Learn how Autodesk used Biomimicry to solve a problem: reduce the downsides of 3-D printing including hazardous chemicals, plastic waste, and prodigious energy consumption.

Edit Hook

Design software giant Autodesk faced a sustainability challenge after they created its first production-quality 3-D printer. Autodesk’s interest in sustainability sent them in search of more life-friendly processes for producing objects with their printer.

This article walks the reader through the way a team approached the problem: searching the literature for bio-inspired design principles, coming up with a framework to assess safety and sustainability (e.g., whether the 3D products could be recycled), assessing the current issues with 3-D printing, selecting several of those issues as challenges to biology, and seeking biomimetic processes to solve them.

Citation: Siegel, R.P. 2016. Can 3-D Printing Go Green? Mechanical Engineering 38(10):42-47

Edit Summary