3D Printing FilamentsAM PowdersMaterialsSustainabilityThermoplastic Polymers

3devo launches filament based on recycled SLS powder

A breakthrough in sustainable 3D printing that reduces the cost of using PBF technology

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3devo is introducing the first nylon filament for 3D printing based on the recycling of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) powder into high-quality 3D printing filament. This process addresses the long-standing challenge of SLS powder waste, reducing environmental impact and costs for industries reliant on 3D printing.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) uses a laser to bind (mostly) nylon-based powder to create detailed parts, widely used in aerospace and automotive industries. However, it generates significant waste, prompting the need for recycling solutions.

3devo launches filament based on recycled SLS powder reducing the cost of using PBF technology and increasing sustainability

3devo’s solution transforms discarded SLS powder into reusable filament, providing a cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative for manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, medical, and educational sectors. This advancement not only enhances sustainability but also fosters further innovation within the 3D printing community. It opens up new avenues for experimentation and application, as users of SLS will no longer be constrained by the cost and availability of fresh powder.

The initiative began with a U.S. who encountered challenges in recycling SLS powder for over seven years.

The customer was motivated to recycle the powder for environmental reasons and was also economically motivated to do so. The nylon powder is expensive to purchase, compounded by the fact that to ensure ongoing high quality & resolution, it was necessary to discard a significant amount of powder after each print run. This was driving up the cost of each prototyped part, limiting the use of the machine and slowing project progression. Had the company been based in Europe, the cost of such waste disposal would have been even costlier.

3devo launches filament based on recycled SLS powder reducing the cost of using PBF technology and increasing sustainability

Handling fine nylon powder involves strict safety precautions due to health hazards from inhalation. The powder must be thoroughly dried to prevent moisture absorption, which can affect filament quality. Proper drying, cooling, and storage practices are essential to maintain powder integrity.

The extrusion process involves pre-extrusion cleaning of the machine to remove residual materials. The SLS powder is then added, and high RPM screw speed ensures even distribution and melting. Consistent cooling and careful spooling result in high-quality filament, transforming waste powder into reusable material.

This can lead to more frequent prototyping, greater customization, and the ability to take on more complex projects that would have been prohibitively expensive with traditional materials.

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