Sustainable Rapid Prototyping With Fungus-Like Adhesive Materials

Stylianos Dritsas Singapore University of Technology and Design
Jian Li Hoo Singapore University of Technology and Design
Javier Fernandez Singapore University of Technology and Design

The purpose of the research work presented in this paper is to develop a sustainable rapid prototyping technology. Fused filament fabrication using synthetic polymers is today the most popular method of rapid prototyping. This has environmental repercussions because the short-lived artifacts produced using rapid prototyping contribute to the problem of plastic waste. Natural biological materials, namely Fungus-Like Adhesive Materials (FLAM) investigated here, offer a sustainable alternative. FLAM are cellulose and chitin composites with renewable sourcing and naturally biodegradable characteristics. The 3D printing process developed for FLAM in the past, targeted large-scale additive manufacturing applications. Here we assess the feasibility of increasing its resolution such that it can be used for rapid prototyping. Challenges and solutions related to material, mechanical and environmental control parameters are presented as well as experimental prototypes aimed at evaluating the proposed process characteristics.

Keywords: Rapid Prototyping, Sustainable Manufacturing, Digital Fabrication, Robotic Fabrication, Sgd 12

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