Project BARBARA: Bio-based 3D Printing for the Future

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3D printing has been a key part of developments under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020. From bionic aircraft research and research into oncology and neurology to 3D printing bricks, the initiation of Horizon 2020 has been a shot in the arm for the 3D printing sector in Europe. Horizon 2020, the largest research and innovation program conceived by the European Commission, ensures close to 80 bn euro in funding through 2020. Driving economic growth and aiding job creation across Europe is the stated aim of Horizon 2020.

Project BARBARA, which stands for biopolymers with advanced functionalities for building and automotive parts processed through additive manufacturing, is the latest in the line of 3D printing projects conceived within the Horizon 2020 framework. With estimated funding of 2.7 mn euro, Project BARBARA is likely to last for up to three years, with 11 partners from Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy, and Spain collaborating.

Use of Agricultural Byproducts Makes Project BARBARA Challenging

While the development of various 3D printed materials has been supported by Horizon 2020 funding, including ocean waste and plastic waste, Project BARBARA aims to utilize agricultural byproducts and waste from crops such as corn, fruits, and nuts. The fragility and perishability of the intended raw materials are likely to hinder smooth development, but the commercial benefits of acquiring viable bio-based 3D printing materials has ensured steady funding for the project.

The automotive and construction industries could be the major beneficiaries of Project BARBARA, which is likely to conducted in the AITIIP Technology Centre in Aragon.

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