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Any interest for Sustainable PLA grown from food waste - not corn!


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Posted · Any interest for Sustainable PLA grown from food waste - not corn!

Dear  3d printing people, I am a molecular biologist - we are growing lactic acid on food-waste  for 2nd generation PLA (e.g. 1st gen is growing on food resources, corn etc, 2nd gen uses a waste feed stock to make more usage of arable land for food).

I am asking the community is 2nd gen PLA filament and spool something you would consider using, and if so what characteristics do you need in 3d printing (molecular weight please).

Does everybody feel 3d printing filament and spool should be more environmentally friendly?



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    Posted · Any interest for Sustainable PLA grown from food waste - not corn!

    Yes, but: the filament should be equally strong, durable, easy to print, non-warping, and have the same layer bonding as standard PLA, I think. And it should not damage brass and steel nozzles, e.g. not be so acid that they dissolve, and not leave burned residu stuck to the nozzle. And at a comparable price as PLA now. Also, production should not use more energy than it does now. And it also should not be so self-decomposing that prints fall apart, like we had with some other bio-stuff: in our city we once had waste bags (NL: vuilniszakken) that were so bio that they decomposed in two days, but the truck came only once a week...


    The traditional "bio" way of doing things, twice as expensive for half the quality, is not going to work here, I am afraid. The amount of waste coming from 3D-printing is already very minimal compared to the amount of waste coming from most household- or industrial processes. There is not that much to gain for average users.


    I think you have to calculate all these things in from the beginning.


    That said, do not stop researching, even not if you do not have success immediately. All good things we have now, came from continued research and development. A lot of new inventions were inferior to existing things in their first iterations, but became better later on.


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