Thursday, July 10, 2014

3D Printer Filaments From Waste

Using plastic waste is becoming a preferred source of material by companies which through its exploitation is protecting the environment. Protoprint, a company based in India, is using collected plastic waste to make the filaments for 3D printers.

Collecting plastic waste allows both Protoprint and its stakeholders to enjoy certain benefits which include the following:

1. Due to lower cost base for the printer filaments, these are more affordable and price competitive.
2. Provides a solution to reducing mountains of plastic, especially in areas where there is an ineffective waste management system.
3. Our environment is protected against the need to create virgin plastic.
4. Help promote a different perspective on how waste can be re-used.  
5. Provides employment to less fortunate individuals.

Protoprint is capable of transforming high density polyethylene waste to a filament used by 3D printers which would otherwise be dependent on making the plastic filament from scratch. What gives Protoprint the edge as a socially responsible company, is that in collaboration with different waste picker co-operatives (e.g. SwacH) they train the waste pickers to collect, clean and shred the plastic as well as make the actual 3D printer filament, paying them better salaries to support a healthier lifestyle.

The short video clip below gives a visual in-depth understanding about the process and the concept:

Protoprint's product has been recognized as the worlds first fair trade filament, demonstrating that plastic waste can be utilized in innovative ways embracing the benefits associated with this process. Let’s hope that Protoprint has set the standard for other 3D printer companies, with the hope that they will also integrate into their supply chain the utilization of plastic waste.


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