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Reuse, return, remake: Twin Toys launches new range of children’s toys using 3D printing and recycled bio-plastics

3D-printed toys from Twin Toys

Twin Toys make colourful, safe, and engaging toys for children – designed and 3D-printed in the UK with recycled bio-plastic from Filamentive.

Twin Toys’ aim is to make children’s toys that are fully circular from using recycled bio-plastics and 3d printing, to being able to return them end of life to be remade into something new. All toys are designed, 3D-printed, and sold in the UK to reduce impact on the environment and ensure materials are recirculated where they are created.

  • Uses 50% recycled content
  • Non-toxic plant-based material
  • Suitable for 12 months +
  • Certified and tested to UK and EU safety standards
  • Can be returned end of life
  • Reuse, return, remake

The idea for Twin Toys was created by Director, Susie Page, who is a mum of three years old twins, and an environmental professional working in the corporate sector.

She says, ‘plastic can be a great material for children’s toys as its versatile and brightly coloured. There are very few toy makers offering alternatives to virgin based plastic toys, and while wooden toys are great and we have plenty of those, I wanted to create products with plastic that are fully circular and aim to reduce environmental impact’.

Susie Page, Director, Twin Toys Ltd

Twin Toys are launching with three shape-based toys targeted at 12+ months to support children’s skills with building, stacking and identifying different shapes and colours.

Launch date 1st February 2020

Contact: Susie Page, Director

Email: susie@twintoys.co.uk

Website: www.twintoys.co.uk  

Phone: 07715 467 048



Twin Toys (www.twintoys.co.uk  – susie@twintoys.co.uk) are a Buckingham-based company making colourful, safe, and engaging toys for children, designed and manufacturing in the UK using 3D printing and recycled bio-plastics. All toys are tested to UK, AU, and EU standards. Non- toxic plant based material. BPA-free & Phthalates-free.

Filamentive (https://www.filamentive.com/info@filamentive.com) is the market leader in sustainable materials for FFF 3D Printing. The company was founded to address the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long-term sustainability. Filamentive has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Headquartered in Bradford, United Kingdom, its customers include a global network of makers, industry and education clients.

Filamentive Release Six PETg Colours Made From 99.5% Recycled Plastic

Bradford, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom – January 16th 2020 – UK 3D printing filament brand, Filamentive, is proud to announce the release of six brand new PETg colours, made from 99.5% recycled plastic.


The brand new rPETg colours are made from post-industrial recycled plastic – 99.5% recycled content (The 0.5% consists additives to improve 3D printing performance). 

Like the existing Filamentive PETg line, this filament is strong, does not warp, and is odour-neutral – a perfect all-rounder, ideal for those strong and durable parts.


Step 1: Discarded, single-source PETg plastic waste – that would otherwise go to landfill – is received from manufacturers.

Step 2: The plastic is sorted and cleaned, to remove any unwanted debris, before being shredded and melted down to further refine the polymer.

Step 3: The plastic present in a variety of colours and so therefore undergoes a compounding to create a grey-coloured, homogeneous material.

Step 4: Premium masterbatch is then added to this neutral shade pellets to create the desired colour – the material is extruded and wound onto 100% recyclable cardboard spools ready for use!


“By using single-source PETg plastic waste as a base for this filament, we are not only diverting plastic pollution away from our landfills / physical environments, but also achieving the premium quality our global network of makers, industry and education clients require.”

Ravi Toor, Founder & Managing Director, Filamentive

New PETg colours – along with other Filamentive 3D printer filament products – can be found online via filamentive.com and available in 1.75mm diameter only, with 2.85mm coming soon.

Please note: rPETg colours originate from a different source compared to our black, white and transparent colours. As such, we advise to print slightly hotter, with a lower fan speed. Given the variation in formula we have additional datasheets for these new PETg colours, available on our Downloads page.


Filamentive (https://www.filamentive.com/info@filamentive.com) is the market leader in sustainable materials for FFF 3D Printing. The company was founded to address the environmental need to use more recycled plastics in 3D printing, and also alleviate market concerns over quality and long-term sustainability. Filamentive has experienced rapid growth and continues to address the questions surrounding 3D printing recycled materials. Headquartered in Bradford, United Kingdom, its customers include a global network of makers, industry and education clients.

PLA 3D Printer Filament Guide

Produce made from PLA

As a UK provider of PLA 3D printing filament, we are often asked by 3D printing users about the different types of PLA filament and what the best PLA filament is. This article will therefore give an overview of what PLA is, as well as explain the different types of PLA 3D printer filament we sell.

What is PLA?

Polylactic acid / polylactide (PLA) is an example of a bioplastic – a plastic made from renewable, plant / biological material.


The Material of Choice

PLA is the most popular 3D printing filament material – as exemplified in a 2019 survey which shows that more than 95% of 3D printing users use PLA. 

In the early years of desktop 3D printing, ABS emerged as the most popular filament, however, PLA soon began to takeover as the undisputed no.1 filament of choice.

3D printing users prefer PLA because it’s relatively low-cost, easy to print, less likely to warp compared and doesn’t emit any unpleasant fumes during the printing process. As a renewable bioplastic it is also more environmentally-friendly – however it’s important to note that the sustainability claims made by marketers of PLA could be perceived as greenwashing. 


PLA Filament Types

As of January 2020, Filament offer five PLA 3D printer filament materials:

  • rPLA (recycled PLA)
  • Engineering PLA – ePLA
  • Matte PLA
  • Cosmic PLA
  • Wood PLA

PLA Filament

© Spannerhands

To address the ‘plastic problem’, we have pioneered rPLA (recycled PLA) 3D printer filament, still boasting the same great PLA features such as; low warping, limited smell and premium print quality – but with the added benefit of being produced from factory waste streams as opposed to virgin pellets. All users of rPLA can feel good about reducing the demand for natural resources and therefore saving the environment, whilst being confident that the print quality will still be one of the best on the market! The go-to filament for all 3D printer owners, perfect consumer products, toys and general prototypes.

Recommended printing temperature: 190-220°C


Engineering PLA – ePLA Filament

3D print made from ePLA

ePLA is our engineering-grade PLA filament, with performance comparable to ABS. Features a heat resistance of >95°C (after annealing) and the ability to print at speeds up to 120mm/s. ePLA gives a semi-matte finish once printed.

Recommended printing temperature: 235 ± 10°C


Matte PLA Filament

© Tom Jackson / FilamentFrenzy

As the name suggests, this PLA matte filament is perfect for those desiring a matte finish. The printed surface diffuses light to give it a matte look and reduce the visibility of layer lines. Not to mention the added textured feel!

Recommended printing temperature: 205 ± 10°C


Cosmic PLA Filament

© Lancashire3D Ltd

Our highly-rated PLA now featuring metallic, glitter flakes to create prints that are “out of this world”. Ideal for creating eye-catching prints!

Recommended printing temperature: 205-225°C


Wood PLA 3D Printer Filament 

© Tom Jackson / FilamentFrenzy

Filamentive Wood is a PLA composite 3D printer filament. 40% of the formula is made from recycled wood fibres, providing a realistic wood colour, finish and even smell. Some wood filaments can be difficult to print, so our goal was to offer a wood filament that is also easy to work with and we have succeeded – many of our customers praise this filament for “printing like butter”. You can even post-process your wood prints – such as sanding, varnishing and coating – to make eye-catching, decorative wood objects.

Recommended printing temperature: 200-230°C
We also recommend a nozzle >0.5mm to easy flow / reduce blockages.


So… What is the Best PLA Filament?

It’s difficult to pick just one material as ‘the best’ as it depends on the application, 3D printer capability and the needs / requirements of the user.

If you’re looking for a general prototyping filament that is easy-to-print, we highly recommend our rPLA filament.

If you require something more robust / durable that may also need to be subjected to higher temperatures, our ePLA fits the bill!

If a matte finish is what you’re looking for, our PLA Matte is the obvious one to go for here!

If you’re looking for glitter / sparkly PLA for that added WOW factor, PLA Cosmic is the one!

If you need something to smell like wood / look like wood / feel like wood, Wood PLA is a no-brainer!

Due to it’s relatively low-cost, printing ease, environment credentials and the variation, it’s easy to see why PLA filament is used by more than 95% of 3D printer users.

With so many options, PLA is likely to be the best material for your project, but it is also worth noting we offer many other polymers – including ABS, ASA, PETg – so we would highly recommend reading our Materials Guide for further information.

We also offer 3D printer filament samples of all materials we sell.

Hopefully this has been an interesting and informative read – happy printing!

Any questions? Please email us!

Important Notice – Christmas Closure & Final Order Dates

With the Christmas period nearly upon us, there’s a few important dates for your diary that you need to know. Filamentive will be closed from Tuesday 24th December 2019 and will reopen on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

As well as this, we also have some advisory final order dates that you should be aware of. Any orders placed after these deadlines are not guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas.

Please note that all orders placed throughout our closure dates will not be processed until Thursday 2nd January 2020.

For Non-UK deliveries, we would advise allowing at least 7 working days between your order date and final delivery dates of your local courier.

For any further info or questions, please email info@filamentive.com.

As always, have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Regards, Filamentive Team

The 3D Printing Waste Problem

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is one of the main types of 3D printing. FDM is a process in which a thin filament of plastic wire feeds a 3D printer; the print head melts it and extrudes it onto a build plate.

However, 3D-printing is regarded as somewhat of a double-edged sword – whilst at its core 3D printing is fundamentally less wasteful than traditional, subtractive manufacturing methods, the use of plastic as a feedstock has the potential to exacerbate the global plastic problem unless we can find sustainable solutions.


Material Sustainability Survey

In early 2019 we sent out a survey (>200 respondents) to assess the state of material sustainability in 3D printing – encompassing material choice, wastage and preference for recycled filament.

Filament usage varied; it can be safely assumed that hobbyists use much less filament that a 3D-printing service business. Taking a median perspective, the majority of 3D printer users surveyed use ≤2 kg / month (24 kg annually).

It was certainly notable that all respondents confirmed that 3D printing creates waste to some degree (no one answering 0%). 6-19% was clearly the most popular answer. Taking a lower percentile average of 10%, we can aggregate this with 3D printer filament usage (kg) to calculate a 3D printing waste volume of 8 million kilograms (2020).

Respondents were then asked to choose their biggest cause/s of 3D printing waste – Test prints, unwanted prototypes, support structures, failed prints, other.

As exemplified here, the ease of 3D printing will still breed masses of unwanted printsFastCompany aptly used the terms “crapjects” to describe how “on-demand production and endless customisation could lead to dramatic increases in throwaway consumer products.”

Prevention > Cure

In regards to test-prints and unwanted prototypes, education of the ‘plastic problem’ could catalyse behaviour change, but that is of course easier said than done – especially when prototyping is the key reason why most use 3D printers in the first place. 


Support structures are critical for complex geometries – however on 3D printers capable of dual-extrusion, using a water-soluble filament – such as PVA (Polycinyl Alcohol) – is certainly advised as the polymer is completely water soluble, leaving no waste behind. 

As quantified in the survey, failed prints cause the biggest headache for 3D printer users, accounting for more than 80% of 3D printing waste. Such failures can be caused by a multitude of reasons – from bad quality filament and bed adhesion issues, to slicing errors and hardware failures. 

3D printing is one big learning curve, and the benefit of (most) failures is that you’ll hopefully learn to avoid it next time. At Filamentive, we are huge fans of the Simplify3D Print Quality Troubleshooting Guide – an extensive list of the most common 3D printing issues along with guidance that you can use to solve them. 


Recycling 3D Printing Waste

When waste cannot be avoided, recycling such waste is often the first thought of many.

As a provider of filament made from recycled plastic, recycling waste/failed 3D-prints is definitely an aspiration. Many operational and logistic concerns exist in regards to receiving waste, in addition to the obvious challenge of quality control. To explain our position, we wrote an article titled: Recycling Failed and Waste 3D Prints into Filament: Challenges

We also have a blog post on what to do with failed prints and 3D printing waste.

For ‘3D printer farms’ and businesses using high volumes of 3D printing, it may be shrewd for an in-situ recycling system to be developed. Our friends at Lancashire3D have achieved exactly that – 3D-printed waste is collected, shredded, and remanufactured – using a desktop 3D printing extruder – into 100% recycled filament. Whilst this certainly has the potential to reduce waste and also on-going material costs, it can be expensive in the first instance (buying equipment) and labour-intensive thereafter. 


Conclusion

Gartner suggests that there will be 6.7 million 3D printers sold by the year 2020. Even by assuming a conservative view that only 50% of that quantity will be achieved, this would still equate to more than 80 million kilograms of plastic filament needed to sustain the market. Taking a lower percentile average of 10% waste per 3D printer, we can aggregate this with 3D printer filament usage (kg) to calculate a 3D printing waste volume of 8 million kilograms (2020). Certainly minuscule compared to overall plastic waste, but significant nonetheless.

As said, prevention is better than the cure and the onus is certainly on individuals to evaluate their own use of 3D printing and adapt their 3D printing use to reduce environmental impact.

Of course this is not always possible and there will always be waste associated with 3D printing – it is therefore imperative that we see increased collaboration between material companies, 3D printer manufacturers and the recycling sector in order to work towards ‘closing the loop’ in 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing and ultimately harness a circular economy


Filamentive

At Filamentive, environmental sustainability is central to our business model. In order to reduce the impact of (FFF) 3D printing and mitigate the Plastic Problem we commit to:

  • Using recycled materials (both post-consumer and post-industrial) where possible 
  • Avoid the use of new, virgin polymers to reduce energy and demand for raw materials. 
  • Utlise plant-based bioplastics when there is no recycled alternative
  • Using 100% recyclable cardboard spools to further reduce waste