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laser cutting bioplastics


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yeah, this was a lot of fun to do. Today and yesterday was like an improvised fablab. maybe a mobile fablab!? @jaycousins , chris & @m3nd3l
#1 Mendel on 2010-02-05 17:23 (Reply)
very cool- thanks for sharing. I wonder how fast this stuff would biodegrade in compost.

also, can you cut it to letter size and send it thru your ink-jet printer? that would be cool.
#2 jeff bare on 2010-02-05 18:34 (Reply)
wow i really want to try this, though i have no laser cutter, i'll have to cut by hand. what kind of starch? what kind of vinegar? Can i use corn starch and white vinegar from the supermarket?
#3 Erica Schwartz on 2010-02-05 22:31 (Reply)
@jeff bare don't know if you could run it through the printer but you could try. @erica normal vinegar and corn starch are fine, we used a variation on this recipe - starch is starch.

We'll publish more info on processes next week, have been experimenting with accelerating process with microwave, which is an exciting development - at least for us.
#4 Jay Cousins (Homepage) on 2010-02-06 02:31 (Reply)
Please keep us updated. I think this could be huge!
#5 Joris on 2010-02-06 08:32 (Reply)
This looks really interesting. Can this be used to make moulds ?
#6 Sandeepa on 2010-02-07 04:42 (Reply)
At present we can only make flat forms, although it is possible to give surface textures. Our goal is to be able to make moulds, 3 dimensional structures, make waterproof material, and essentially have a database of material that can be used to construct anything using materials you can buy over the counter and use with tools you have in your kitchen.

Will be recording how to today.
#7 Jay Cousins (Homepage) on 2010-02-07 09:46 (Reply)
Yah, this is great Jay, another experiment for me to do, after the glowing squid bacteria protocol! (or during)
#8 Brian Degger (Homepage) on 2010-02-08 10:17 (Reply)
I tried over the weekend. Was not successful. I tried a whole bunch of different recipes and proportions but ended up with varying degrees of material with a consistency not unlike that of hair gel. I will try again tonight . Would love to see the tutorial!
#9 Joris Peels on 2010-02-08 10:29 (Reply)
Hi All

Documentation is a work in progress as we have to replicate. We aim to do some recording this week and find our how exactly we did it :-) in the meantime a brief summary of the project can be found here.


#10 Jay Cousins (Homepage) on 2010-02-08 12:15 (Reply)
Cheers for that! One of the two amazing things before breakfast.....the other one was Tm.10s Bruce Stirlings talk on Futurity Now. Synopsis "Pretend like its the future, and it will be!"
#11 Brian Degger (Homepage) on 2010-02-08 12:44 (Reply)
Glad to be of service, we should catch up soon - I want to hear about this luminescence project.
#12 Jay Cousins on 2010-02-08 14:45 (Reply)
I tried it out, it's pretty cool.

I'm going to experiment some more with it. Thanks for the idea!
#13 Matt (Homepage) on 2010-02-10 02:46 (Reply)

Looks great. Mine all look milky white, how did you get it so transparent?

My molds are hardening by the way but I have shrinkage in a lot of the parts. Some parts are 30-50% smaller than initially.
#14 Joris on 2010-02-10 04:19 (Reply)
NIce result Matt!
It does shrink a lot, depending on your mix and the drying speed & shape. We played around with the vinegar and glycerine to see how it reacted as a plasticizer. Taking out the water out of it in the microwave took the water out really quickly, but make it also very brittle. There is a balance to find somewhere.. :-)
#15 Mendel Heit (Homepage) on 2010-02-10 07:13 (Reply)

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