The book describes two system innovations that will revolutionize the economy: 3D printing and biomaterials. 3D Printing holds the promise to manufacture on demand, locally and with less waste and energy. It may use a wide range of material types such as metals, ceramics, sand, synthetic materials such as plastics, and even food or living cells. The second system innovation is that synthetic materials, such as plastics, can be made of different types of biomass such as maize, sugar beets or even organic waste, and can almost completely substitute fossil-based plastics.
Additive manufacturing or 3D printing, manufacturing a product layer by layer, offers large design freedom and faster product development cycles, as well as low startup cost of production, on-demand production and local production. In principle, any product could be made by additive manufacturing. Even food and living organic cells can be printed. We can create, design and manufacture what we want at the location we want. 3D printing will create a revolution in manufacturing, a real paradigm change.
3D printing holds the promise to manufacture with less waste and energy. We can print metals, ceramics, sand, synthetic materials such as plastics, food or living cells. However, the production of plastics is nowadays based on fossil fuels. And that’s where we witness a paradigm change too. The production of these synthetic materials can be based also on biomaterials with biomass as feedstock.
A wealth of new and innovative products are emerging when we combine these two paradigm changes: 3D printing and biomaterials. Moreover, the combination of 3D printing with biomaterials holds the promise to realize a truly sustainable and circular economy.