Mass participation in 3D printing for the manufacturing of protective face shields was an essential step in protecting our key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses and hobbyists from across the UK collaborated with charities such as 3D Crowd, to produce face shields, but the 3D printing process is not perfect and it highlighted a potential waste problem from failed components and unused material.
As a hub for low carbon innovation, we recognised the potential environmental impact of these bi-products of face shield production, so our team have worked with the 3D Crowd community to become a national hub for 3D printed waste created by the surge of 3D printing across the Country.
To mitigate the environmental impact of the production process, we’ve already begun recycling the plastic waste into filament which can be used for future projects.
Our Technical Manager, Dr Ellis Marshall, is calling for businesses to join the project and help innovate new ways in which the waste plastic can be used.
Dr Marshall said:
‘Being a part of the University of Hull and working with the 3D Crowd community, it has been amazing to see the impact that the 3D printing community had on the creation of face guards for health services across the UK.
Right now, we have the opportunity to use the plastic waste to drive innovation and look into the circular economy of 3D printed plastic waste on a national scale – we can stop unnecessary amounts of waste plastic material ending up in landfill, and instead being recycled.’
Be a part of the story…
Both PLA and PET-G plastics can be recycled using the Centre’s facilities, so if you have any materials you’d like to be reused then please get in touch with the team at the Aura Innovation Centre.
We’re also looking to work with businesses that can help us to shred the waste plastic to enable us to reuse materials created through 3D printing.
Click here to find out more about the AIC.