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Fastfood-waste becomes 3D-printing material

What: New things are printed from old French fry oil.

What it's about: Greasy deep-fried fast food doesn't exactly have the best image - a small part is due to the problematic disposal of used cooking oil.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have now found a way to turn the old fryer oil into a light-sensitive plastic for 3D printers. A professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough realised that the molecules used to make conventional resin for the 3D printer are very similar to the fats in cooking oils. McDonald quickly found itself as a donor of used cooking oil, as this took the problem of oil disposal off the fast food chain's plate.

The transformation process into usable resin is relatively simple. Once the oil is filtered and purified, a photoinitiator is added which causes the oil to undergo a significant change in its physical properties when exposed to light.

The resulting resin is then suitable for 3D printers that work with stereolithography technology, i.e. a filled resin tank that only allows the resin to react with light and cure where structure is to be built. By the way, the resin is completely biodegradable and is said to cost a fraction of the resin normally used for printers.

A nice example of the circular motto: one man's waste is another man's raw material.

Pictures: Butterfly 3D-Print, Don Campbell (University of Toronto)

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