Effective circulation system for materials in additive manufacturing
|Coordinator||Stiftelsen Chalmers Industriteknik - Chalmers Industriteknik|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 500 000|
|Project duration||November 2017 - June 2018|
|Venture||The strategic innovation programme for Production2030|
Purpose and goal
In additive manufacturing using thermoplastic filaments, around 25% of the material is discarded. In Sweden, this plastic waste is currently not covered by the existing plastic recycling system. With a growing market, the necessity of effectively recycling this material grows in importance. The project aims to map the conditions for introducing a circular system for 3D printing filaments, where the users return their waste to the producer which use it to remanufacture new filaments. The proposed system includes a new business model covering logistics, production and environment.
Expected results and effects
The project designed a business model that defined user incentives, requirements for recycled-material-based filaments, packaging solution, transportation setup, sorting solution, and production setup. The result indicated a large commitment among users to return their filament waste using an e-commerce return system as well as a willingness to buy recycled-material based filament. Material tests showed that the plastic filaments based on recycled materials have good quality properties, and a sustainability analysis indicated an environmental benefit of the system.
Planned approach and implementation
The project group consisted of the filament produced add:north and the foundation Chalmers Industriteknik. A business model for a circular system was designed based on interviews with freight forwarders and companies with similar recycling systems for other products, a user survey (150 replies), interviews and workshop with users, process and material analyses, and a sustainability analysis. As a pilot, to test the proposed business model, the recycling system Re:add started at add:north where filament waste is returned from users.