One of the biggest concerns of hobbyists, environmentalists, and manufacturers alike is the environmental and biological impact of the current PLA, and especially ABS plastics being used in 3D printer filaments. ABS is generally more toxic than PLA, however both types of filament are made with non-renewable resources.
Mansfield MA, company Sierra Resins has teamed up with 3D Printlife, a major distributor of 3D printers and filaments, to create a new type of plastic that can be used in 3d printers. They are calling it Biofilament, because the actual plastic is easily biodegradable within a landfill, and is harmless to the surrounding environment as it decays.
“We are very pleased with the initial test results of Sierra Resins’ 3D biofilament,” said Buzz Baldwin, Co-Founder of 3D Printlife. “Our focus has always been about giving options to the consumer and we are extremely excited about delivering a biofilament to our customers, something that can perform like any other high quality plastic. Some filament plastics have been criticized for their potential negative impact to the environment. A line of biofilaments will make a valuable contribution to sustainable development in 3D printing and with the expertise of Sierra Resins we feel we have the best possible partner to bring a viable biofilament to the consumer. “
There is clearly a market for such a filament, as one of 3d printing’s biggest vices is the fact that plastics, which are not environmentally friendly are being used at an ever expanding rate. The companies are in the final stages of important ASTM certified biodegradability tests, of which they passed the initial part of with flying colors. Look for this partnership to push forward as the year progresses, hopefully leaving us with a reliable, environmentally friendly line of printer filaments. Discuss this new biofilament at 3dprintboard. Check out the video of a test print using this new filament: