Recycled 3D Printing Filament from Everyday Plastic Waste

447030Additive manufacturing (AM) company, ALT LLC, has recently announced an Indiegogo Campaign in late December of this year to raise funds in order to produce high performance Recycled 3D Printing Filament made from everyday plastic waste. The company based out of Santa Barbara, CA operates a 3D Printing Service, providing design, fabrication and consultation services. ALT realized that, although AM offers many environmental benefits over standard manufacturing, they were still introducing virgin plastic into the waste stream in Santa Barbara. 

The company set out to create a new way to doing business by offering recycled and recyclable products to the 3D printing community. Their goal is to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills, waterways and ultimately, the ocean, by sourcing the plastic waste used to make their filament from local California waste collection facilities. ALT hopes their initiative will inspire other local engineering firms to adopt green practices.

ALT’s recycled 3D printing filament is produced in-house and made from a class of polymers called Polyolefins. This includes common plastics such as Polypropylene (PP), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) used to make plastic bags, milk jugs, bottle caps, and other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture. Polyolefins have excellent properties for use in many applications, which makes them the perfect material for 3D printing. High and low-density polyethylene are desirable due to their flexibility, toughness, ability to withstand high temperatures, and their resistance to impact, moisture and chemicals. Polypropylene is similar, but has a higher thermal resistance enabling it to withstand the heat of an autoclave. Together, polyolefins account for nearly half of the plastic being used on the planet today. While several companies use plastic water bottles to make PET 3D printing filament, ALT wants to tackle the plastic that makes up the largest amount waste and that rarely gets recycled. Supporting this campaign will help ALT produce their high-performance recycled 3D printing filaments and bring them to the market at an affordable price, which may help reduce waste and make an impact on the environment.

By Efrain Esparza, ESG Writer


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