Additive manufacturing is inherently a means of production that could improve the sustainability of industries around the world. The very idea of producing by adding only the material needed, instead of removing material in excess, without the need of producing tools could be a game-changer for the global environment. If fewer materials are needed, less are wasted. Producing parts when they are needed, and where they are needed can go a long way reducing overall emissions from industrial production.

The match between AM and sustainability also goes beyond industrial production: the use of 3D printing in construction is emerging as a much more environment-friendly approach, both in terms of workflows and materials used. This has obvious repercussions in the housing industry but also in renewable energy production.

However, the road to making AM a truly sustainable means of production is a long one. Currently, many metal AM processes are high-energy-intensive, many polymers AM processes still waste a lot of – often toxic – materials and construction 3D printing processes are still in their infancy.

As the global economy undergoes a dramatic contraction, an opportunity emerges to further develop AM into a way to produce in a more efficient way: digital, on-demand, additive and distributed manufacturing is now a serious and credible option. It may be the only option to tackle – in one shot – all the social, economic, health and environmental challenges that lie ahead.

  • An INEOS Styrolution research and development project reported an overall energy savings of up to 67% through the life cycle of a new styrenics polymer compound. The comparison styrenics compound was traditional Polyamide 12 (PA12). The massive savings derived from the new material benefits manufacturers and customers alike, let alone the…

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  • Architect and professor Ronald Rael joined a movement championed by Alight that aims to bring radical hospitality to stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border. The move further extends Rael’s additive manufacturing profile into the humanitarian space. His architecture studio, Rael San Fratello, recently bridged the border using seesaws in a living art…

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  • 3D printed buildings are popping up in more and more places, like the recent 3 floors apartment building in Germany but so far Africa has been only marginally on the map. 14Trees are about to change that. Established by LafargeHolcim, a world-leading provider of cement and concrete with 70,000 employees,…

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  • RIZE Dassault Systèmes

    RIZE‘s 2XC desktop industrial 3D printer with its RIZIUM Carbon Filament material has received Greenguard certification. The certification is based on the ANSI/CAN/UL 2904, “Standard Method for Testing and Assessing Particle and Chemical Emissions from 3D Printers.” The RIZE 2XC is RIZE’s fifth product or material to obtain Greenguard certification,…

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  • Despite a promising beginning in the mid-2000s, Californian fuel-efficient vehicle company Aptera Motors closed its doors in 2011, failing to deliver more than a prototype of a car that could run 100 miles on a single charge. Now, believers in Aptera Motors can see that vision finally fulfilled as the…

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  • Thanks to the latest video by Jarett Gross, the untirable explorer of construction 3D printing projects (who has previously contributed to this portal), we found out about a very interesting 3D printed, upcycled cement-wooden structure that may have been initially ignored by those outside the architectural community: the Ashen Cabin by…

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  • In a surprising and quite interesting turn of events, Canon Ecology Industry Co., Ltd. (a company founded in 2004 for the repair and regeneration of miscellaneous electrical and electronic equipment) has independently developed two types of filaments (PC-ABS, HIPS) for 3D printers made of 100% recycled plastic as the first…

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  • Industrial binder jetting hardware OEM ExOne is introducing a new desanding station for use with the industrial S-Max and S-Max Pro sand 3D printers, the company’s most popular family of printers. The new desanding station features two vacuum-powered wings that flank the job box and help easily remove excess sand…

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  • The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), a global trade group created to foster and promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing (AM), published its first commissioned university research project, a literature-based systematic review of the environmental benefits of metal AM. The paper, titled, “State of Knowledge on the Environmental…

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  • Filamentive, a UK based pioneer in recycled 3D printing materials, is partnering with 3D Printlife to make its filaments available for purchase in the US with same day domestic shipping. “The US remains the number one 3D printing market globally,” says Ravi Toor, Founder of Filamentive. “This reflects in both…

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