An Australian Miner Wants To Show Graphite Isn't Just For Making Pencils, It Can Be Used In 3D Printing Too

Image: Getty.

Graphite has more uses then your humble pencil and an Australian miner wants to show just how useful the resource can be.

Kibaran Resources is teaming up with a 3D printing company to investigate how the material could be used as an input in 3D printing.

The majority of 3D printers use various types of plastics to spit out different objects including car parts, random plastic creations and medical implants.

Signing an MoU with 3D Group, Kibaran said to the alliance will look at how graphene, a one-atom thick, almost transparent sheet of graphite can be used to print solid objects from digital files.

The material, which is stronger than diamonds and steel, but is flexible and conducts electricity better than copper, has the potential to expand 3D printing applications, the miner said.

“3D technology has the potential to bring about a quantum shift in the way we produce new materials and products, including whole structures or individual components, in a raft of new industries,” Kibaran executive director Andrew Spinks said.

Kibaran is developing graphite deposits in Tanzania and under the agreement any research conducted will source materials from the miner’s operations.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.