3-D Pulp: Crop Residue At Small and Large Scales - $14,522 - UIUC Campus Research Board

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This project was funded by the University of Illinois Campus Research Board in 2016.


This project aims to foster new and continue existing collaboration in research and pedagogy between Associate Professor Eric Benson (Graphic Design), Associate Professor Mark Taylor (Architecture), and Assistant Professor Sameh Tawfick (Mechanical Science and Engineering) on using crop residue pulp (corn, soy, rye, miscanthus and prairie grasses, etc.) in three-dimensional forms. We will investigate the formation of truly “sustainable, ” compostable, or recyclable 3D printed, molded, and constructed forms from novel agri-fiber bio-plastic composites. We will use a Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer, slip-casting molds, and other molding techniques to create three-dimensional forms in different scales (from smaller 3D printed objects to larger architectural scale artifacts). The mechanical strength and density of the forms will be studied and related to the intrinsic agri-fiber properties to establish a processing-structure-property relationship. Finally, the team will study the consequent potential applications of each variety of fiber in the third dimension, and how the results can influence and improve further research into crop residue and also enhance existing course projects in design, architecture, and engineering.