In my previous jobs, I earned something of a reputation as an eco-tyrant. I set up recycling bins if the office didn’t already have them, and gave the evil eye to anyone who threw a bottle or can into the trash. I bought my own reusable fabric sandwich bags, which were a source of unending amusement for my lunchtime companions. I fully accept the ribbing I get, when out and about, for tucking plastic bottles into my purse to recycle at home later.
Environmental conservation is one of the issues I’m most passionate about, which is why I love companies like ObjectForm, which have made it a priority to develop ways to reduce 3D printing’s impact on the environment as much as possible. Earlier this year, their line of recycled filaments, Fila-Cycle, was awarded the 2015 UK Plastic Industry Award for Best Recycled Product of the Year. With the momentum from their win, Fila-Cycle is expanding their filament line, starting with an ambitious Kickstarter campaign.
After a process of careful selection and thorough testing, the company settled on six new recycled filament offerings: rPLA (jade) made from recycled yogurt pots, rPLA (natural) from commercial leftovers, rPET (opaque) from plastic bottles, rABS and rHIPS (black) from automotive waste, and rHIPS (architect white) from disposed white home goods such as electronics. Each filament is being offered in 1kg 300mm or 1.75mm spools. Their filaments were developed in partnership with 3Dom Europe.
Fila-Cycle is trying to raise £15,000 ($23,133) by December 4th, and they have some nice rewards for backers. Early bird rewards, such as a recycled, 3D printed vase for £5, are only available to UK residents, but beyond that, anyone who pledges £17 ($26) will receive a 1kg spool of the filament of their choice. £34 ($52) will get you two spools, and £85 ($131) will earn you five. Makerlabs, bloggers, and 3D printing hubs who pledge £100 ($154) or more will get free publicity in the form of a listing on the company’s website as “a place to be and connect with for making stuff.” £250 will earn companies a mention in press releases. UK backers who pledge £500 or more, which the company describes as ideal for schools and training centers, will get a visit from the company and a free lesson in 3D printing and how to integrate it with recycled materials.
Fila-Cycle assures potential buyers that the materials they have chosen are clean, of good quality, suitable for rapid prototyping, and 100% recycled, with nothing added to the filaments beyond the recycled plastics they are made from. Their spools and the boxes in which they are packaged are also, rest assured, 100% recycled. The company is serious about its goal of being as close to zero waste as possible.
“Why pin our hopes and dreams on an endangered supply?” asks Fila-Cycle co-founder Scott Knowles. “Why place further pressures on an ecosystem we are now working so hard to fix? The answers? We shouldn’t have to, we shouldn’t need to.”
Thanks to the efforts of companies like Fila-Cycle, 3D printing is coming a step closer to being a completely sustainable industry. Have you used any of Fila-Cycle’s products in the past? Let us know in the Fila-Cycle forum thread on 3DPB.com.