MANUFACTURA, a Mexican company that describes itself as “a multidisciplinary design studio studying nature using vernacular systems and digital fabrication to meet a sustainable built future,” has created a new building engineering process that is both quick and eco-friendly. The company is creating building materials for use in 3D printing from discarded eggshells.
Thus, the new initiative called the Eggshell Project, tackles two issues: the nefarious environmental effects of the ceramics industry and the significant level of waste of food and organic matter in Mexico. The ceramics industry is notorious for having very high gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels and producing exorbitant amounts of waste.
That’s why MANUFACTURA decided to make use of a locally sourced, easily found, and lightweight waste product: eggshells to produce new constructions. When combined with bio-binders, the eggshells transform into a mixture that is able to solidify without the need of firing. The mixture is ideal for use in 3D printing.
The end result is an eggshell brick wall made of a total of 105 different blocks that are assembled based on their shape and an eggshell column made of 26 pieces that create stability through their shapes. The raw materials for the wall and column were sourced through the donation of waste from various restaurants in Mexico City over a period of two months.
A much-needed byproduct
This new project combines computational design and digital manufacturing to transform waste into a useful and much-needed byproduct. It also raises awareness about Mexico’s pollution problems and the environmental impact of the ceramics industry.
MANUFACTURA has successfully managed to introduce a new and eco-friendly manufacturing method that can lead to an environmentally-conscious circular system of producing and living. In the process, the firm is also introducing new sources of employment.
3D-printed bricks are finding many cases uses around the world and even potentially in space. In October of 2022, NASA asked scientists to devise clever new methods for building lunar bases capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of the moon and Mars. Experiments run by scientists at the University of Central Florida showed that future lunar astronauts could use 3D-printed bricks made of lunar regolith and saltwater to build their homes.
According to interestingengineering.com. Source of photos: internet