Guide to Green 3D Printing – 4 Ways to be More Sustainable!


From Pinshape Blog

The effect of 3D printing on the environment has been a growing topic as people begin to be more aware of their carbon and waste footprints. If you love 3D printing but want to find ways to make it more “green”, here are a few considerations.

Before we get to that, however, we’ll start with the concerns – how can 3D printing be bad for the environment?

4 Barriers to Green 3D Printing

1) Support Material Goes to Waste: Although this material is sometimes necessary to save your entire print from ruin, ideally you don’t need supports to successfully print a design. This is why we encourage 3D designers create models which don’t require supports. Not only are they a pain to remove – they’re wasteful.

2) Most leftover plastic material ends up in the garbage

Most of us don’t know what to do with our failed prints, so they end up in the garbage. It’s not that we don’t want to recycle them, it’s that we’re not exactly sure how to recycle it/compost it. Before we go over the options, I think it’s important to distinguish between biodegradable and compostable as there is a lot of buzz around new filament materials that are compostable.

Biodegradable- According to the FTC’s Green Guide, for something to be biodegradable, it must show evidence of breaking down in nature until microorganisms digest it and it returns to the earth. This process must happen in a reasonably short period of time after disposal. When something is just degradable, it means that it will break down into smaller pieces and will not necessarily be digested by microorganisms.

Compostable– This means the material will completely biodegrade fast enough in a certain environment. Compostable plastic will have three features:

The material breaks down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate as paper

The material fully disintegrates in a compost pile

No toxic residues are left and the compost supports plant growth

So which filaments are compostable and which aren’t? The two most common filaments to print with are ABS and PLA. ABS is a thermoplastic that is great for 3D printing because of it’s strength and durability. This material is not biodegradable or compostable, but can be recycled in other ways if you want to re-heat the material to use it again in a filament recycler.

Some PLA is compostable, though it requires a very specific temperature and environment to do so. It is made from products like cornstarch, sugar cane, and tapioca root so it can be absorbed by microorganisms. Experts recommend Makers to not throw their PLA in a recycling bin because it can biodegrade in the recycling process. One option is to compost your PLA in an industrial facility. Since the conditions in which PLA composts are somewhat sensitive, it’s not recommended to compost it at home.

To Read more of this article click HERE

Bunker – Your 3D Printer’s Perfect Companion


The Bunker is a smart filament storage system. It monitors your usage and keeps you informed with a mobile app.

What Is Bunker?

Bunker is a smart filament storage system that can be used with your favorite 3D printer, with any type of filament and features some huge benefits:

*Every Inch – Bunker keeps track of every last inch of your filament.
*Wireless – Stay informed when you’re away from your 3D printer.
*Moisture & Dust-Free – Improves reliability & quality of 3D printing.
*Statistics – Print times, duration, success, fails, mileage and more!
*Bunker App – Receive important notifications on your mobile.
*Print Settings – Find the perfect print settings for your filament brand.


Get more information on the Bunker HERE

Discover the new Zortrax Support Center

Discover the new Zortrax Support Center video manuals.
The step by step tips are exactly what you need to 3D print successfully.



The science of 3D Printing with ABS

Author: Kathleen of 3D Print Works

Over the next few weeks we will explore “The science of…” different issues related to 3D printing. This week we are exploring the magic of ABS filament!

We will explore these topics through a series of interviews with Colin Hindle, Lecturer in Polymer Technology at Edinburgh Napier University, who is developing materials alongside us at 3dprintworks. With over thirty years experience in the plastics and polymer industries, Colin has been a great asset to the company and so we decided to take this opportunity to pick his brain.

What is ABS?

ABS is short for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – bet you wished you never asked!

What qualities are looking for in ABS in order to achieve good print outs?

You are looking for a good flow behaviour for it to melt and obviously flow from the head. You might also be wanting it to be a very tough material. ABS combines reasonable toughness with rigidity, good surface gloss.

What makes the strands adhere together in ABS?

The styrene’s got an acrylonitrile phase, a rigid styrene acrylonitrile phase and a rubbery styrene rich phase. But it is styrene acrylonitrile that makes it easily mould together.

Why do you need to heat the bed if you are printing ABS?

Well again it comes back to glass transition. Glass transition of ABS is round about 100 so you want the bed to keep material above the 100 degree mark. So that’s why for ABS you would use a heated bed.

So will it stick better to the bed because of that?

It will stick better initially, yes.

How do you find out your TG? What is TG?

TG is the glass transition temperature. It’s the temperature above which large scale polymer chain rotation becomes possible. We usually measure it by measuring a physical property which changes markedly at TG. An example of that would be a specific volume, the volume occupied by the given mass of material. But an easier quantity to measure perhaps is a change in specific heat. Which is a measure using Differential Scanning Calorimetry, DSC for short. That’s quite a quick and easy automated test for most people to determine TG by DSC.

What is conductive ABS and what makes it conductive?

Well, you can make plastics like ABS conductive by incorporating into them a conductive additive. It could be particles of metal, you don’t need to have them actually touching but the particles need to be near to each other so the metal charge can be carried, like stepping stones if you like across a river jumping from one to the next. Or you can use intrinsically conductive polymers which are incredibly expensive, but you don’t need a great deal of it to make it conductive. If you’re only looking for a low level of conduction, that’s to say just dissipating static electricity rather than conducting a current, then you can get away with things like carbon black – although in that case you can only have one colour of course, black!

EinScan-Pro Handheld 3D Scanner Now Available

EinScan-Pro Handheld 3D Scanner

EinScan-Pro from Afinia 3D and Shining 3D Multi-functional Handheld 3D Scanner

The EinScan-Pro is the newest 3D scanner available from Afinia 3D and Octave Systems.

This multi-functional 3D scanner can be used in handheld modes, or with a tripod and turntable for automatic scanning. Using safe, white light LED scanning, the EinScan-Pro rapidly captures and delivers watertight 3D data of real objects for 3D printing, or non-watertight data for reverse engineering applications. With its ergonomic design, and weighing only 1.75 lbs (0.8 kg), the multi-functional 3D scanner is portable and fit for any duration of handheld scan. An optional external camera is also offered to enable full-color 3D scanning.

Four Scan Options

Choose the scan mode that best suites your needs. The EinScan-Pro offers Handheld Rapid Scan, Handheld HD Scan, Free Scan, or Automatic Scan.

  • Handheld Rapid Scan for portable, rapid scanning
  • Handheld HD Scan for capturing objects with high accuracy (50 microns)
  • Automatic Scan for completing a 360-degree scan in just 1.5 minutes
  • Free Scan for scanning larger objects
  • See the EinScan-Pro Multi-functional Handheld 3D Scanner in Action

    Introducing the UP mini 2 3D Printer!


    Now Taking Pre-Orders! ETA is first week of August. Get your today as the first shipment is selling out fast!

    UP mini 2 is not only affordable, reliable and easy-to-use like the first generation UP mini, it also comes with many new features related to usability, portability and connectivity.

  • Touch screen control: Provides better 3D printing user experience.
  • WIFI connection: WIFI support, enabling better user control of the 3D printer via mobile APPs.
  • Built-in HEPA air filtration: Reduces 3D printing fumes and emissions making for a healthy and safe 3D printing environment.
  • Aluminum handle and separate spool container with built-in toolbox: Easy to carry, easy to use.
  • One of the many new features to come to the UP Mini 2 is the ability to resume printing after power loss! With this new feature you will not have to worry about those long prints that leave the printer unattended. Once the printer regains power it is able to detect the unfinished print and will prompt the user with a simple yes or no question “would you like to resume the previous print”. In the world of 3D printing there are not many printers that have this capability and even fewer in the price range of the UP Mini 2.

    Visit our online store to see this product as well as our full line of products. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or just need help in making the right selection for your needs. 800-626-8539

    Octave Spends the day at Ceres High School

    Octave Systems spent the day at the Ceres High School MPGT Academy! Check it out!!




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