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Biocompatible and Biodegradable 3D Printing from Bioplastics: A Review

There has been a lot of interest in developing and producing biodegradable polymers to address the current environmental problem caused by the continued usage of synthetic polymers derived from petroleum products. Bioplastics have been identified as a possible alternative to the use of conventional plastics since they are biodegradable and/or derived from renewable resources. Additive manufacturing, also referred to as 3D printing, is a field of growing interest and can contribute towards a sustainable and circular economy. The manufacturing technology also provides a wide material selection with design flexibility increasing its usage in the manufacture of parts from bioplastics. With this material flexibility, efforts have been directed towards developing 3D printing filaments from bioplastics such as Poly (lactic acid) to substitute the common fossil- based conventional plastic filaments such as Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Plant biomass is now utilized in the development of biocomposite materials. A lot of literature presents work done toward improving the biodegradability of printing filaments. However, additive manufacture of biocomposites from plant biomass is faced with printing challenges such as warping, low agglomeration between layers and poor mechanical properties of the printed parts. The aim of this paper is to review the technology of 3D printing using bioplastics, study the materials that have been utilized in this technology and how challenges of working with biocomposites in additive manufacture have been addressed.

Publication date: 18/05/2023

Author: Maurine Naliaka Andanje

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15102355

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.