How Does 3D Printing Help the Environment?
3D printing technology is growing increasingly popular for manufacturers to produce products efficiently while reducing costs. It is also a more sustainable alternative to traditional manufacturing to reduce the negative impacts manufacturing brings to our environment. In this article, we will explore the ways 3D printing is helping to make our world more sustainable.
Recyclable 3D printing material
In 3D printing, plastic wastes can be recycled into a new product. How? Plastic products such as bottles can be converted into filaments as raw material for 3D printing. Using local plastic waste as raw material is a low-cost and sustainable feedstock for 3D printing, providing a high-value output for the wastes.
Another widely used 3D printing material, the ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is used for printing applications such as electronic housings, automotive components, and LEGO bricks. It is recyclable as the scrap and old sample parts can be regrinded and turned into products like carpet, plastic decking, lawn furniture and more.
Reducing carbon footprint
The flexibility of 3D printing allows producers and manufacturers to produce locally with lower costs, and thus reducing dependency on imported products or parts. This in turn reduces the environmental impact and pollution from transportation logistics such as planes, ships, and trucks. 3D printing also creates a more viable option in sustaining of the environment as the need for storage facilities, shipping and air cargo volumes will reduce eventually.
As 3D printers are able to produce and print a wide variety of parts, one device can easily replace several pieces of traditional manufacturing equipment. Less equipment used means fewer emissions, especially since the device can be placed where the products are needed, hence saving on logistics and leads to reduce carbon emissions.
Clearly, in order to move towards a sustainable economy, 3D printing is a method to adopt in all industries. While 3D printing cannot solve the environmental issues altogether, the technology is able to help reduce and limit further pollution. If you would like to explore 3D printing for your products and manufacturing, get in touch with Gaia Pebbles here and we will be happy to discuss more!