Globally there is a long tradition of using various leaves as plates and bowls. Common sources are Areca, Somani, Sal, and Banana and basic stamping methods exist to form cups. However, these methods are slow, and the product is inconsistent.
This project aims to firstly, increase production speed, address consistency and cleanliness, and finally expand the process window to allow for other leaf types. Cleanliness will be addressed by standardizing the inbound wash process. Production consistency and speed will be addressed by adapting carbon fiber layup models to evaluate leaf layups and explore chopped leaf layups (5-30mm). Production improvements will focus on increasing mold temperature and pressures.
Lastly this project will systematically explore new leaf varieties that by be applicable to the process. Temperate and deciduous species are of interest as most traditional leaf sources are tropical.