Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros are devoted to the production of bioplastics from algae and the use of 3D printing technology to make such eco-friendly items into dishes, water bottles and trash cans. They hope that such 3D printed bio-plastic products can be sold in the streets in the future to replace synthetic plastic products.
Klarenbeek and Dros cultivate aquatic algae in their studios and then, through drying and processing, get 3D polymers for 3D printing. In addition, they can produce biopolymers from a wide range of organic materials, including fungi, potato starch and cacao husks. Their ultimate goal is to make biopolymer 3D printers offer "freshly baked" finished products to people in the street shops as if selling toasted bread.
The two designers said that algae can absorb carbon dioxide during their growth and that the production of bioplastics from algae can therefore help combat the global warming caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. They collaborate with institutions such as The University of Wageningen in the Netherlands, Avans Biobased Laboratory in Breda, the Netherlands, and at the invitation of the LUMA Foundation to set up an algae production laboratory in Arles, France.
Currently, Klarenbeek and Dros' studios produce both 3D printed products of the same style in the Netherlands and France using algae native to the region. In addition, they also recently exhibited at the Beyonce van Beuningen Art Museum in the Netherlands: harvesting and processing of algae from the pond of the gallery and then 3D printing of the glass collection in the Imitation Hall.
The above-mentioned algae bioplastic 3D printing products have not been put into commercial production yet, and there is currently no information on time-to-market and selling price.
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