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Green 3D printing is in the offing

A recent study has shown that plants may offer a green solution keeping in mind the effect of 3D printing.

New Delhi: A recent study has shown that plants may offer a green solution keeping in mind the effect of 3D printing.

For centuries, cellulose not only formed the basis of the world`s most abundantly printed-on material: paper, but also may soon become an abundant material to print with, potentially providing a renewable, biodegradable alternative to the polymers currently used in 3-D printing materials, the MIT research, which appears in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, found.

"Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer in the world," said lead author Sebastian Pattinson.

He explained that cellulose is "the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties.

And because it`s so inexpensive, it`s biorenewable, biodegradable, and also very chemically versatile, it`s used in a lot of products. Cellulose and its derivatives are used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as food additives, building materials, clothing -- all sorts of different areas.

And a lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customization that additive manufacturing [3-D printing] enables.

"Meanwhile, 3-D printing technology is rapidly growing. Among other benefits, it "allows you to individually customize each product you make," Pattinson noted.Using cellulose as a material for additive manufacturing is not a new idea, and many researchers have attempted this but faced major obstacles.

(With ANI inputs)