Oct.21, 2013

Marble has been commonly used as a building material since the ancient time. The industry's disposal of the marble powder material, consisting of very fine powder, today constitutes one of the environment problems around the world. During the cutting process, about 25% of the original marble mass is lost in the form of dust, and these dusts results in environmental pollution and threatens both agriculture and public health.

3D Marble-Eco Design was born in the marble quarries of Coreno Ausonio, in southern Lazio in Italy, aiming to preserve those territories where the industrial mass production is located.

Our mission is to reutilize the waste material resulting from the marbles production process. Sludge and waste are a consequence of the production system, this marble dust is complex and expensive to dispose of. But if mixed with special resins and catalysed with UV rays, these substances can be brought back to a new life and transformed in raw material ideal for 3D printing, with technically no use limitations, from architecture to design, from art and fashion to industrial purposes. This technology is capable of transforming ideas in real environment-friendly projects.

The marble dust produced in the industrial district of Coreno Ausonio has an average density of 2.7015 g/cm3 (grams / cubic centimeter) and is made entirely of CaCO3 (calcium carbonate). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis shows the presence of particles ranging in size from a few tens of nanometers (nm) to 150 microns. 3D Marble-Eco Design's method is to mix such powder with a light-sensitive polymer to create a new material for 3D printing.

The custom-made 3D printer developed by 3D Marble-Eco Design is a novel hybrid FFF - light curing 3D printer. According to the team:

Several technical solutions have been purposely designed with the aim of improving the printing quality: taking advantage of specifically designed mechanical joints, it has been possible to achieve step resolutions as fine as ~0.5 μm along each of the three motion axes ( 53 μm for ten steps). The extruder features a 0.15 mm steel nozzle, capable of producing 0.16 mm drops. The final resolution of the printer is then greatly improved, as compared with a resin-marble mixture being instantly "frozen" under a beam of light, thus allowing to produce premium quality objects.

The project focuses on exploring the use of the marble dust and the main advantages of 3D printing technology. In this way the natural sources are used more efficiently and it would also help to protect the environment.

Watch below the introduction video of 3D Marble-Eco Design project:


Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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