Researchers of Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have succeeded in 3D printing with wood-based inks. The wood-based inks appearance seems to be a higher priority than the wood-based content materials. This groundbreaking research would revolutionize the manufacturing of green products in the future.
According to the reports, the study has developed the method to mimic the identical cellular structure of wood. The countless opportunities in the creation of green products can be derived from trees, including clothes, furniture, packaging personal care products and more.
The study highlights that the architecture or ultrastructure of wood cells is destroyed during processes that involve the conversion of wood products. For instance, the process of paper, textile, and card; hamper the structure of wood cells.
However, with the help of the new technology, wood can be processed in the shape of the final product by means of 3D printing or through genetic codes. This gives the material distinctive qualities such as toughness, torsional strength, and porosity.
The process relies on previously wood-based inks which have been developed by the team of researchers. This was created by converting wood pulp into a printable nanocellulose gel.
Previously, they had just succeeded in a sort of ink that could be 3D printed. Now they have created a 3D printing platform which mimics wood biogenesis for the assembly of wood biopolymers which produce solid material with structure.
It implies that now, the arrangement of nanucllulose fibrils can be precisely controlled during the process. Being able to manage the orientation and shape implies that they can catch those valuable properties of natural wood.
“This is a breakthrough in manufacturing technology. It allows us to move beyond the limits of nature, to create newly sustainable, green products. It means that those products which today are already forest-based can be now 3D printed, in a much shorter time, said Paul Gotenhalm, the researchers of the Chalmers University of Technology.
“Also the metals and plastics currently used in 3D printing can be replaced with a new able and sustainable alternative.”
He said that if we could start printing-packaging locally, it would be an alternative to today’s industries, with heavy reliance on plastics and CO2 generation transport. Packaging could be designed and manufactured to order without any waste.