We love 3D printing for how it can make manufacturing highly customizable and localized. The devices, plus design software, let us imagine something and then build it with a much lighter footprint than buying something that was mass produced far away.
The technology has already brought a lot of good into the world, from printed medical devices that save human lives to prosthetics for animals, but, unfortunately, the tech is not wholly green. The material that is used to make all of these things is plastic filament and a lot of it.
Researchers are trying to create printers that use other materials like metal or clay, but these ideas are nowhere near ready for the market. It’s possible to get a filament extruder that lets you recycle plastic into new filament, but they’re very expensive and don’t produce the same quality of filament.
Start-up company Dimension Polymers is attempting to solve this dilemma by developing a recycled plastic filament for use in 3D printers.