A new research project at the Department of Engineering, Aarhus University aims to recycle plastic waste into a standardized filament product for the 3D printing industry.Standardizing the Filament for Optimal Products
Together with Aage Vestergaard Larsen, Mogens Hinge has started a new research and development project to develop a standardized, documentable 3D printing filament of high and stable quality from recycled plastics.
Problem of Variation in Quality
When manufacturing plastics, a problem of variations from one batch to the other surfaces. The problem arises from carelessly using plastic for 3D printer filament, and not dimensioning the components in relation to the material, as is otherwise practice in the plastics industry.
At the university, Mogens Hinge has seen that filament for 3D printing can vary in quality, even though the product comes from the same supplier and is manufactured from the same plastic type.
« Even if you buy a reputable-brand filament, there are still problems, because there are no standards for what you put into the machine that makes the filament. This is annoying for the individual consumer, but can be disastrous for the industry, which, to a large extent demands documentation for the product, » Hinge adds.
Advantages of the New Filament
There are three good reasons for this, explains Gitte Buk Larsen, business developer and marketing manager at Aage Vestergaard Larsen. “Firstly, it hasn’t yet been possible to produce filament from 100% recycled plastic. Secondly, no one has cracked the code for producing filament based on a data sheet in order to ensure uniform quality. And thirdly, there are currently no filament producers in Denmark ».
« If the project is successful, it’ll revolutionize the material consumption of 3D printers, which today is largely made up of new plastics. We’re talking about being able to use plastic waste to create new, high-quality filament. It’ll have a significant impact for the environment and the climate in the long term, » says Larsen.
Hinge continues, “The advantage of having Aage Vestergaard Larsen as the project owner and manager is that they have a wide range of different quality polymers, so we’re pretty sure that, together, we can mix our way to finding consistently high-quality product. »