The invention of 3D printing is definitely a great achievement in this modern world. But just like any other electronic advancement, one of the questions this innovation faces is how does it affect our environment? With climate change, pollution, and overpopulation being pressing problems of the times, it is only fair that people are becoming more particular about the impact of new technology on the environment.
3D Printing as a Sustainable Production Method
Because 3D printing allows you to do on-site production, there is less cost, carbon emissions, and energy involved in the process. Aside from that, it is more efficient in terms of material consumption because it employs additive manufacturing. This means you are building products from the bottom up using the material only where you need it.
The 3D printing industry of today is still working to be even more sustainable and eco-friendly. Manufacturers and consumers of 3D printing products continuously assess and find ways to lower their environmental impact, and one of these solutions is to incorporate recycling wherever and whenever possible in the 3D printing process.
Recycling 3D Printing Materials
Manufacturers of 3D printing materials know that plastic products are one of the worst pollutants on Earth. In an effort to lessen the amount of plastic waste, some companies have produced filaments or pellets from recycled plastic products. Others even recycle unused or failed 3D printed prototypes and turn them into filaments. Talk about no wastage!
There are already a handful of 3D printing material manufacturers who accept unwanted 3D prints or unused filament so you can search for one near your locality to contribute to the recycling movement.
Aside from recycling plastic products into new printing materials, there has also been an increase in using more environmentally friendly products for filaments and pellets, such as paper, architectural wood waste, and even agricultural crops.
Reusing or Upcycling Filament Spools
Gathering a pile of filament spools is a problem most 3D printing enthusiasts face. Luckily, with some resourcefulness and creativity, you can put those spools into good use again instead of just dumping them in a landfill. – Sell or donate them to companies that manufacture recycled or new filament.
- Wrap extension cords, string, and wires around them for better organising in your workshop or home.
- Give them to people who are into gift wrapping or crafts that use ribbons, strings, and other materials that can use spools.
- Make toys, like a ferris wheel for your kids or grandkids. Check out this neat mechanised ferris wheel for ideas.
- Use them as funky legs for a lightweight table.
- Need a rotating spice rack? Use one of those filament spools!
- Stick them on walls and use them as quirky pegs for bags, coats, and what-not.
- Create a sculpture using several spools glued together or use a spool as a stand for your sculpture.
Maybe you have even better ideas on how to put those filament spools into good use, so go ahead and test your creativity today.
Supporting Recycling and the 3D Printing Industry
It cannot be denied that the 3D Printing industry will continue to thrive. To make sure that its advancements will have a more positive rather than negative impact on the world, 3D printing enthusiasts should continue to support and be active players in the movement to limit the amount of waste, carbon emissions, and pollution.