Last week, our World Bank partners published a blog post about the feasibility of creating recycled filament as a business. The article states: “As part of the ReFabDar initiative, Tech4Trade, STIClab, and other partners developed a low-cost, custom-extruder to produce filament from recycled PET plastic. Based on the principles of open collaboration and standards, the
ReFlow Filament is a start up company created to export the recycled PET filament being produced by STIC Lab in Dar es Salaam to 3D printer enthusiasts worldwide. Built upon the success of the Tech for Trade extruder design, ReFlow is printing a better future for people in developing countries. Watch this video and contribute to their project on Kickstarter here.
3D filament is the basic consumable resource that most types of 3D printers use for printing. As a traditional printer needs ink cartridges in order to print, 3D printers need plastic filament. Most of the filament produced today is from virgin, unused petroleum based plastic which generates not only increasing amounts of global waste but contributes to carbon emissions, resulting in significant environmental damage. This provides a unique recycling opportunity to make filament out of used, plastic waste, specifically from PET plastic, which is the basis of soda bottles, consumed by many people around the world.
This blog post summarizes the main findings of the feasibility assessment of filament production from recycled PET plastic waste and aims to identify market potential, challenges and opportunities, and the range of costs and benefits associated with several alternatives.
The full report is available here.
The ReFab Dar project is committed to Open Data and expanding opportunities. We want to share with you the slides from our Advanced Makers’ Workshop in hope that this presentation will spark inspiration for more 3D printing business start ups.