RTU Research Information System
Latviešu English

Innovation application: Biodegradable Filament for 3D Printing

Title Biodegradable Filament for 3D Printing

The capabilities of 3D printing technology evolves rapidly. Modern 3D printers achieve greater precision and finer resolution at higher speeds and lower costs. Companies offer even affordable 3D printers for home desktop use. It means a growing demand for 3D printer filament and can cause higher environmental impact of filament made from conventional plastics.

Fig. 1. Three-dimensional objects made from the developed biodegradable filament.

The developed biodegradable filaments are environmentally friendly, technically equivalent to their fossil counterparts, compatible with a wide range of desktop 3D printers, and have competitive price.

Keywords 3D printer filament, 3D printer, biodegradable, renewable resources, polymer blends
Authors Velta Tupureina
Anda Dzene
Department (14200) Polimērmateriālu institūts
Statistical Classification of Economic Activities, NACE 2 Manufacture of chemicals and chemical products
Description of the technology

The biodegradable filament for 3D printing is made from biopolymers with additives in different proportions to enhance filament properties. The filament contains only non-toxic components. The designed filament and printed products made from it biologically degrades in humid soil (pH~6.5...7.0) within four months without formation toxic substances and with no soil pollution.

The filament is compatible with a wide range of industry leading 3D printers. The biodegradable filament extrudes at nozzle temperatures from 180 to 225°C depending on the printer design.

The starch-based biodegradable filament for 3D printing comes in industry standard size 1.75mm. The filament comes in a 1kg spool and 20 m roll. The filament in different colours will be available in the market from 2016.

Applications The biodegradable filament is designed for a wide range of desktop 3D printers to use in universities, research centres, schools, key business and industrial applications as well in homes for personal use. The filament is suitable for both professional printing jobs (product development, data visualization, rapid prototyping, small scale on-demand manufacturing) and household, leisure and entertainment.

Thermal and flow characteristics of the designed 3D printer filament allow to achieve good printed detail, with minimal shrinkage, cracking or warping. The designed filament and printed products made from it are environmentally friendly and biologically degrades within four months, contains only non-toxic components, is virtually smell free and very safe to work with.

For business clients, we offer also development and production of custom-built 3D printer filament.

Technology Readiness Level System prototype demonstration in operational environment
Partnership offer Cooperation with wholesalers (merchant wholesalers and agents) to distribute biodegradable filament for 3D printing. Research projects to improve production technology. Other forms of cooperation by mutual agreement. The contact person: Dr.sc.ing Ilmars Viksne, e-mail: ilmars.viksne@rtu.lv, phone: +371 29187403.
ID 5
Contact information email: santa.puskarjova@rtu.lv and ilmars.viksne@rtu.lv; phone number: +371 29373757 un +371 29187403