Since 2012, leading desktop 3D printer manufacturer, Ultimaker has been working with the Better Future Factory’s Perpetual Plastic Project to reduce the world’s plastic waste by repurposing would-be throwaway plastic.
The Better Future Factory is a multi-disciplinary design, environmental and engineering company that finds and develops creative yet realistic and sustainable solutions to the most pressing issues at hand. The team have been collaborating with Ultimaker to turn discarded plastic into sleek 3D prints and create a unique new 3D printing filament called ReFil.
Only 10-12% of the world’s plastic is ever recycled, resulting in massive amounts of non-biodegradable waste littering oceans and landfills. The Perpetual Plastic this Project was founded by Jonas Martens to help minimise waste by repurposing waste plastic. After witnessing 3D printing’s growth in the mainstream spotlight, Jonas felt the technology would be the perfect tool for a new kind of Industrial Revolution.
ReFil 3D printing filament is produced through a simple process. Discarded plastic is first cleaned then ground into small pieces to make it easier to melt. After heating, the plastic is pushed through a nozzle to create 3D printing filament of varying sizes. Then, the ReFil is either sold to makers or printed using an Ultimaker in the Better Future Factory’s studio. Ultimaker’s open system made it easy for the Better Future Factory to print using the new filament, since it allows users to use materials of any type to print high quality designs with minimal waste.
Melting plastic for recycling.
Jonas commented: “We believe in the local production of useful products. If you make new plastics, you usually need new raw materials like oil, and history has taught us on many occasions what the effects are. So we want everyone to start using recycled plastic wherever they can because the quality is equal to new plastic.
“We also specifically chose to work with Ultimaker as their machines use an open filament system and are designed and built to a very high standard – this means a better quality of print and in turn, less people are throwing away ‘bad’ or failed prints.”
Visitors can find out more about Ultimaker on stand J24 at TCT Show + Personalize (30th September – 1st October 2015, NEC Birmingham). REGISTER FOR FREE.