Materialise Manufacturing, a leader in 3-D printing solutions with U.S. operations based in Plymouth Township, has introduced a 100 percent reused powder. The new offering, the company states, significantly reducing powder waste, creating a more sustainable option for 3-D printing.
The company’s Bluesint PA 12 service allows selective laser sintering waste — up to 70 percent of the powder — to be recovered and print new parts. The production of standard PA 12 powder generates more than seven kilograms of CO2. Bluesint PA 12 offer a 30 percent reduction of these emissions, which, combined with the waste-reduction benefits, makes it a leader in sustainable 3-D printing powder.
“3D printing has established itself as a powerful and sustainable manufacturing solution for the production of smaller, customized parts by enabling localized production, but it is vital that our industry continues to invest in new ways to make the 3-D printing process itself more sustainable,” says Jurgen Laudus, vice president and general manager of Materialise. “Through innovations like our Bluesint PA 12 service, Materialise empowers its customers to make a choice for sustainability.”
The powder went through extensive beta testing after it was announced last year. One customer that participated was The Maggie Program, a Belgium-based nonprofit organization that builds multi-functional shelters for local communities.
“We rely on the flexibility of 3-D printing to address some of the manufacturing challenges we faced for the production of certain parts of our shelters,” says Benjamin Denef, CEO and founder of The Maggie Program and DMOA architects. “We are always looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and Bluesint PA 12 allows us to make a manufacturing choice not only based on technical specifications but also on the environmental impact.”
Laudus says the company expects that one of the primary uses of this technology will be in functional prototype printing. This is a type of printed prototype that is functional and low cost but are only used during the validation phase of product development.
Although there is no way around the limited use of a printed prototype and the waste it creates once validation is complete, Bluesint PA 12 allows customer of Materialise to cut back on waste during the printing process itself.
Materialise incorporates three decades of 3-D printing experience into a range of software solutions and 3D printing services, which together form the backbone of the 3-D printing industry. For more information, visit here.