We’ve covered many companies that have used their creativity and conscience to reduce not only the waste generated by 3D printing, but plastic waste overall. More and more companies are emerging with new methods for transforming plastic waste into 3D printer filament, and I couldn’t be happier about it. One of the original, and still one of the most creative, eco-friendly material manufacturing companies is 3DomFuel (more commonly called 3D-Fuel), which earlier this year merged into a conglomerate of the original 3D-Fuel and the former 3Dom.
3D-Fuel’s materials go beyond reusing plastic. Their filaments are created from all kinds of waste products, such as the byproducts created from the production of coffee and beer. Their latest material offering is, well, garbage. I’m not talking about quality – 3D-Fuel has earned a reputation for delivering good, quality filaments. No, the newly released Landfillament is, quite literally, made from garbage – of all sorts.
Landfillament is created from municipal solid waste (MSW), the general name for all the stuff we chuck into our garbage bins every day. Once the metal has been removed from the garbage onsite, the rest is put through a process called pyrolysis, in which organic material is exposed to a high temperature to accelerate its decomposition. The result of the process is a carbon-rich material known as char, which 3D-Fuel then uses to produce a plastic composite filament.
Landfillament, like 3D-Fuel’s other biocomposite filaments, was created in collaboration with fellow Fargo company c2renew, which specializes in the development of biocomposite materials for engineering and other applications.
“We love that all our c2composites have a great story behind them. Lots of other creators value the story behind their materials. Like a carpenter using old barnwood or a sculptor using clay from their favorite beach. Why can’t 3D printing have that?” says Jake Clark, COO of 3DomFuel North America.
The gas byproducts produced by the pyrolysis are also captured and used for other purposes, so it really is a zero-waste process. According to 3D-Fuel, using one spool of Landfillament sequesters the amount of carbon dioxide produced by a car driving 1.1 miles.
The material, which is a rich black color, is much more attractive than garbage has a right to be. It’s sold in 500-gram spools of either 1.75 or 2.85 mm diameter for $39.99, and it prints like PLA, although 3D-Fuel recommends printing at a temperature about 10 degrees cooler than you would print regular PLA. And true to form, 3D-Fuel, which has proudly printed a coffee cup from their coffee filament and a beer mug from their beer filament, has a suggestion for your first print – a garbage can made from garbage filament! You can download the file for a mini desktop trash can here.
3D-Fuel states that they will be releasing many more bio-based filaments soon – they’re just getting started. Landfillament can be printed on any printer that accepts PLA materials – it’s a safe, non-corrosive filament that won’t trash your printer (not sorry), so go ahead, pick up a spool and start turning trash into treasure. Discuss in the Landfillament forum at 3DPB.com.