It warms my hippie tree-hugging heart every time I learn of a new 3D printing material designed to preserve the environment. There have been a lot of biologically-based, compostable filaments coming out in the last year; the first two companies that come to mind are Algix 3D, with their algae-based bioplastic materials, and 3DomFuel, which brought the world filaments made from the byproducts of things like coffee and beer. But plenty of startups are rising up with their own contributions to the eco-friendly 3D printing materials market.
One such startup that we’ve been following is Italian company Kanèsis, which got our attention a year ago when they introduced their hemp-based bioplastic material to the world. HempBioPlastic is made from 100% plant material, which makes it a true biomaterial, and Kanèsis recently filed an international patent application for the filament, which prints like PLA but is 20% lighter and 30% stronger, according to its creators.
Back in May, Kanèsis launched an Indiegogo campaign to start getting the material off the ground. While it didn’t make its flexible funding goal, the campaign did bring in several thousand dollars, enough to start production, and rewards have begun shipping out to supporters as of earlier this month. Now, to further production, as well as research and development for future printing materials, Kanèsis is taking their crowdfunding efforts to Kickstarter.
The campaign should be officially launching within the next few days; stay tuned to the company’s website for notification on when it goes live. While the Indiegogo campaign offered some nice rewards for backers, the Kickstarter is going to have some even cooler ones. Supporters will be able to receive a pair of H-Glasses HBP, which Kanèsis states are the first 3D printed hemp sunglasses in the world. There’s also the option of pledging enough to receive the Pinhole Hemp Camera, designed by fellow Italian hemp-loving company Compagnia Imago.
Compagnia Imago (which translates to “image company”) is a startup dedicated to preserving the dying art of traditional photography – film, darkrooms, the works. It’s an issue that’s close to the hearts of many photographers who don’t want to see digital photography – regardless of its benefits – completely erase the older artform of film photography. The pinhole camera was one of the earliest photographic developments, and even today its artistic capabilities make it well-loved by many classic photography enthusiasts.
Compagnia Imago used Kanèsis’ Hemp BioPlastic to 3D print a working pinhole camera – as well as some cool-looking film canisters – and it’ll be available to campaign supporters. I love things like that – new technologies used to make old tools; they’re great examples of how new tech and classic art forms can coexist. There will be plenty of other rewards for supporters of Kanèsis’ Kickstarter campaign, including spools of the filament itself.
HempBioPlastic isn’t the first hemp-based filament to hit the 3D printing market; 3DomFuel (just 3Dom at that time) released their own earlier this year. I’m very curious about this one, though, both for its print quality and its entirely plant-based composition. I’ll be watching this campaign closely once it launches, and am looking forward to what other kinds of biologically-based, eco-friendly materials Kanèsis will develop in the future. Might you back this campaign? Let’s discuss further in the HempBioPlastic forum over at 3DPB.com.