Penn State has developed a new sustainable resin for 3D printing.


Penn State University, or Pennsylvania State University, is well-known for its advancements in 3D printing technology. One recent example is their research using 3D printing to combat breast cancer. Now, a team of agricultural engineers and biologists from Penn State have taken it a step further by developing a new 3D printing material made from natural, plant-based components. This new resin material is still being tested, but the goal is to replace traditional plastics in large-format SLA 3D printing.

To support this research, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded the Penn State team a grant of $650,000 over the next three years. The aim of the project is to reduce the cost of expensive materials that are currently made from petrochemical-derived components. The researchers, led by Stephen Chmely, assistant professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, hope to create new and sustainable bioproducts from lignocellulosic biomass, or dry plant matter.

The team is working with plant-based materials such as lignin and nanocellulose, developing their chemical properties to create the new resin. Lignin is a complex organic polymer that makes plant walls rigid and woody, while nanocellulose is composed of tiny particles derived from wood pulp. Stephen Chmely explains that the results they have achieved using these materials were once thought to be impossible. The team’s resin has exceptional properties, including greater elasticity, hardness, and thermal resistance compared to conventional resins used in 3D printing.

Penn State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering provides a unique perspective at the intersection of materials science, engineering, agriculture, and forestry. This interdisciplinary approach allows the team to leverage the knowledge base of the department and advance their research. Chmely believes that these new materials will have a significant impact on the additive manufacturing industry and rural communities that provide the biomass feedstock for resin production.

If you would like more information about the research conducted at Penn State, you can visit their website. What are your thoughts on Penn State’s research into naturally-derived 3D printing resin? Let us know in the comments section below or interact with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter to receive the latest 3D printing news directly in your inbox. You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

Original source


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