Recently we sent out a material sustainability survey (thank you to those who contributed). One question was What do you consider as the biggest cause/s of 3D printing waste? – as you can see from the results table below, 80.98% of respondents indicated that failed prints was the biggest cause.
In a previous blog post, we had briefly discussed about the possibility of using failed prints for extrusion purposes. However, we understand that having such a set up can be expensive and impractical for someone doing 3D printing as a hobby.
However for large volume users such as businesses, this can be a viable process to eliminate 3D printing waste and also reduce on-going filament costs. One of our architecture clients, Make Architects, do exactly this – primarily they use Filamentive PLA to produce 3D printed models, and following use, these prints are shredded and then the plastic waste is extruded into 100% recycled PLA filament for reuse in 3D printing.
How to Recycled 3D Prints into Filament
Filamentive – Recycling Waste in 3D Printing Filament
Whilst recycling failed prints and 3D printing waste from customers remains challenging for Filamentive as a business, we feel the methods discussed in this blog post at least provide a source of creative inspiration to those looking recycling & upcycle their 3D printing waste – especially if a filament extruder is not a viable option.
Despite the challenges, recycling 3D printing waste has long been an aspiration of ours and we’re continuously researching the viability of a waste management service. Offering such a service one-day will truly help us move one step closer to achieving a circular economy and reduce – if not eliminate – plastic waste within 3D printing. Until such a solution is achieved, we will still continue to be the sustainable choice in 3D printing by committing to:
- Using recycled material (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
- Forming strategic partnerships with recycling companies to use their waste streams to produce filament
- Using 100% recyclable cardboard spools to further reduce waste and increase the recyclability of our products/packaging
This is soooo satisfying to watch! Didn’t know those leftovers and scraps can be used something very nice like those guitar picks. Best part of it is like you never know what exactly patter or design you get, only when they’re all melted together and melted well by itself. Thanks for sharing!