The EU has launched a research project for the creation of 3D printable cars and construction feedstock.
Monitored by the University of Perugia, Italy, the project aims to make biomaterials from food waste or agricultural by-products, and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
Project ‘BARBARA’ (biopolymers with advanced functionalities for building and automotive parts processed through additive manufacturing) focuses on the development of materials specifically for the fused filament fabrication (FFF)/fused deposition modelling (FDM) method of 3D printing with melted plastics.
The project has two goals: the first is to create four new, advanced bio-based materials; and the second is to create three validated consumer products from these filaments using 3D printing.
Collaborating on the BARBARA project are 11 institutional and industrial participants from Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Belgium. The participants include food waste suppliers FECOAM and CARGILL; raw material developers Celabor, KTH and the University of Alicante; and specialist verification from Italy’s Fiat Research Centre (Centro Ricerche FIAT) and Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy management, Acciona Construcción.
The process and production itself will be conducted by Aitiip, a manufacturing and technology company from Spain.
Materials utilised in the project will be selected for their molecular structure – abundant and easily degradable polysaccharide/carbohydrates. According to Aitiip, potential product prototypes include ‘car door handles, dashboard fascia for the automotive sector or moulds for truss joints and structures used in the building sector’.
Materials considered for use are likely to be biological cement, such as Terra Performa produced by IAAC Barcelona, or a filament made from recycled plastic bottles.