The growing popularity of 3D printing is being driven by the ability to design and manufacture a wide variety of items in an eco-friendly way. 3D printing produces far less waste when compared to traditional manufacturing methods. It also cuts down on the storage and transportation of equipment and parts, leading to a greener process from start to finish. Read on to find out more about how 3D printing achieves more eco-friendly outcomes.
One drawback of 3D printing in the past has been its use of non-biodegradable plastics. However, experts report that several eco-friendly materials may replace plastic in the near future, notably wax, resins and bio-plastics.
While plastic is not the best material to use when it comes to product manufacturing, 3D printers generally prevail over traditional manufacturing approaches regardless. 3D printers use far less material to make a product, only using what they need to create the product itself. Furthermore, all the energy expended is concentrated on the manufacturing process, rather than being wasted on cutting, drilling or mining.
Reducing energy expenditure in the manufacturing process
3D printing does not require the storage and transportation of different parts, as is case with the manufacturing of many other products. This greatly reduces the carbon footprint acquired through the manufacturing process.
My 3D Concepts explores this eco-friendly benefit in more detail below:
“On-the-spot and on-demand 3D-printed manufacturing reduces overall energy waste and has smaller carbon footprint. The environmental costs of assembling, transporting, logistics, maintaining, storing are completely or nearly eliminated. The whole idea behind 3D printing is to produce affordable products in an efficient and effective manner so they are durable, lighter (especially advantageous when shipping) and have close to zero waste. The focus is on high quality, efficiency and low volume manufacturing. Computer generated designs will help reduce costs and improve energy and resource usage, by aiding in the design and early production stages of a new product, and by eliminating the need to store actual products. In addition, the products form, function, performance and durability will be greatly enhanced.”
A greener world of manufacturing
3D printing offers a number of attractive, eco-friendly benefits not offered by traditional manufacturing methods. This includes the ability to produce far less waste materials and to reduce the carbon footprint of manufacturing by minimizing the need for parts transportation and storage.
Plastics are currently the most popular material used to print items for consumers and tech initiatives. However, many designers and manufacturers who work with 3D printers are looking for greener alternatives for the industry. As plastics are replaced with greener materials, 3D printing will offer a seamless, greener option to traditional manufacturing methods.