In November, the non-commercial, global trade group AMGTA, or the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association, was launched in order to promote the many environmental, green benefits of using additive manufacturing (AM) rather than conventional technology. The AMGTA has just commissioned its first university research project, which will be a systematic review of the environmental sustainability of metal 3D printing. The review will be literature-based, and will look at existing studies focused on the environmental benefits of the technology.
Based in Hollywood, Florida, the non-profit AMGTA is unaffiliated, meaning it is open to any industry stakeholder or additive manufacturer who meets specific criteria that are related to sustainability in processes and production.
“The AMGTA seeks to educate the public and industry about these positive environmental benefits, promote the adoption of AM as an alternative to traditional manufacturing, develop best practices for additive manufacturing, and help the organization’s members grow their businesses and acquire new customers,” the website states. “In order to accomplish these goals, the AMGTA will engage in marketing and advertising campaigns, sponsor and conduct research and publish the results, and grow the organization’s membership.”
3D printing has many benefits in terms of sustainability. For instance, it uses less material, which equals less waste, and also uses less energy than other processes. Additionally, parts can also be fabricated closer to the consumer, so that helps lower the carbon footprint as well by reducing, or even negating, shipping travel.
According to Sherry Handel, the AMGTA’s Executive Director, the commissioned research paper will be “…describing where metal additive manufacturing provides environmental benefits compared to older manufacturing methods.”
“This research may also reveal areas in the manufacturing process where AM could cause higher environmental impacts than older manufacturing methods. Through rigorous, independent and ongoing research the AMGTA will publish research findings and share with industry and other key stakeholders what our eco-footprint is now and what we will need to focus on in the future to be more sustainable.”
The AMGTA announced that it has chosen Dr. Jeremy Faludi, PhD, LEED AP BD+C, a design strategist and sustainable engineering researcher, to oversee the project. With degrees from UC Berkeley, Stanford University, and Reed College, Dr. Faludi is currently an assistant professor of design engineering at the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, focused on green 3D printing and design for the circular economy. He has previously taught at Stanford and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and is also an adjunct faculty member of engineering at Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering.
“We are excited to announce our first research project and thrilled to be able to work with Dr. Faludi. This project will provide our membership and the public in general with an excellent survey of existing research on the sustainability benefits of AM. Dr. Faludi is a renowned researcher within this field, and we are looking forward to understanding better the existing scope of research on this topic,” Handel said.
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(Images: Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association)
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