Why would you invest in sustainable manufacturing? By improving the efficiency of your manufacturing process you will gain numerous benefits such as: lower production costs, faster production and, last but not least, it is good for the environment.
You might ask yourself “is 3D printing enviromental friendly?”, the answer is yes. Most manufacturing companies can lower their footprint in the world by using 3D printers to manufacture their products. This is due to the following reasons:
By using 3D printers in manufacturing, you will need less material to produce your products. This is due to two main reasons, the (printing) waste is less compared to traditional production, and because of the strong internal structure of the 3D prints.
With 3D printers the possibilities are endless, because almost anything can be printed. You can also decide yourself how strong the internal structure should be. Will your product be used in heavy usage, then you might want to make it solid. If your product doesn’t need to be that strong, like when it’s only used for decorative purposes, you could save a lot of filament by creating a less dense filling. Thus making this way of manufacturing not only very sustainable but also cost-effective.
The world is overflooded with plastic waste. Of course, you want to make your manufacturing process more sustainable, but how can you do that with 3D printing? First things first: a good 3D printer is as eco-friendly as the filament you print with. Some options you could consider is printing with either biodegradable or recycled filaments.
It’s possible to print your products with biodegradable materials like PLA. This is one of the most commonly used filaments in 3D printing. The main weakness of PLA is its sensitivity to moisture. This filament is also less bendy than non-degradable filament ABS. Therefore PLA will break more often when being put under stress.
You can even print your products with recycled plastic. There are a few ways this can be achieved. You can transform your printing waste and old 3D prints to new rolls of filament. It’s possible to transform unneeded plastic waste like PS and PET to recycled filament. This way of manufacturing is obviously very sustainable and eco-friendly. Although, this process could be more expensive than using less eco-friendly filaments.
Want to know more about how 3D printing can impact your manufacturing processes? Feel free to contact us. We’ll gladly share our knowledge with you, so you can make some well informed decisions.