Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Make your own plastic for RepRap

Vik has discovered a useful web page on the synthesis of polymers. It's at:

The one we're considering is polymerising lactic acid, as that can be made by fermenting starch from biomass (which is self-replicating, like RepRap...).

Great! I popped this link over to Professor Morris. That's quite a little cookbook! :-)
Now there's a COOL idea, and one that gets round a problem in this RepRapRelated Cory Doctorow story:

I've added a section on lactic acid to the Wiki.

Please do improve it, add formulae, diagrams and whatever to make it less boring :)

Vik :v)
Very cool doc. Gonna keep that one.
Polystyrene originally came from the styrex tree and I know from personal experience that douglas fir sap can be cooked down into a hard polymer almost identical to polyester resin.
It's also possible to make formaldehyde from methanol (perhaps from fermentation), from which you can make acetal (delrin). This isn't biodegradable, but it's bio-origin...a carbon sink. Plus, it's a kick-ass engineering plastic that can be injection-molded at 120 C.
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