Flexible additive production processes for the manufacture of customised bio-based packaging 

Bio-based compostable individual package

Due to political and social circumstances, the packaging industry is subject to strong change and pressure to innovate. Packaging that is in line with environmental and climate goals is being sought. From an ecological point of view, these should be bio-based and also either biodegradable or recyclable. Energy recovery or landfill recycling should be avoided as far as possible.

Packaging is a very price-critical product, which makes the introduction of new materials, technologies and process chains per se difficult from an economic perspective. These problems are to be overcome by rapid additive manufacturing in combination with bio-based material systems. Bio-based polymers and renewable raw materials with residual material character, which have not been used in additive manufacturing processes so far, but which offer enormous application potential through upcycling, serve this purpose.

By using 3D printing technologies with particularly high throughput and intelligent, material-saving design, these can be manufactured in an economically competitive cost segment. In this context, individual packaging of low to medium quantities and thus currently high unit costs are to be considered.

Research at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg

„Process development for paper fibres in binder jetting for packaging“

Paper fibre packagingBinder jetting (also 3D printing, 3DP) is one of the fastest additive manufacturing processes, which convinces with an enormous material variety of possible powders. Especially the use of a matrix and binder powder in combination with a water-based printing fluid have an enormous potential for new matrix materials. In this way, residual materials can also be used to make better use of our resources as well as to achieve further material recycling and the associated upcycling. In addition, suitable binder powders must also be found to make targeted applications possible.

In this project, paper fibres from the packaging industry are to be used to produce new interior fittings as packaging inserts.

Project partners
TU Chemnitz, Department of Lightweight Structures and Polymer Technology, Germany
richter & heß VERPACKUNGS-SERVICE GmbH, Germany
Robert Kraemer GmbH und Co. KG, Germany

Project duration
10/2020 - 03/2023

The entire project is funded by the “Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand” (ZIM), which means Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).


  • Kühnel, L.; Hartmann, T.; Stiller, A.; Rinberg, R.; Nendel, W.; Zeidler, H.: Additive production processes for the manufacturing of customised bIo-based packaging. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Circular Packaging, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2021, S. 269-275, ISBN 978-961-90424-6-5

Logos of the project partners and sponsors


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Henning Zeidler

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Henning Zeidler

Head of the professorship

Karl-Kegel-Bau, Agricolastr. 1, room 90

phone +49 3731 39 3066
fax +49 3731 39 3658
henning [dot] zeidleratimkf [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de

Head of the professorship for Additive Manufacturing
Dipl.-Ing. Katja Brauer

Dipl.-Ing. Katja Brauer

Research associate

Karl-Kegel-Bau, Agricolastr. 1, room 94

phone +49 3731 39 3642
fax +49 3731 39 3658
katja [dot] braueratimkf [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de

Project coordinator 3DBioFiberPrint
Dr.-Ing. Lisa Kühnel

Dr.-Ing. Lisa Kühnel

Research associate

Karl-Kegel-Bau, Agricolastr. 1, room 93

phone +49 3731 39 3749
fax +49 3731 39 3658
lisa [dot] kuehnelatimkf [dot] tu-freiberg [dot] de