Experimental printing procedures have recently become quite popular when it comes to 3D printing, which shows just how versatile 3D printers truly are on the open market. It’s been shown that wood filament printing is indeed possible using a Robo 3D Printer. However, Dutch designers have recently demonstrated that printing with beeswax using a desktop 3D printer is indeed possible.
Before Printing Using Beeswax
Users should be wary of what printing using unapproved materials could do to their printers. Using improper settings, low quality materials, and just not knowing what you’re doing in the first place could cause damage to either the 3D printer or even yourself. It’s therefore important to check through the printer’s documentation to see where users stand when it comes to printing using materials besides plastic molds. It might very well be that printing using these materials could void warranties, which would invalidate any repair requests should anything go wrong. Be careful when printing using beeswax!
How Did This Come To Be?
Following on from the popularity associated with wood filament printing, two Dutch designers, Oliver van Herpt and Joris van Tubergen, developed an open source application that primed desktop 3D printers for beeswax printing. Their reason for developing this sort of process included being concerned for the environment. While 3D printing using plastics, of course, builds functional and usable items, these items will only serve their purpose as that particular item. Once an item has served its purpose, broken down, or otherwise been rendered useless, then it will just become a part of the ever-growing waste surplus in garbage landfill. Beeswax is different since it can be reused with a bit of tinkering.
What is Beeswax?
Beeswax is an all natural wax product that’s produced by honey bees within the hive. It features a very low melting point of between 62-64 degrees Celsius and once it’s been formed into the desired shape, it will harden when exposed to low levels of heat. Products made with beeswax are therefore completely natural, do not contain any artificial colours, and don’t have any chemical scents: something that’s sometimes commented on when using 3D printing processes with plastics.
Sustainability is Key
When it comes to using beeswax, its designers believe that sustainability is the key. Besides its reusable nature, beeswax is something that could always potentially have a demand. It will also ensure that the dwindling population of bees are given a new lease on life as they’re given a new role: to produce beeswax for 3D printing.
Does It Work?
Preliminary testing shows that printing with beeswax is indeed possible and forms respectable items: similar to those made using plastics. However, it is by no means confirmed and is still undergoing rigorous testing before any settings are revealed to the general public. Those who are interested in beeswax printing should therefore hold off for a little while longer until all of the settings have been tweaked. It’s only a matter of time now!