Researchers at Germany’s University of Freiburg may have found a way to make 3D printing a bit more environmentally friendly — by printing with a new material best described as a wood-based biopaste. After all, who needs boring, unsustainable plastics when you’ve got an alternative that works impressively well, made out of wood biopolymers cellulose and lignin?
Lignin, for those unfamiliar with it, is a class of complex organic polymer which strengthens the cell walls of plants and causes them to become woody (or “lignify,” to use the proper terminology). This mechanism helps plants to protect themselves against everything from wind to pests. (Read more)