Saving the World…One Spitball at a Time
Fusing his interest in sustainability and digital fabrication, Holthuis decided to undertake this project after learning about how every person wastes around 80kg of paper per year. “There is a growing market for 3D printing on demand. Printing your own designs, or from an existing model library, is widely accessible these days. The print material is almost always plastic, besides some expensive exceptions. I was surprised there are no real sustainable materials used in 3D printing,” he says.
And so, he decided to develop a printer that would make use of this squandered paper waste. The addition of the natural binder to the material enables the layers of wet paper pulp to stick together, while also making the prints fully recyclable. The machine is also able to take paper and automatically create the pulp material. As you can see in the photos, the resulting prints look like ancient relics that were handmade on an alien planet, simultaneously appearing to be both modern and primitive.
While these wet paper-based objects provide a fascinating visual aesthetic, the truly innovative part of this project is the emphasis on environmental sustainability. Hopefully, others will be inspired by the Holthuis’ Paper Pulp Printer, following his lead to help make 3D printing technology less reliant on plastic materials, and ultimately more amicable towards Mother Nature.
To learn more about the Paper Pulp Printer project, be sure to visit Holthuis’ website.