Responsibility, environmental friendliness and sustainable development are topics that every company should be interested in today. There are many benefits to industrial-grade metal and plastic 3D printing, including cost-effectiveness, time savings and greater design freedom. One less talked about benefit is the environmental friendliness of 3D printing, so we decided to write more on the subject. In this blog post, we share three reasons why 3D printing is a greener choice than other manufacturing methods.
Less material and waste ✔️
Another term used for 3D printing is additive manufacturing (AM), which well describes the technology used in 3D printing. In practice, a 3D model of the desired part is first made, then the printer’s laser beam melts the plastic or metal powder, and the part is built up layer by layer.
While many traditional manufacturing methods generate a lot of waste from part production, the principle is reversed with 3D printing: all types of parts, whether they are models, prototypes, tools, spare parts, or finished products, are made by adding material rather than reducing it. If machining is comparable to carving a statue, 3D printing is like painting on a blank canvas.
💡 With 3D printing, you only use as much material as you need, so there’s less waste. 💡
Lower transport emissions 🌎
Accoring to Azo Materialsin a study by Michigan Technological University found that 3D printing a product locally used 41–64% less energy compared to manufacturing the product overseas and shipping it to the US. According to Schwaar around 28% of total energy consumption in the US in 2019 was used to transport people and goods.
💡 Local 3D printing therefore helps reduce transport and the emissions it generates. 💡
Did you know that 3D Formtech is located in Jyväskylä, Finland? Instead of ordering individual parts or components from the other side of the world, you get them faster and more ecologically from us. Local production is also about risk management, as the pandemic and the prevailing global situation have also brought their own challenges, for example in terms of logistics and the availability of different parts and materials. So we strongly encourage you to support local production – and we are happy to help.
More durable and long-lasting parts 🖌
If you’ve been following us for a while, you may have heard us talk about the 💡 product life cycle. We believe that a part or product made to a high quality standard lasts for a long time. We have tackled prejudices and misconceptions about the durability of 3D printed parts in the Breaking AM video series, among others, but in short, we can say this: industrial-grade 3D printed plastic and metal parts are durable.
The durability and longevity of a product is influenced by design and optimization, the materials used, and the manufacturing process, among other things. In particular, professional post-treatment ensures that the printed part can withstand heavy use and wear and tear. For example, should the part be resistant to UV radiation or repellent to dirt, water and oil? You got it! Post-treatment can also give a product a longer life compared to an untreated product. It is therefore worth exploring the possibilities of post-treatment, especially for end products or parts that need to be able to withstand and operate in demanding conditions. Read more in the blog post “Three reasons to invest in post-treatment”!