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This 3D Printer Just Went Green with Organic Ink

What makes 3D printers so amazing? Besides the fact that they can pretty much make anything out of plastic and some computer codes, one could argue that it’s their versatility. For instance, this entrepreneur from Seattle used recycled plastics to make printer ink. And we can now use food as ink to make delicious treats for kids.

But is this the limit of what 3D printers can use for ink? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’d know that there’s very little that these machines can’t make! And now, a new group is going green with their printer. It’s a 3D printer that can actually print growing plants.

The group is called Project PrintGREEN from the University of Maribor in Slovenia. Their goal is to unite art, technology, and nature, creatively producing living designs with the help of technology. It’s a pretty interesting goal. We’ve seen some green projects before, but nothing as “earthy” as this.

According to, the specially designed “green” printer uses a mixture of soil, water, and grass seeds instead of ink. After drying, the muddy mixture holds its form, and, with proper care, begins to sprout grass from the organic material. Check out some of the pictures from the Project PrintGREEN website:

Instead of using and reusing recycled plastics, which never truly degrade, these prints will naturally degrade over time. It’s about creating a “living” design/print – it becomes green on its own. So, as real biological growth, Project PrintGREEN tweaks the term “think, before you print” and turns it into a slogan for an alternative, modern society – “print, because it is green”.

If this kind of ingenuity was utilized by every young person out there, there’s no limit to what ground-breaking—or in this case, ground-printing—creations we can come up with!

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