What to do with Failed Prints and 3D Printing Waste? 

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.

As a big advocate for sustainability in the 3D printing world, one of the things that caught our attention recently was the endeavours of Devin at Make Anything and Michael at Teaching Tech.

They had both made attempts to recycle then upcycle failed prints. They took failed prints, support materials and purging elements and shredded them to much finer parts. Then, they laid it all out onto a baking dish / moulds and left it for a short period of time until the plastics combined and took on the form of the container.  It was interesting to see how failed prints can be used in other ways, apart from being thrown into an extruder to be made into filament again. We believe that these could potentially be options for makers around the world to explore in terms of recycling failed prints as they do not require much more expensive equipment to pull off.

These methods are further explained by their respective content creators as shown here:

Recycle waste 3D prints [Teaching Tech.]

Failed Print Recycling Revisited [Make Anything]

Recently, our friend Daniel Melville from HandyDan’s3DPrints demonstrated how he up-cycled failed prints into funky coasters.

HandyDans Upcycled Failed Prints

HandyDans Upcycled Failed Prints























Moving forward

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

Hopefully this has been an interesting and informative read – if you have any questions about recycled filament or indeed anything related to Filamentive, please email us.