Startup BioInspiration launched their line of biodegradable 3D printer filaments on Kickstarter a while ago, but now they’ve figured out how to repaint objects printed with their materials.
Being eco-friendly can be challenging. While you might be using fully compostable 3D printer filament such as the flexible WillowFlex or other sources, you may also want to examine the biodegradability of other aspects of 3D printing: the finishing.
3D prints are quite often painted to make them more realistic; the folks behind BioInspiration did so by printing some items from Star Wars (yes, again, but it is Star Wars week, after all). But being an eco-friendly company, they realized that the paint itself had better be eco-friendly as well, otherwise you’re degrading the eco-friendliness of the entire 3D print job.
They identified several water color paints that were both eco-friendly and provided a great visual appearance on the print. Evidently the water color paint applied quite well to their WilloFlex material, meaning you could safely compost the print with far more eco-confidence.
But here’s the interesting part: since it was water color paint, they attempted to wash it off. And it came off completely! This enabled them to re-paint the object a second time using different colors. Normally when we’ve been painting prints, there’s no going back after you’ve applied the paint. Now there’s a different option.