For our readers who were intrigued by Sicilian startup Kanèsis’ hemp-based 3D printing filament which we wrote about last week, the product has just launched through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. The startup, which has set its crowdfunding goal at a flexible $30,000, is hoping to raise money to introduce their innovative and eco-friendly HempBioPlastic into the 3D printing market.
Founded by 24-year-old Giovanni Milazzo and 28-year-old Antonio Caruso, Kanèsis has set out to reintroduce the material hemp into various industries, starting with 3D printing. The material, sourced from the cannabis plant, was once widely used to make a diverse range of objects and tools including fabrics, rope, paper, and even food, but has in more recent years become more sparse because of strict anti-marijuana laws, also a product of the cannabis plant. As a strong, versatile, and sustainable material, hemp is an ideal material for producing 3D printing filaments.
HemBioPlastic, recognizable by its dark-brown organic color, is an entirely plant-made filament that has been made from the waste of industrial hemp production, meaning that it is entirely recycled material. After testing several versions of the hemp filament over the past year—a patent for a plant-made biocomposite was filed by Kanèsis in Italy last April and internationally last month—the startup finally settled on a flexible and strong filament composition that is reportedly 30% stronger and 20% lighter than standard PLA filaments.
Compared to ABS filament as well, the startup found that their HemBioPlastic actually had better fusion when deposited layer by layer with FDM 3D printing processes. Kanèsis explains, “the filament in HBP perfectly suites the uses with FDM technology, since the presence of plant-made micro-granules embedded in a thermoplastic resin allows a better fusion and cohesion between the individual layers of printing.”
The Indiegogo campaign, which will be running until June 17th, 2016 also offers a number of rewards to its backers, including a sample of the hemp filament or a grinder made from HBP for $10 (+ shipping), a whole spool of HBP filament (700g of 1.75 Ø) for the Super Early Bird price of $39 (+ shipping) or the regular price of $54 (+shipping). The filament is only available in its signature brown, wood-like color, which itself offers a unique and appealing finish to the 3D printed objects, which end up resembling wood.
In a world where we constantly consume unsustainable plastics, it is always refreshing to see people innovating and finding more eco-friendly manufacturing solutions. To support the crowdfunding campaign and to try your very own HempBioPlastic recycled filament, check out Kanèsis’ Indiegogo page here.