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Plants can be Renewable and Biodegradable alternative to Polymers used in 3-D Printing materials: Research

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New York, March 5, 2017: Plants could be a renewable and biodegradable alternative to the polymers currently used in 3-D printing materials, researchers have found.

A new paper, published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, found that cellulose might become an abundant material to print with.

“Cellulose is the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties. And because it is so inexpensive, it is biorenewable, biodegradable and also very chemically versatile, it is used in a lot of products,” said Sebastian Pattinson, lead author of a paper, from Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT).

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“Cellulose and its derivatives are used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as food additives, building materials, clothing — all sorts of different areas. And a lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customisation that additive manufacturing [3-D printing] enables,” Pattinson added.

When heated, cellulose thermally decomposes before it becomes flowable, partly because of the hydrogen bonds that exist between the cellulose molecules. The intermolecular bonding also makes high-concentration cellulose solutions too viscous to easily extrude.

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“We found that the strength and toughness of the parts we got… was greater than many commonly used materials for 3-D printing, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA),” he said.

Cellulose acetate is already widely available as a commodity product. In bulk, the material is comparable in price to that of thermoplastics used for injection molding and it’s much less expensive than the typical filament materials used for 3-D printing. (IANS)

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Video- The Art and Science of Plants: Botanical Art

It involves a perfect blend of science and art.

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Botanical Art
The Story Of a Plant: Botanical Art.

By Vishvi Gupta

The botanical artwork is always botanically correct but not necessarily complete. More emphasis is on the aesthetic value of the plant or flower. Artwork is frequently in colour (on a plain background).

It captures the beauty of nature in all its intricate detail. It also helps in producing images used by botanists to identify plants. Even more than this, it is important in the documentation and conservation of species

Within the field of design sustainable practices consider organic systems as well as produce botanical motifs. Increasing focus on the development of ecological awareness and responsibility requires innovation fostered by the practice of exploring our relationship through art, design; and the study of organic processes and the methods of Nature.

It involves a perfect blend of science and art. One difference between a botanical artist and a flower painter is intention: the botanical artist wishes their work to be useful to the scientist.

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