The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), a global trade group created to promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing, had established the Sustainability of Additive Manufacturing Research Fund, a $100,000 fund that will support research at Yale School of the Environment’s Center for Industrial Ecology. More specifically, the fund will support researchers examining the sustainability benefits of additive manufacturing using life-cycle assessment (LCA) tools and modeling.
“This new fund will be used to conduct LCA research that compares several conventionally manufactured metal industrial parts with those designed and manufactured via the binder jet additive manufacturing process,” said Sherry Handel, AMGTA’s Executive Director. “The goal of this research is to understand the environmental and economic impacts of binder jetting compared to conventional manufacturing. Using LCA tools and modeling, the research will characterize impacts related to emissions of principal greenhouse gases and other associated impacts. Through robust and independent research studies, the AMGTA will continue to publish research reports that evaluate environmental sustainability within the additive manufacturing industry.”
The research report is expected to be published in the fall of 2022 and the key findings will be announced at that time. Binder jet additive manufacturing is a method of 3D printing in which a digital file is used to quickly inkjet a binder into a bed of powder particles—such as metal, sand, or ceramic—to create a solid part, one thin layer at a time. When printing metals, the final bound metal part must be sintered in a furnace to fuse the particles together into a solid object.