More than 70 percent of an ABS substitute is made from starch, palm oil, and carbon dioxide. The research team used it to manufacture a vacuum cleaner cover to demonstrate its usefulness in consumer products. (Source: Siemens)
Thanks for your comments. I'm aware of the palm oil problem, which is not insignificant. I decided to report this anyway, because finding a substitute for styrene is a big deal, since it's also bad for the environment. Humans aren't the only beings that are affected by it. Since this material is still in R&D it's possible that BASF, which has a deservedly good rep in sustainability consciousness, might be looking for an alternative to palm oil.
I don't think we should have to trade off one sustainability factor against another, in this case, a styrene alternative vs using palm oil. Actually this is a three-way tradeoff, since it's a creative way to reduce and make use of CO2.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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