Producing products with a paper pulp printer

For his graduation project from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Dutch designer Beer Holthuis developed the world’s first paper pulp printer.

3D printing is a rising star in the world of production, because it’s fast, material saving, and easily customisable. More and more people have their own 3D printer at home, or have their design printed by companies that offer this service. Plastic, either bio- or petroleum-based, is the most used material, though there is an increase in other available materials like ceramics, metal or glass.

We use 80 kilograms of paper per person per year. While paper is recyclable, the quality deteriorates the more it is recycled, as the fibres become shorter.

Holthuis’ idea for a paper pulp printer comes both from his interest in sustainability as his fascination for tools and techniques. In order to find a new use for paper, he created the world’s first paper pulp printer. The wet paper pulp is mixed with a little natural binder, which is then used to create the desired design. According to Holthuis, the material is endlessly recyclable.

“The design of the printed objects uses the possibilities and beauty of this technique,” Holthuis says. “The tactile experience, bold lines and print speed results in distinctive shapes. The objects are also durable: Printed paper is surprisingly strong.”

Photos: Beer Holthuis