NANO-ARCH: Nanocellulose in architecture – esthetic applications through robotic 3D printing
Research Project, 2021 – 2022

Intensive research in Sweden today yields novel biomaterials derived from the largest provider of building materials in Sweden – the forestry sector. One such material, nanocellulose hydrogel, is a water-based suspension of cellulose nanofibers, possible to be 3D printed into soft, form-stable objects. The cellulose fibers in the material can be upcycled from industrial side stream products comprising cellulosic biomass. The simple nature-based ingredients of nanocellulose hydrogel, togewther with its robust mechanical properties, make it a truly environmentally neutral and architecturally relevant material. In the future, it could replace many fossil-based and waste-generating materials, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings. Novel applications of nanocellulosic materials have already been developed for various industries in Sweden, such as packaging and the biomedical sector. In architectural design, however, the application potentials of nanocellulose hydrogels remain greatly unexplored. To fill this knowledge gap, this project undertakes a pilot investigation aiming to show the possibilities of using 3D printed nanocellulose as an architectural material. The research objective is to develop various scaled models of lightweight  architectural elements and protective coatings for wooden interior components, 3D printed from nanocellulose hydrogel, accompanied by a new knowledge base on material compositions, workflows and 3D printing instrumentation enabling future applications in buildings. 


Malgorzata Zboinska (contact)

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Sanna Sämfors

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry


Adlerbertska Foundations

Funding Chalmers participation during 2021–2022

AoA Materials Science

Funding Chalmers participation during 2021–2022

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Materials Science

Areas of Advance


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