3D Printing

Pulped paper replaces plastic as the raw material for this 3D printer

Pulped paper replaces plastic ...
When objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer are no longer needed, they can be recycled or repulped
When objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer are no longer needed, they can be recycled or repulped
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An all-in-one lamp and shade produced by the Paper Pulp Printer
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An all-in-one lamp and shade produced by the Paper Pulp Printer
Print resolution isn't great, but object produced by the Paper Pulp Printer have their own rough and ready charm
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Print resolution isn't great, but object produced by the Paper Pulp Printer have their own rough and ready charm
As its name suggests, the raw material for the Paper Pulp Printer is pulped paper and a natural binding agent
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As its name suggests, the raw material for the Paper Pulp Printer is pulped paper and a natural binding agent
The Paper Pulp Printer and printed objects from Beer Holthuis
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The Paper Pulp Printer and printed objects from Beer Holthuis
When objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer are no longer needed, they can be recycled or repulped
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When objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer are no longer needed, they can be recycled or repulped
Some objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer
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Some objects produced by the Paper Pulp Printer

With a few notable exceptions, the majority of objects removed from a 3D printer bed are fashioned using plastic. But plastic has a nasty habit of ruining our environment at the end of its useful life. Designer Beer Holthuis looked for a more sustainable alternative, and built a 3D printer that extrudes paper pulp to build three-dimensional objects.

Holthuis has revealed precious little about the project, other than that the pulp is mixed with a natural binding agent so that the layers stick to each other as they're built up from the base. An electric motor drives a belt that turns a wheel to push down a plunger into the cylinder housing the raw pulp material, this forces the pulp through a green tube at the bottom and over to the print head.

The Paper Pulp Printer and printed objects from Beer Holthuis
The Paper Pulp Printer and printed objects from Beer Holthuis

The basic open printer is made from ply, with a moving print bed and an extruder that rises vertically and moves across rails horizontally. The paper to be pulped can be sourced from household waste and, though the print resolution is not going to win any contests against plastic printing machines, the resulting objects do have a certain rough and ready, unfinished charm to them. And Holthuis reports that they're surprisingly durable when dry.

When the printed objects are no longer needed, they can themselves be recycled, or perhaps even repulped.

You can see the Paper Pulp Printer in action in the video below.

Source: Beer Holthuis

PaperPulpPrinter

5 comments
ljaques
I suppose someone, somewhere will have the proper mindset to allow something like that somewhere in their home or office. ;) Could it have been a group of 13 year olds sitting around thinking "What's the grossest thing we can do with a 3D printer?"? P.S: Better air dry it, or that stuff will start mildewing quickly.
SimonClarke
What an awesome idea. I know people have made waste paper bricks for their fire for years but using it as a 3d printing medium is brilliant. Actually I will be adding this idea to my 'Living on Mars. book.
exodous
This is a cool idea, lots cheaper to print with. It says 'open' printer, does this mean open source or just open air printer? If it is open source it would be a cool project. It would be cool to play around with but I can't think of anything off the top of my head to print with it. If it is open source he needs to get some creative people to make one and make a few things.
Ralf Biernacki
It's very coarse compared to most printers, but I can see the perfect niche for this printer: diorama making for railroad modelers and wargamers. Papier-mache is already the ideal material for modeling scale terrain: cheap, nontoxic, light, and paintable. With this machine you no longer have the chore of modeling it by hand---with the right software, you plug in a digital USGS map, and the printer prints out an accurate diorama. You just need to smooth over the ridges. Doing the same with a plastic deposition printer would be prohibitively expensive.
S Michael
Worthless... Could have used play doe.