Upcycling & Recycling Guide For 3D Printing


3D printing technology allows us to create many things in a cheaper, faster, and more efficient manner, at the expense of producing more plastic waste. Plastic waste has a serious negative impact on the environment with over 100,000 tonnes of it ending up in our waterways and into the ocean each year. As 3D printing enthusiasts and professionals, we all have a responsibility to be conscious of the waste that we produce. Here are upcycling and recycling tips during 3D printing. 

1. Use recycled filaments

The easiest eco-friendly move that we can do when 3D printing is using recycled 3D printer filaments. 3D printer filaments are usually made from recycled filaments of the same type, so you can be assured that the quality and performance will still be the same. Here in Australia, we are the first to offer recycled PLA, which is available in eight colours, making them the perfect filament for schools. 

2. Recycle the packaging and spools

Packaging and spools from 3D printer filaments are plastics and contribute to our waste problem once discarded. While you can turn the spools into filaments (a complicated process) or upcycle them for your future 3D printing projects, you can buy recycled packaging and spools instead if you don’t have a lot of time. Our X3D Pro Recycled PLA has recycled packaging and cardboard spool to make it more environmentally friendly. 

3. Upcycle your plastic wastes

Speaking of upcycling, you can upcycle your 3D printer spools and other plastic wastes into functional items. Below, you can find some 3D printed upcycling ideas:

For the spool: 

  1. Spool Tool Desk Organizer
  2. Meltink 3d Spool Photobooth
  3. Clock built out of empty spool

Other plastic wastes

  1. SplashLIGHT with the use of any bottle
  2. MOJO M&M’s dispenser with the use of an old jar of Nutella
  3. Recycled mudguard for bicycles with the use of an old Coke plastic bottle
  4. GROWW. THE MINIMAL GREENHOUSE with the use of an old jar of jam

  5. Wacky cork pal toys using wine corks
  6. Vase from a Lightbulb - Art Deco Style

  7. SKATERBENCH 1.0 with the use of an old skateboard

Sustainable and eco-friendly 3D printing is easy with X3D’s recyclable filaments!

For a more eco-friendly approach to 3D printing, use the new X3D Pro Recyclable PLA filament! If you’re looking for other materials, we also have PET and ABS in our recycled filament collection. Order today and get free shipping for orders above $100 and discounts and special offers for X3D members. For inquiries, get in touch with us through phone or email. 

3d printingFilamentModel ideasPlaSchools

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