Is 3D Printing Beneficial for the Environment?
3D printing technology can make our world better and cleaner. However, doubts are often expressed whether it can really be considered and environment-friendly technology. In fact, 3D printing has many advantages, and its good influence on the environment is one of them.
No Waste: The Biggest Advantage of 3D Printing
Manufacturing with the use of fabrics, metals and other materials usually involves having large amounts left over. Most of this cannot be reused or properly processed and becomes waste in a landfill. 3D printing utilizing LPD technology, such as those by the Polish company Zortrax, doesn’t leave waste per se, only elements of the supporting material, and there’s relatively little of these. You create the objects you want to create without any trimmings, and you really create those objects how you want to and when you want to. 3D printing is the best solution for low-volume production. In this field it’s also the most environment-friendly. Moreover, some companies—such as Bosch, General Electric and some automotive companies—are considering the introduction of 3D printing into mass production
Controversial Materials You Shouldn’t Worry About
3D printing uses various polymer-based filaments. These are plastics created largely from oil. On the other hand, products made of a single material are easily recyclable. Materials used by Zortrax 3D printers have been certified as being appropriate for recycling and reprocessing. Moreover, completely green, 100 per cent biodegradable materials as well as materials based on recycled substances are being developed.
You also shouldn’t worry about dust excreted during 3D printing. Scientists are still analyzing it and their conclusions vary, but there has been no proof of the dust having an adverse effect on the human body and the environment.
The Energy You Use Can Be Green
3D printing requires a relatively large amount of electricity, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not environment-friendly. At a time when renewable energy sources are coming to the forefront, this shouldn’t be as important. More and more places around the world use green energy, and 3D printing utilizes it without any problems.
Logistics or Print Where You’re Located
One of the biggest issues related to pollution is transportation, whether it be by land, air or water. 3D printing may reduce the need for transporting certain items. And once the technology becomes widespread, the effect will be noticeable. 3D Printers such as the Zortrax M200 can 3D print basic tools, certain machine and car components, phone cases, toys, various gadgets and other items, also complex ones. In the future this will reduce costs and time of transportation and will support the sustaining of the environment.
3D Printing Supports the Environment
When you look at 3D printing technology in its entirety, you can call it an environment-friendly solution. 3D printing does not harm the environment at all and if it becomes widespread, it will be beneficial to the environment. The trend of using biodegradable and recycled materials is becoming increasingly noticeable; more and more solutions are being developed. Mass-scale 3D printing also means less waste as compared to other manufacturing technologies. 3D printers available in nearly every house would mean significant savings in logistics, saving the environment included. 3D printing is certainly greener than traditional manufacturing methods. How it affects the global environment depends on the scale it’s used on. Its huge capabilities and ease of use of 3D printers make such a future very likely.