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  1. #1

    Research into waste in 3D printing and recycled filaments

    Hi all,
    I'm currently doing a research project into 3D printing waste and recycled filament. I would greatly appreciate it if you could spare 2 minutes of your time to complete my questionnaire, the data will proceed to inspire new products which will aim to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. Any comments on this area will be welcomely received.
    Many Thanks

  2. #2
    most 3D printing .. is landfill waiting to happen :-) It's plastic, how long does one really keep plastic nicknacks to hang around before being tossed in the trash. Mechanical parts like mounts and brackets have a longer life expectancy as they are useful. Personally I create a LOT of waste compared to the finished useful parts and it is not recyclable as there are no numbers on it to tell the workers at the processing plants what kind of plastic it is. As much as I like the ability to make things, it makes a lot of plastic waste.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    on the positive side - most waste is pla, which is specifically designed to break down in a landfill situation.
    Yet another reason to avoid abs ;-)

    Well that's half a survey.

    It does not address the specific plastics used in 3d printing. The question about bottle and househould plastic waste is not just incredibly naive, it lacks any understanding of 3d printing ,materials.

    Most bottles are made from polycarbonate - a complete bastard to 3d print with. The couple of rolls I have are currently unuseable on any of my 5 printers.

    The vast majority of 3d prints are made from pla. As enviromentally friendly a plastic as you can get. It's made mainly from cornstarch - not petroleum by products. It will decompose in a landfill or similiar environment.
    But commercially it's too expensive for injection moulding, so no household goods to recycle into pla filament.

    I guess abs is the second most commonly used filament (though I really don't know why :-)
    Not sure how well it would recycle. Given the fumes given off when you porint with it - recycled used filament would definitly be missing aspects of the original filament. So how good recycled filament/prints from abs would actually be - no clue, but probably not good.

    Many of the materials used in current 3d printer filamnents have been specifically designed for the purpose and are frequently designed to change their crystalline layout when printed. That woukld probably make for very poor recycled filament.

    I take it you are not on a chemistry or materials course ?
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 11-11-2019 at 04:54 PM.

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