5 ways that 3D Printing can be Sustainable

Today I’m talking about 3D printing and lowering your carbon footprint.

Now, 3D printing is the process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model. The object is made from laying down many thin layers on top of each other. 3D printing can help with sustainability in five different ways. I’m going to go through those ways right now and end the video with one concern and how we are addressing it.

Less waste

First off, 3D printing can create less waste. 3D printers can build just about any object by stacking layer upon layer. This means there is very little to no waste when creating an object. This can be compared to more traditional mass fabrications where objects are carved or stamped out of a larger piece of plastic.

Less carbon dioxide emissions

Secondly, 3D printing can decrease carbon dioxide e missions. 3D printers take their input from a digital file that can be transferred electronically to any location in the world. This makes it possible for objects to be printed out exactly where they are needed. This can lower carbon dioxide emissions because products do not need to be shipped all over the world from a factory and go through the hoopla of the production, selling, and transportation process.

One machine for all creations

Next, 3D printing requires only one machine for all creations. A 3D printer can make almost anything within the dimensions of the printer. So, only one machine is needed for making many different creations. The opposite is needing one specialized machine for every object. That can get expensive and very wasteful.

Repairing household items

Fourthly, 3D printing can repair simple household items. 3D printing makes it possible for you to repair something you own. You can quickly design or find a design online and make a new part without having to buy brand new. This can increase the lifetime of things you own which might have otherwise been thrown away because it was broken. This can cut down your carbon footprint significantly.

Compostable 3D filament

Lastly, 3D printing can be compostable e. Your choice of the filament can also contribute to a more sustainable environment in the future too. If you choose a PLA filament, the product is made from plants, such as cornstarch, sugar cane, and tapioca root. By being derived from biodegradable resources, this type of thermoplastic and can be composted and absorbed by microorganisms.

One concern with 3D printing is the energy usage.

3D printers can use up a lot of energy, but so does everything else that is plugged into the wall. Just by turning the 3D printer on, it uses about 15 watts, which is the same as a computer in sleep mode. The most energy used during a 3D print is when the heated bed is set to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The energy being pulled goes up to 129 watts. To compare this to something, a ceiling fan averages about 100 watts. Your TV? It averages about 200 watts. In other words, yes, 3D printers use up power, but if you are doing other things in your life to offset that energy, it's all good.

For instances, Justin and I are signed up for our energy providers SolarWise program. Which is a community-based solar garden that creates an easy and affordable way for us to have environmentally-friendly energy. The program offsets all of our home’s c urrent electric usage. Basically, we put our money towards supporting renewable energy sources. So, when we use our 3D printer or any other appliance in our home, we don’t feel as guilty.

Original Prusa I3 MK3 3D Printer kit: https://www.prusa3d.com/original-prusa-i3-mk3/

Thanks for watching and reading today about 3D printing and sustainability. Do you own a 3D printer or know someone that does? Are you interested in owning one? I have a link down below to the one we have if you are interested. I made this razor cap with the 3D printer today, so I can travel with my double edge metal razor. If you have a razor like mine and would like a cap, drop me a message.

Take care of yourself <3




Pinshape Blog

- Guide to Green 3D Printing – 4 Ways to be More Sustainable!: https://pinshape.com/blog/guide-green-3d-printing/

Form Futura

- Sustainability: https://www.formfutura.com/page/sustainability

Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

- Current Sources of Energy to Maintain a Sustainable Future: http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/2010/4/10.04.07.x.html

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