A plea to the 3D printing gurus.

This is a plea to the movers and shakers in the 3D Printing industry (3D Systems, are you listening?) to please start investing in research for alternative materials to print. If indeed this whole “next industrial revolution” will get off the ground as most of us agree it will, we might have a big issue. We will have many many many printers spitting out plastic products that WILL end up in land fill. Major issue as we’d all agree on. And you thought that we were wasting trees by printing on paper with our 2D printers?

There are alternatives on the market already though. Some here;

http://www.cardiabioplastics.com/products

http://www.pegadesign.com/en/index.html

http://www.bioplastics.org.au/

Should efforts be made into making sure that these plastics get made mainstream in the 3D printing industry?
Some issues that could be encountered while making these mainstream;

  • How to make these plastics suitable for 3D printing?
  • How to make sure that the plastic products that are created last long enough to be used?
  • How to make these accessible/ affordable for people like you and me who print at home?

It would be a very profitable market to be in for sure. Imagine that if as many 3D printers were in our homes as there are 2D printers now… wouldn’t you want to supply all of those with bio-degradeable material? Sure you do!! So? What are you waiting for? Get to it!!

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3 thoughts on “A plea to the 3D printing gurus.

  1. PLA is a starch based plastic that is widely used in filament printers such as makerbot & reprap. I do agree with you that the big companies need to start pushing eco-ethical materials. But, there is now also a greater responsibility on users. I personally believe educating people about product life cycle impacts is vital.

  2. Good comment, but I reckon that unless there are real consequences for the individual there will be no change.. PLA is good but “while PLA is a bio-material it is also very difficult to recycle”.. So unless a cheap and easy alternative is found, this whole 3D printing movement could have grave consequences..

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