Sustainable model making material alternatives

I was wondering if someone could throw some light on modelmaking materials which are eco-friendly and sustainable. The high density foam is not only bad for the environment but also deadly if we inhaled it. The same goes for POP. I can see some filaments for 3D printing which are compostable/biodegradable. Apart from wood, is there any other material that has the same model making capacity as foam and eco-friendly?

I recommend for most processes 3D printing, you can also use balsa wood. An alternative is clay modeling which is best for form finding as well.

Some 3d printers are corn starch based.
Wood as mentioned. A lot of models used to be made out of wood in the old days.

I had totally forgotten about clay modeling. Yes there are a lot of filaments for 3d printing which are turning out to be plant based. 3D printing is really time consuming. For quick form study, I believe clay and paper are good.

Well, depending on which forms are you trying to emulate but paper and cardboard works really great. You can reach some complex 3D forms with 123D or pepakura!

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have you ever done any quick mold making with Alginate? it is the substance that dentists use to make molds of your teeth and it is totally biodegradable. It usually only lasts for one cast:

If your models need to use solid plastic - ABS is a great choice because it is strong, easy to cut, carve, sand, finish and join.
They are very easy to recycle, and if you choice to use colored plastic, then you don’t need to paint your model, which makes it even easier to recycle.
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