua.pt/pub/detail.asp?c=57129

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  1. Jerry says

    To the write Diana Segura, you need to update your profile; isn’t Google+ dead?
    Definitely an interesting use of essentially a waste material that provides a pleasing organic look and texture. The next, I am guessing, will be adding aromatics to the build materials.

  2. Darren says

    Congratulations to the student who is helping shape how 3d printing will now be done.

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