Tag Archives: 3D Printing

Indian Company Protoprint Transforms Waste into 3D Printing Filament for Commercial Use

Indian Company Protoprint Transforms Waste into 3D Printing Filament for Commercial Use. 3DPrint.com, November 10, 2016.

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Protoprint’s 3D filament in use

This week, we reported on New Zealand-based Waikato University’s revolutionary FDM technology-based 3D printing method that allows anyone to print complex objects by converting waste material into thermoplastic filament, and we’ve seen several initiatives around the world focused on bringing waste material into reuse via 3D printing. An Indian company called Protoprint is leading a similar project but on a more commercial aspect and global scale.

Protoprint, a social enterprise founded by environmental engineer Sidhant Pai and his parents in 2012 to address poor employment conditions and increasing pollution levels, secured a partnership with SWaCH to transform high-density polyethylene (HDPE)-based products such as plastic bottles into filament for 3D printers.

SWaCH, short for Solid Waste Collection and Handling, is a cooperative formed by waste pickers and workers at a waste disposal site in Pune, India. Workers at SWaCH provide Protoprint with the necessary waste material which Pai and his team use to create filaments.

Read the complete article.

Can we shift waste to value through 3D printing in Tanzania?

Can we shift waste to value through 3D printing in Tanzania? World Bank Blog, Sept 2015. Author: C. Paradi-Guilford.

Plastic waste, in particular PET, which is typically found in soda bottles, is becoming abundant in African cities. In Dar es Salaam, one of the most rapidly urbanizing cities in Africa, BORDA found that about 400 tons of plastic waste per day remains uncollected or unrecycled.  Although about 98 percent of the solid waste generated per day can be recycled or composted, 90 percent is disposed in dumpsites.

A waste collection site in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo: Cecilia Paradi-Guilford

At the same time, the recycling industry has started to grow because of new initiatives, community organizations and private companies. There are a few organizations that repurpose waste into arts and crafts, tools or apply it as a source of energy – such as WasteDar. However, the majority collect or purchase plastic waste from collectors, primarily with a view to export, rather than recycle or reuse locally.

Socially and environmentally, waste management is one of the biggest challenges for an increasingly urbanized world. Waste pickers can earn as little as US$1-2 a day in dangerous conditions with little opportunity for advancement. They make up some of the most disadvantaged communities living in deep poverty.

Through a new market for sorted waste materials, these communities may access higher income generation opportunities in a sustainable manner. This presents an opportunity to explore turning this waste into value more close to home.

At the same time, 3D Printing is expanding
3D printing is an additive manufacturing process that applies layers of materials (typically plastic) to develop an object that is made up of thinly sliced horizontal layers. The design of the object is made in a Computer-Aided Design program using a 3D modeling, then is inputted into the 3D printer. Gaining popularity, 3D scanners are also used to make a digital copy of ab object. 3D printers take an input of filament consisting of varying types of plastic to create the object.

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