Cellulose is the hot new feedstock for bioplastics.. The latest announcement comes from Mazda Motor Corp. which today launched a project with Hiroshima University to develop a plastic made from plant waste or wood, Mazda, Toyota and other Japanese auto OEMs had previously pioneered application of bioplastics made from corn. The new thrust away from corn is driven by growing shortfalls, and rising prices, for corn because of booming demand from ethanol. The goal of the project is to develop a polypropylene that has sufficient heat resistance, strength and durability to be used in vehicle bumpers and instrument panels.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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