Print using 3D printers, has definitely been an advance in the world of technology for several years now, but in most cases these printers use plastic filament, which ultimately sets 3D printing back many years thanks to the pollution already existing in our environment. This of course doesn’t help the world to become a greener place.
It’s important to define what a greener solution is. A greener solution for the planet means that all the components that can damage the environment in the 3D printing process should be eliminated from that equation. The most used filament to carry out 3D printing is ABS plastic. The problem with this filament is that it can be harmful and not biodegradable at all.
To define what is biodegradable, biodegradability is the ability of an object to decompose thanks to bacteria or other living organisms. With that in mind, you also have to define that there are objects that are biodegradable, but that may take too long to disappear, as is the case of glass bottles for example.
Different companies have started to develop greener solutions for these problems that can affect us all. One of the solutions found is to elaborate filament from organic compounds, which can biodegrade in 6 months to 2 years, versus polymer plastic that does not biodegrade in less than 1000 years. Bioplastics are plastics created from organic components such as corn, sugar cane or even coffee, which can serve as the main compounds for the filament used in 3D printers and which could work as a substitute for ABS plastic.
The filament of ABS plastic can be found anywhere, it’s usually a bit cheaper and more affordable than filaments created from organic products. In the article written by Paulo Nuñez “3D printing, can it be eco-friendly?” it explains how the conventional process of 3D printing can be improved to make it more ecofriendly to the rest of us.
There are also other ways to help the planet, that is, you cannot always find a biodegradable filament distributor, but why not do it yourself? Filobot is the machine that helps to transform any type of plastic (in this case bioplastic), into a filament that is ready to use. Does printing medical or advertising elements with algae-based filament or coconut oil sound great right? Let’s help our home, the planet earth, to be a better place for everyone.
There are many ways we can contribute to our world from our industry, what’s your proposal? what’s your solution?