Lancashire3D Ltd, a large 3D printing studio in the North of England, has become the first UK based studio to deliver on the circular production promise, in which resources are reused again and again to benefit the 3D printing ecosystem, and the environment, by reducing its waste and recycling on site. Called the Sustainable Range, these recycled plastics will complement its existing Filamentive recycled plastics and will be offered to customers at a discounted price, allowing Lancashire3D Ltd to pass on the savings from reclaiming plastics.
Currently, there exist no plastic waste recycling facilities in the region that process post-3D printing waste and the majority goes to landfills. By collecting both internal production waste plastic (e.g. support material, spool plastic and failed prints) and allowing customers to return used or unwanted 3D printed parts, Lancashire3D is converting it back into raw materials that can be used once again for 3D printing. It is anticipated that Lancashire3D Ltd will reclaim more than 165 kilograms of plastic wastage (Bioplastics and Oil-based) in a 12 month period from the primary 3D printing process alone under its sustainable plastics program.
“We know that the planet has a finite amount of resources and that we all need to take more responsibility. Governments are making plans to take action, consumers are vowing to change their behavior, and businesses like ours are stepping up to help. By creating a circular economy (production), which means that when finished with, 3D printing material returns for recycling and is changed back to printable material and reused, waste is seen as a resource and part of a continuous cycle,” commented Steven Pearson, Co-Founder at Lancashire3D Ltd. “We bring more than 10 years technology, design and industry experience and are committed to developing truly innovative ways to marry the art and science of 3D printing while delivering on our vision to recycle and reuse as much as possible. We also want to continue to enlighten our partners about what we do and how by making a few small changes they can have less impact on our environment with no impact on the quality of their product.”
In 2018 Lancashire3D had announced a series of commitments to sustainable production and to recycling 100% of its waste thermoplastic material. Today, 95% of Lancashire3D’s waste production plastic is reclaimed and recycled. Waste plastic is processed in-house and recycled back into sustainable 3D printing material. By recycling onsite Lancashire3D Ltd is able to further reduce its carbon footprint, by not transporting to external recycling centers. The company uses up to 100% recycled content in its plastics.
In 2018 Lancashire3D Ltd partnered with sustainable 3D printing materials company Filamentive, known for incorporating waste streams, such as plastic food containers and drinks bottles, into some of its 3D printing materials. Any waste created during production from these input plastics is then further recycled in-house. In line with these activities, Lancashire3D also uses 100% recyclable eco-packaging (paper-based) and since its inception, has offered 100% plant-based plastics. While bioplastics such as PLA are considered biodegradable, industrial composting facilities are required to make this viable and are not currently available in the UK. In fact PLA can take up to 1000 years to decompose in a landfill.