ALT to launch crowdfunding campaign for recycled 3D printing filaments

Published on: Friday, 09 December 2016
ALT to launch crowdfunding campaign for recycled 3D printing filaments

California based ALT is launching a crowdfundung campaign to raise funds to produce high performance Recycled 3D Printing Filament made from everyday plastic waste.

After purchasing roll after roll of plastic filament, ALT realized that, although 3D printing offers many environmental benefits over standard manufacturing, they were still introducing virgin plastic into the waste stream. The company set out to create a new way to doing business by offering recycled and recyclable products to the 3D printing community.

Only 9% of post-consumer plastic (2.8 million tons) was recycled in 2012  in the US according to Worldwatch Institute. The remaining 32 million tons were discarded. California lawmakers have set a new target for the state to recycle 75% of waste by 2020. ALT aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills, waterways and ultimately, our oceans by sourcing the plastic waste used to make their filament from local California waste collection facilities. The company expects their initiative inspires other local engineering firms to adopt green practices.

ALT's recycled 3D printing filament is produced in house and made from a class of polymers called Polyolefins. This includes common plastics such as Polypropylene (PP), Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE), and High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) used to make plastic bags, milk jugs, bottle caps, and other short-lived products that are discarded within a year of manufacture.

Polyolefins have excellent properties for use in many applications, which makes them the perfect material for 3D printing. Both high and low-density polyethylene are desirable due to their flexibility, toughness, ability to withstand high temperatures (>80C), and their impact, moisture and chemical resistance. Polypropylene is similar, but has a higher thermal resistance enabling it to withstand the heat of an autoclave. Together, polyolefins account for nearly half of the plastic being used on the planet today according to Plastics Europe.

While several companies use plastic water bottles to make PET 3D printing filament, ALT wants to tackle the plastic that makes up the largest amount waste and that rarely gets recycled. Supporting this campaign will help ALT produce their high performance recycled 3D printing filaments and bring them to market at an affordable price significantly reducing waste and making an impact on the environment.

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