A lot of the substances can be used for 3D printing these days. Most people go for conventional plastics like ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or polycarbonate. Krill Design, however, opted for the fruit. Oranges. Well, orange peel, to be precise.
The Milan-based design agency, which specializes in the development of organic materials, took the discarded Sicilian orange peels and transformed them into a completely natural and compostable biopolymer, then used this material to 3D print its new Ohmie lamp.
The biopolymer has been in development for years, as it is a progression of the work the agency has done for Autogrill, the Italian multinational catering company, best known for its outlets at airports and highway service stations. . Krill created his original WasOrange material from the fruit waste product, then used it to print 3D rudimentary supports for sugar bags, essentially bowls, for Autogrill last year.
Now Krill has managed to improve its formula enough to make a biodegradable and dimmable dinky lamp made from the skin of two to three Sicilian oranges added to a biopolymer base derived from plant amides.
Domiziana Illengo, marketing manager of Krill, says that, apart from the oranges that are abundant in Italy (Sicily produces about 3 percent of the world’s oranges), there is a reason why the citrus peel it is particularly useful. “The link between the basic biopolymer made by the fermentation of vegetable starches and the material added by organic crops is that they need sugar to bind,” he says. “Oranges are particularly rich in, not exactly in sugar, but in carbohydrates, which on a chemical level is basically the same thing. And so it helps us develop a robust material. ”
The main problem for Krill in the construction of the lamp compared to the simple bowls he made for Autogrill was to get the material to support the heavier top section while still allowing it to stand still. The company has gone through seven prototypes to reach this final concept where the back is as straight as possible and allows the head to be tilted without tilting or falling to its side.
Apparently, the thing that really distinguishes Ohmie from other lamps, in addition to being made of orange peel, is that, thanks to its construction material, it has a slightly fun smell. “It’s similar to orange cookies, not just oranges, because through the process the material becomes toasted,” says Illengo. “So it’s more reminiscent of cookies, really.”
Krill claims that its orange-baked biscuit plastic can be used on any 3D printer in the house, but there could be quality control issues. The complicated aspect is the fact that not all 3D printers are created with the idea of being able to print bioplastic materials reinforced with organic matter. “People who want to experiment at home may find it difficult to get the right heat,” Illengo says. “In a 3D printer there’s a camera where the material melts, so it slides from one nozzle to the other. But since there are no 3D printers specifically created for biomaterials, it’s very difficult to get that. precise temperature “.