Are you an avid 3D printer? I want to hear from you!

Are you an avid 3D printer? I want to hear from you! This semester, myself and a group of engineers have a module on industry and innovation. We are creating a mock business model canvas for an environmentally conscious company that produces recycled 3D filament. If you have 2 minutes spare I would be very grateful if you can complete our survey. Rough estimates are perfectly fine.

HI @CaitlinLucy

Thank you for posting on the forum. Glad to see you.

Hi everyone if you have a moment fill out the questioner. Just Takes a moment and I personally really like the theory behind it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete it, it’s greatly appreciated!

Great project - good luck. I am not sure if filament is currently accepted for recycle.

BTW It is not just failed prints but lots of wasted filament with supports required for the model.

1 Like


I just did your survey - interesting, thank you.

Could I make a couple of points on your questions:

  1. For “In what capacity do you use a 3D printer?”, I don’t think you’ll find anybody here that can answer 100% for any of these options.
  2. I’d also suggest percentages for “Which type of filament do you use the most?”. I’m fairly evenly split between ABS and PLA with some PETG and TPU in the mix.
  3. As @Blenky pointed out, there is a certain amount of material that is unusable from even successful prints.
  4. In terms of practicalities and based on the previous two question, I think you have to ask “Would you be willing to sort the material for recycling” as dumping a big bag with a mix of PLA, ABS and PETG at a recycler isn’t going to be usable for recycling. I’m not sure that even providing a bag of the same material with different colours is going to be effectively recyclable (except as a cheap test material of no discernible colour).

This is a great project and I wish you lots of luck with it.


Thank you for completing! That’s a great point, so far we had only really focused the idea on failed prints

Hello, thank you very much for your feed back. You make a great point for improving the first 2 questions, I’ll have a look and see if I can edit the style of response to improve.

On point 4 that’s actually an issue we were tripping up on the other day. Logistically we were trying to figure out how to sort the material. The control engineer in me wants to suggest a fully automated line but we’re bound by the constraints of suggesting a reasonable cost structure as if the business was real and operating. The industrial machines for shredding and extruding the material are in the £30,000 range so I’m not sure my lecturer would accept a further proposed expensive machine. We wondered if we could limit the type of material we would accept, hence the question about which type you use most often. If people were willing to sort it individually that would solve our logistics problem quite easily :slight_smile:

I think people would be willing to sort by material/colour - if there was a financial incentive to do so. I would recommend credits toward a future purchase that gives them a lower price than what they would get with the standard recycled filament.

People generally work with a limited number of colours and having a bag for each wouldn’t be that much of a hardship - although you may have to open each bag and dump out the contents so nobody could cheat (I’m thinking about what happens here at The Beer Store when you’re bringing in cans - the clerk has to see all of them to make sure you’re not slipping something in to increase the weight of the return).

Now, mixing colours may result in an interesting filament or just a dull grey/brown that could be sold (at a further discount) to people who need filament for setting up their printers/testing new settings/doing a test run before using the good stuff.

Good luck!

You may get some to sort but not likely most even with an incentive. Maybe an additional incentive might help.

To add another twist to the mix. (pun intended) It is also possible to stop a print part way through and change filament color or type. Although this is not common but it does happen.