3D printing has been touted for its ability to re-shore production and use less overall feedstock than conventional techniques. Discussed less frequently is the technology’s ability to repurpose materials. One 3D printing startup keenly aware of this fact just came out of stealth and is in talks with investors to scale up its operations. But Marvel Labs doesn’t just revitalize waste materials, it captures carbon in the process by 3D printing objects out of biomass.
It sounds like science fiction. Marvel Labs converts disused waste—including seaweed, coffee grounds, and sawdust—and processes it for use in a 3D printing technique called binder jetting. The startup’s machines deposit a bio-based binder across a bed of fine powder layer by layer until the final object is formed. Echoing the company name, the printed items are as marvelous as the nature from which they’re derived.
From 3D Printing Legacy to Environmental Entrepreneur
After serving as head of innovation for new programs at large conglomerates, such as United Technologies (acquired by Raytheon), Marvel CEO Jake Miller decided to apply his expertise to a pressing issue that he was truly passionate about: sustainability. Miller began researching the possibility of 3D printing biomass waste in 2017 before ultimately teaming up with binder jetting veteran Andy Jeffery and co-founding Marvel Labs.
“You know, 3.7 million tons of wet coffee grounds end up in landfills every year. In Mexico, 0.1 million tons of sargassum seaweed washes up on beaches. 15 billion trees are cut down every year and only about 10 billion of them are replaced. ” (Read More)