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Effective circulation system for materials in additive manufacturing

Reference number
Coordinator Stiftelsen Chalmers Industriteknik - Chalmers Industriteknik
Funding from Vinnova SEK 500 000
Project duration November 2017 - June 2018
Status Completed
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 effects and result

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.

External links

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2017-04796

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