A 3D printing startup in Santa Barbara will launch an Indiegogo campaign later this month to raise funds to produce recycled filament.
ALT LLC currently runs a bespoke 3D printing service with offices in Santa Barbara, from where they also offer a shipping service. The recycling part came about after workers at ALT considered the plastic they threw away after printing. Instead of putting leftover, unused plastic in the trash, they decided to figure out how to reuse it.
Most of the recycled filament will be made from a class of polymers called Polyolefins, which are made of common plastic such as Polypropylene (PP), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). These are the same kind of plastics that are used to make high-quantity consumer products with short life spans, such as plastic bags and milk jugs.
Polyolefins bring these same properties to 3D printing, making a flexible plastic able to withstand high temperatures and humid environments. Polypropylene in particular has a high thermal resistance, meaning that it can be shaped using autoclave manufacturing.
In order to raise money to produce the recycled plastic filament, ALT LLC is opening an Indiegogo campaign in late December. Updates can be found at ALT’s website, linked above.
According to the Worldwatch Institute, just 9 percent of post-consumer plastic in the United States was recycled in 2012, leaving 32 million tons destined for landfills. In California, lawmakers have established a goal of recycling 75 percent of the state’s total waste by 2020.
Filed Under: 3D printing • additive manufacturing • stereolithography, Materials • advanced