We’ve heard of a few existing companies around the world trying to make ethical, environmentally-friendly filament. Examples include the Indian company ProtoPrint, which employs waste pickers to recycle plastic waste into printer filament, and Jiangsu Jinghe Hi-tech, a Chinese company that developed a filament material made from a specific type of crop in China. Even industry leader 3D Systems hopped on the bandwagon with its plastic-recycling Ekocycle printer. But who knew the answer to greener filament could have been right in your backyard?
A team of researchers at the Italian Institute of Technology has found a way to create 3D printer filament from vegetables, specifically rice, parsley and spinach. Cocoa plants are also being studied.