Image: © HSSMI
Growing future industry with circular 3D products
Industry is continuously growing at a rapid speed and the population growth is reported to grow by 1 billion by 2035. The fast pace in technology is increasing our demand and reducing our patience. Millennials are demanding more variations in products with personalized features. Manufacturers are having to reduce their lead times in design and production. This is where 3D printing can supply the new demand and reduce the waiting with localised solutions and deliver business and environmental benefits.
Closed loop innovation for fused filament fabrication (CLIFFF)
The CLIFFF project focuses on developing a new value chain from a plastic waste stream. The project is novel as it aims to develop a reverse logistics system for collecting waste from a targeted and growing 3D printing industry. It will give recommendations on how existing print farms and print bureaus should collect the waste and how the waste should be channelled and processed back into a circular filament.
Enhancing this from a desktop novelty and upscaling manufacturing technology that uses recognition of plastic types and separation for suitable production of filament.
Taking the preventative and installing the basic approach
We always hear about ‘Investing in prevention’, ‘preventative medicines’ and ‘preventative maintenance’. There is admiration of prevention in all sectors and how in the long term they reduce costs and issues. At HSSMI we work on numerous projects and process improvement via preventative is practiced. We proactively support waste reduction and removal of single use plastics. Innovation for this growing sector and economy and applying both the preventative and circular mind set has been key to bringing key businesses to implement the basic 3R closed loop approach. The 3R approach by Reducing by distribution and collection of waste filament and 3D print waste to be better controlled, Reuse of failed prints and as there is no legislation or End-of-Life (EoL) directive, not leave it abandoned. Recycle installed with awareness from the start through the purchase and training process and creating a circular value chain for the end user and manufacturers. Ultimately leveraging the new process and creating ecological, environmental and business benefits.
The benefits of a closed loop system
Through CLIFFF rising oil prices and increase in polymers use will have a low impact on the 3D printing environment and the sector can grow with less uncertainty bringing the following additional benefits:
– Reduction in polymer waste
– Faster uptake of 3D printing technology
– Faster manufacturing demand through rapid production techniques
– Creation of new high skilled jobs
– Reuse and Customer retention with buy back scheme
– Environmental and emissions benefits
– Clean and stable supply chain
– Recycle through Circular & sustainable business model
Here are some of the benefits realised from a closed loop system
In the future blogs we will follow the progress of the project and look at the benefits and challenges faced with design and implementation of circular business models.