By: Joanna Carbajal
We are excited to announce that we are incorporating an eco-friendly solution to our catalog of materials. Sustainability is a core value of Ivaldi Group, which we know is also key for the industries we serve.
Our eco-friendly materials are PLA and PETG, which are made from scrap 3D printed parts, support material, and plastic water bottles that are grinded into pellets.
The pellets are then melted together and extruded into filament and wrapped in a spool. The spool is then used to print a part. By doing so, we are reusing and recycling material instead of adding it to the landfill.
These materials enable us to 3D print numerous non-critical parts for the maritime industry, including caps and valves, as shown below. All new materials added to our portfolio are tested internally and associated with specific parts. We don’t expect to get the same properties, so we use recycled materials when the functionality of the part allows for it.
This part is a cap for a fire hydrant. The original cap is made of bronze and is regularly stolen off ships. The purpose of these caps is to keep dust and other particles out. Our in-house design team redesigned it to be made out of plastic so it would still serve as a cover and would be less likely stolen.
Valve cover used to shield the valve from dust and debris.
This part is used as a cap on the end of rebar used in construction. It is a safety component that helps prevent injuries on the construction sites.
Pipe made of recycled PETG material.
As Ivaldi Group scales up and plans to install 3D printed parts on over 100 vessels by the end of summer 2018, a large portion of those will be made out of eco-friendly materials.
Offering sustainable materials and solutions to plastic waste from failed prints and empty spools in additive manufacturing is becoming a more pressing issue as we are all now more aware of the consequences of plastics on our planet. Marine life is a striking example of the destructive effect plastic has on the environment. Ocean Crusaders estimate that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. It is estimated that 100,000 marine creatures die each year from plastic entanglement, and ⅔ of the world’s fish suffer from plastic ingestion. Scientists estimate that the ocean will have more plastic than fish in 30 years. However, there’s still time to change that. We can reduce the amount of plastic we use by having alternative solutions such as choosing recyclable packaging. We can also reuse filament by finding new ways to use it (check out below what Filabot is doing). Finally, we can also recycle filament by collaborating with companies that have a recycling program.
Not only does plastic affect our ocean, but also our health. Plastic contains Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), which are toxic chemicals. When plastic is dumped into the ocean, the plastic doesn’t biodegrade so fish eat them, and then they end up on our dinner plates.
There are some very interesting developments in eco-friendly materials for additive manufacturing:
- PLA is bringing 3D printing closer to full green sustainability since it is plant based.
- Filamentive partners with expert polymer extrusion firms so that only homogenous waste is used to be remanufactured into recycled PLA filament.
- Keene Village Plastics and 3DPrintlife create first complete line of eco-friendly ABS, PETG & Performance rPET 3D filaments. Such filament has a bio-additive that allows bacteria to break ABS more easily. The spool is also made from 100% recycled cardboard.
- Filabot offers a full suite of appliances needed for home extrusion to recycle plastic into filament at home.
- Algix 3D makes filament from algae that have been genetically modified and processes to produce polymers.
We realize that we cannot eliminate plastic completely, but we are aware that if we use plastic properly, by using reusable and recycled material, we’ll reduce our environmental footprint and also save energy (did you know that 8% of the world oil production goes to manufacturing plastics?). Not only are we taking steps into using recycled material but by having zero inventory, we are eliminating excess unused parts and infrastructure. We are also reducing transportation emissions through in-port production. We are committed to help the maritime, oil & gas and offshore industries in a sustainable way. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions.