Anyone who has 3D printed using FDM or extrusion-type technology knows the frustration when a failed print forces you to throw out material. And believe me until a design is perfected there are lots of failed prints! This is especially problematic when 3D Printing with ABS plastic which is not recyclable but highly desirable in certain applications due to its strength. Rapid prototypes often are models for parts that will be manufactured in metals so design testing can be dependent upon the plastic’s strength.
Enter 3D Printlife with a novel idea to incorporate a bio-additive with ABS in order for the microbes in active landfills or commercial composting facilities to consume the plastic. Chances are most home composters don’t have enough or the right kind of bacteria to eat the new Enviro ABS, but you simply throw Enviro into the trash and the new types of active landfills do the rest. Plus, unlike most filament that comes on plastic spools, Enviro ABS is packaged on recycled biodegradable cardboard. Right now it’s available in 1.75 mm size open rolls in a variety of colors from the standard black and white to hot pink and bright yellow. The company can also color-match ABS for your specific needs. Coming soon will be other filament dimensions, Eco-friendly material for the 3D Doodler, and even a biodegradable PLA/PHA blend for more impact strength and pliability than regular PLA.
3D Printlife Co-founder Buzz Baldwin showing Eco-friendly ABS Robot to RIC’s Alessandra Brown
Company co-founder Buzz Baldwin recently visited Fab Lab Roxbury in the Roxbury Innovation Center [RIC] in Boston, MA to try a sample on the Fab Lab’s Ultimaker2. The test showed no problem with the printer accepting the Eco-friendly Enviro ABS and everyone agreed the Ultimaker Robot print had the dimensional stability and printing characteristics of traditional ABS. RIC Program Manager Alessandra Brown notes that “Fab Lab Roxbury is excited to be using a new technology that fits in with our concern for the environment around us.”
We’re not sure how long the offer will last, but right now you can get a sample of Enviro to try on your own 3D Printer by contacting 3D Printlife. Should you decide to jump in and buy some filament, the startup will donate a portion of the sale to The Nature Conservancy’s “Plant a Billion Trees” fund, further giving back to the world we all share.