Penn State Startup Trimatis LLC Hopes to Help the Planet with Recycled Filament

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(L to R) Jason Lehrer, Marietta Scanlon and Tito Orjih [Image: Trimatis via Facebook]

A common concern with 3D printing is how efficient it really is. The technology can produce parts locally saving on CO2 when compared to other technologies that have to be centralized. 3D printing also potentially creates parts that use up less material since the process builds the part up as needed along with perhaps some support. This in contrast to other technologies that cut away large amounts of material to create parts. What if we could make it greener and more efficient still? What if we could use plastic waste to make 3D printed parts? There are plenty of conscientious people out there, from startups to the military, putting forth efforts to create ways to reuse and recycle that waste plastic. There’s always a need for more recycling resources in the 3D printing world, and startup Trimatis LLC is ready to help.

Trimatis was formed at Penn State University by recent mechanical engineering graduate Jason Lehrer, current electro-mechanical engineering technology student Tito E. Orjih, and engineering faculty member Marietta R. Scanlon. The three of them were inspired to create the startup after seeing how much waste 3D printers generated – as well as how much waste was on the streets of Philadelphia.

“During my environmental stewardship internship, I witnessed a copious amount of plastic waste littering the streets of Philadelphia,” said Orjih. “Where people saw trash, I saw an opportunity to build a business and help the environment.”

After starting the company, Orjih and Lehrer applied for the 2018 PennTap Inc.U competition.

“We had to turn an idea that was proven in a lab into a business in a short period of time,” said Lehrer. “A lot of time was spent looking into the market to see if this would be a viable business.”

“We prepared by doing a lot of pitch practices in front of different people with different perspectives,” Orjih added. “Each practice pitch helped us address our mistakes and helped us understand how to adjust our pitch based on the audience.”

Penn State President Eric Barron, right, awards $2,000 at the 2018 Invent Penn State Venture & IP Conference to Orjih and Lehrer. [Image: Penn State]

After Inc.U, the pair pitched the company at the 2018 Invent Penn State Venture and IP Conference.

“Another humbling experience,” Orjih said. “The best part was networking with people from the crowd who generally loved what we were doing and wanted to support us.”

Invent Penn State has allowed many students to get businesses off the ground; in the past three years 21 innovation hubs have been funded in Pennsylvania as part of the initiative.

“The education and resources Penn State has provided have been instrumental to the development of the company,” said Scanlon. “The research Jason conducted during his participation in the Multi-Campus REU program sparked the idea. In addition, the Langan Launchbox, Penn State Berks’ innovation hub funded by the Invent Penn State grant, has provided countless resources to ensure the team’s success.”

Trimatis was recently selected as one of 10 finalists in the Great Social Enterprise Pitch, an idea incubator and business plan competition for startups aiming for a positive social or environmental impact. Trimatis has been participating in the incubator all summer and is now in the crowdfunding part of the competition.

[Image: Trimatis via Facebook]

“We plan to keep progressing, improving on our process, marketing and developing connections with people who will be assets to the company,” said Lehrer.

“Our eyes are on the official launch day,” Orjih said. “Our goal is to launch by Jan. 31, so we are taking the proper steps needed to finally be in business.”

If you’d like to support Trimatis, you can check out its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Source: Penn State]

 

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