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Additive manufacturing is, by its nature, more environmentally friendly than subtractive manufacturing methods; by using only the materials necessary for a particular production run, waste generation drops drastically. Now, though, environmentally conscious users can rejoice as a new form of eco-friendliness comes to the 3D printing world.

ObjectForm logoFormed in April 2014, following a year of research and development, ObjectForm is based in Sheffield, England and specializes in 3D printing. The company was co-founded by Scott Knowles, Chris Simpson, and Stephan Hollingshead, three partners with backgrounds in technology and distribution. ObjectForm maintains a focus on desktop 3D printing and its potential global impact. Back in September, they teamed up with QA to offer training courses on 3D printing in the UK. ObjectForm is now taking the next step in their R&D focus, and has developed a novel filament line based on recycled materials.

Today, December 10th, UK-based ObjectForm has announced the release of 100% recycled acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) filaments for use in 3D printing. Available immediately through the new Fila-Cycle website, the filaments represent a big step forward in the filament realm.

Robot head printed in Fila-Cycle ABS, designed by InMoov, 3D printed by ObjectForm

Robot head printed in Fila-Cycle ABS, designed by InMoov, 3D printed by ObjectForm

As Scott Knowles, Director and Co-Founder of ObjectForm and Fila-Cycle, told us, “As you can imagine this is an exciting development both for the 3D printing world and Circular Economy.”

Fila-Cycle recycled filaments are created from waste automotive components and landfill stock, bringing new life to materials that were previously considered to be trashed. By recycling these materials, processing them, and turning them into filaments, the materials are noted in their website descriptions as being “An environmentally sustainable alternative to virgin plastic polymer filaments.”

 

Because the materials used to create Fila-Cycle filaments are sourced from waste, your costs stay low — for example, a 10m roll of either ABS or HIPS filament is just £2.99, with a 50m roll of either, just£5.99 — and your 3D prints are that much Earth friendlier.

Four products are included in the initial product launch: rolls of ABS or HIPS, and pellets of ABS or HIPS. Recycled HDPE seems to be next to debut, and is currently noted as “coming soon” on the website. Fila-Cycle represents the very first range of globally available 100% recycled filaments for 3D printing use.

The filaments are currently in their experimental phase, so while they may be great for prototyping and testing out some new designs, they’re not quite ready yet to produce working parts. Both plastics are intended for use in FDM/FFF-based 3D printers. Per Fila-Cycle, the recommended settings to utilize these filaments are:

– Nozzle temp 210 – 230°C
– Heated bed platform temp 90 – 110°C
– Printing speed 2000mm/min or less
– Resolution 300 microns

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ObjectForm and QA will integrate the Fila-Cycle filaments into their training courses. The development of a recycled filament stands to be an exciting step in 3D printing materials.

“When we first investigated materials it was clear that finding an environmentally friendly source that was inexpensive, yet produced good results, was key to help champion 3D printing and all it could achieve. The Fila-Cycle brand is our way of trying to close the loop (closed loop economy), being environmentally conscious and at the same time bring an inexpensive yet innovative product to the market,” said Knowles.

The ObjectForm team has already created several successful prints with their new filaments. Check out photos of the models — including a robot head, printed in ABS, designed by InMoov and printed by ObjectForm. What do you think about Fila-Cycle? Let us know if you’ve used these recycled filaments, or intend to, over at the Fila-Cycle 100% Recycled Filaments forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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