Aug. 6, 2014

In the past we have seen that people have been experimenting with different materials, such as nylon, wood, ceramic etc to 3D print objects with different strength and appearance. Recently, another news comes from Fab Lab Breda in the Netherlands, that a sculptor called Jos Hamann has used a filament made from Solanyl, a biopolymer based on potato skins to create sculptures.

What is Solanyl? From Rodenburg Biopolymers page:

Solanyl is derived from the latin words Solanum Tuberosum, which means potato. Solanyl is mainly based on reclaimed side stream starch from potato processing industry grain, root or seed and or flour based resources.


Solanyl is special tailored for various converting methods and is a renewable substitute for various petroleum-based plastic applications like e.g. PP and HDPE, LDPE. The compounds can be used directly for the production of bioplastics with most common converting purposes with respect to injection moulding, sheet extrusion, profile extrusion, thermoforming and extrusion film blowing products and processes also to produce "natural" look and feel products.


The commercial grades of the Solanyl family are offered as follows (xxx stands for specific grades, for example Solanyl C1201 is the standard injection moulding grade):

Solanyl C1xxx: Injection Moulding

Solanyl C2xxx: Thermoform Grade

Solanyl C8xxx: Blown film

The filament used by Fab Lab Breda is the result of a student project from the local college in Breda. Students mixed potato skins and other waste from potatoes with PLA to create biopolymer pellets. They then made filament out of Solanyl based pellets in order to investigate whether they need extrusion based pellets or injection molding pellets.

Fab Lab Breda tested the Solanyl based filament with their Ultimaker original 3D printers. Fab Lab Breda's Charlotte Jansen told us that the new material is very sensitive to humidity. They found that this material is more brittle than the ABS or PLA filament. Because Solanyl takes longer time to solidify when cooling, they have to print objects at a very low extrusion speed, such as a speed of 30-50 mm/s. In addition the ideal extruder temperature should be at 185C.

Jansen said the final prints have totally different look and feel. It doesn't feel like a plastic, it is a more rubber-like material. Check out below Jos' print "The Secundant" made from Solanyl based filament, which is shiny and smooth and has beautiful texture.

Jansen said that the potato filament is easy to recycle and fully biodegradable, it is a very environmental friendly material. if you're interested in experimenting with it, you can contact Jansen to put in a request. Based on the feedback from testers, the students could then determine whether it is feasible to put the new filament into production.

Via 3D Hubs

Posted in 3D Printing Materials

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JungleStyx wrote at 4/10/2015 9:41:45 AM:

I actually have just obtained these pellets, and am also looking forward to experimenting with creating filaments with them! Very exciting!

manko wrote at 8/6/2014 8:08:43 PM:

Solanyl!!! Its made from potatoes!!

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