The fast-growing world of 3D printing has not overlooked the need to produce ecologically-friendly materials and products. 3D Printlife, a national 3D printing company specializing in printer filament, has unveiled a line of products that are designed to perform with a variety of 3D printers as well as be easier on the environment. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Buzz Baldwin, Co-Founder of 3D Printlife, to learn more about their products and services for the 3D printing industry.
A highlight of the conversation was centered on their biodegradable filament, Enviro™ ABS. 3D Printlife’s specially formulated filament gives users the ability to print strong, sturdy parts that can be consumed by bacteria once they enter an active landfill or commercial composting facility. Buzz noted that traditional ABS breaks down after 800 to 1,000 years, but that Enviro™ ABS will decompose after only 12.7 years.
When asked about the performance of 3D Printlife filaments, Buzz discussed the reasons that their filaments outperform other filaments. He brought it back to the first steps of production, noting that “the quality of resin and the manufacturing process are key to a successful print.”
Another product distributed by 3D Printlife is their PLAyPHAb™ filament, a biodegradable PLA/PHA blend designed to create strong, less brittle, PLA prints. It features a much higher shelf life than traditional PLA as well as better flow rate, higher impact strength, increased pliability, and consistency. The PLAyPHAb™ filament is currently the filament of choice at the Yale University School of Architecture’s 3D Printing Lab.
3DPrintlife has not stopped at their Enviro™ ABS and PLAyPHAb™ lines. Currently, they are developing a new product called BioPETG™, the first biodegradable PETG filament. This breakthrough technology combines the features of a PETG plastic, the most commonly used plastic in the world, with the same bio-additive technology used in their Enviro™ ABS, allowing this plastic to also breakdown in an active landfill or commercial composting facility.
In addition to eco-friendly filaments, 3D Printlife aims to help the environment in other ways. Each filament spool is constructed of 100% biodegradable, recycled cardboard and bound with a recyclable tin cap. Also, a portion of the proceeds from every spool of filament is donated to forest restoration throughout the United States. Every spool purchased equals one tree.