3D printing has a lot of advantages, but at the end of the day, it relies heavily on plastic. One company is trying to turn that into a positive by recycling an interesting material.
Does 3D printing have promise for reinventing manufacturing, as well as some other specialized tasks? Yes… but, for now, it still strikes me as a way to produce tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and trinkets (the word the Christian Science Monitor chose).
Related: How green is 3D printing?
But if the plastic that goes into those items comes from plastic that’s been recovered for recycling, that’s not a bad thing – right? Sure: obviously, there’s a demand for those tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and trinkets, so if we’re going to 3D print these things, why not do it from waste plastic?
We’ve seen a number of efforts along these lines already; the latest effort comes from Brooklyn-based design firm 3D Brooklyn. After making the connection by looking at take-out containers they were throwing away, the company connected with Terracycle, the New Jersey-based company that figures out how to reuse materials that can’t be traditionally recycled. The answer: potato chip bags.
No, not the potato chip bag you toss in the trash: I’d guess the necessary cleaning on those might make them too expensive. But Terracycle has a ton of post-industrial bags that needed to be put to use; using them to print 3D items seemed like a good fit.
Take a look at the video above which describes this development in greater detail, and then let us know what you think. One more point for 3D printing…
Republished with permission from Sustainablog.