Digital manufacturing with biodegradable material

Digital manufacturing with biodegradable material

Some of the new items we make here are not all traditionally handmade. To expand our creative boundaries and productivity we've added new tools such as a 3D printer. It enables us to manufacture our designs digitally, forgoing the traditional, wasteful and expensive methods. What's great about it is we have full control of the process. Our material of choice is PLA (Poly Lactic acid) which is derived from renewable sources such as cornstarch, cassava roots, chips or sugarcane.

PLA is biodegradable, however, it depends on where you are located. Normal composting on the northern and southern hemisphere (with winters and cooler temperatures) won't work. In order for the biodegradable status to be achieved, you'll need a sustained temperature of 60˚C/140˚F for 5 days and requires water to work. This means it will work in areas close to the equator where normal summer temperatures reach 40˚C to 60˚C with high level of humidity.  Industrial composting facilities can compost PLA and it takes 6months for the material to degrade. 

PLA is recyclable but currently NOT the usual recycle centres.

PLA is food safe, so it's okay to use them as cookie cutters. Just make sure you clean it well afterwards and wash in cold water.

PLA is NOT microwave safe. The low heat tolerance of PLA is not compatible with microwave ovens.

PLA is NOT dishwasher safe. Standard dishwashing temperature is 60˚C, your PLA product will come out deformed or worse. 

Our new desktop organiser : Twisted Hexagon pen pot