The Main Idea
A team of Italian inventors has figured out how to use hemp to create a brand new type of hemp plastic. The material is called HempBioPlastic (HBP), and it’s manufactured by the Italy-based company Kanesis.
According to the company’s Indiegogo page, the folks at Kanesis use hemp waste to create their brand new biocomposite. HBP comes as big spools of plastic filament. It can be used in 3D printers and a huge number of other industrial applications where plastic is needed.
The material was invented by Giovanni Milazzo and Antonio Caruso. They wanted to create a plastic material that could be used to create all sorts of things, but that would be sustainable and eco-friendly. So they turned to hemp fiber.
And now they say they’ve come up with a revolutionary new product. So far it’s mostly been used in 3D printing applications. In early tests HBP has scored higher than the plastics traditionally used in 3D printers.
HBP has proven to be 20% lighter and 30% stronger than Polylactic Acid, which is the most common bioplastic used in 3D printing. The plant material in HBP also bonds better than other plastics so that the final 3D printed product tends to be stronger and more durable.
“The Kanesis people work every day to promote an innovative and environmentally friendly way of thinking and behaving,” said Milazzo and Caruso. “Our aim is to contribute to an exciting new beginning for both industry and agriculture.”
Bringing Back Hemp Agriculture
But HBP is also about reviving the hemp industry. Milazzo and Caruso explained that Italy was once a global leader in industrial hemp. But after the global crackdown on all things having to do with cannabis, the country stopped its large-scale hemp agriculture. But now, Milazzo and Caruso believe that HBP could be a compelling new reason to start growing hemp again.
So far the inventors have focused on using HBP as a material for 3D printing. But they said it could be used in a variety of other applications as well.
They’re currently raising funds on Indiegogo. And the gifts they’re giving to funders demonstrate just how diverse this new material can be.
Depending on how much you donate, you can pick anything from jewelry to smoking accessories like grinders, stash jars, and ashtrays, to buttons and fashion accessories. If Milazzo and Caruso are correct, HBP could open up new possibilities for both hemp and 3D printing. Now you can use a 3D printer to make pretty much anything you want, and the entire thing will be made out of hemp.