Raise3D announced a comprehensive “Green” project to reduce the company’s ecological footprint.
In recent years an increasing number of companies are becoming publicly aware of their responsibility for the environment. Several companies have announced initiatives of varying intensity, ranging from Stratasys’ appointment of a VP of Sustainability in their Mindful Manufacturing program, to simple one-off decisions by others.
Here Raise3D announced their “Go Green Initiative”, which appears to be a comprehensive program. They explain the reasons behind the initiative’s launch:
“In a world where environmentally-friendly actions are still the exception, and where every day scientists show more concern about our negative impact on climate change, we all need to play our part to improve the situation.”
We totally agree with this motivation and strongly support Raise3D’s efforts.
The 3D printing is in an interesting spot within industry, as the technology itself can be used to achieve green goals. Additive technology by nature uses less materials than subtractive equivalents, for example. There are also plenty of opportunities within the materials space for 3D printing.
Raise3D points out that they have already taken some steps in the green direction. For example, their robustly constructed equipment can last longer than some other machines, saving the environmental cost of producing machines. They’ve also instituted a power-saving mode on their 3D printers to reduce electrical consumption.
By the way, we believe that feature should be standard on every 3D printer, and it’s simply absent from the vast majority of machines we encounter in our lab.
It sounds like Raise3D has been undertaking green steps all along, but the new initiative will bring their activity front and center:
“With the Go Green Initiative, we will have a comprehensive approach to the “Green” topic. We will show to the public what we are doing already, what we are planning to do, and we will welcome all contributions from our customers and general public.”
One of the first actions to be taken under the new initiative is to replace the plastic spools used for several of their filament offerings. Instead of wasteful plastic, they’re now going to use specially designed cardboard spools as above.
I’ve used cardboard spools in the past and very often they are entirely inadequate for the job: the cardboard tears or folds, or the glue holding it together breaks down. That won’t be the case with Raise3D’s new spools, as their material is quite rigid and makes use of special glues that won’t deteriorate — and they are recyclable. Raise3D pointed out that the filament on these new cardboard spools will be identical to prior offerings.
That’s a good step, but it’s only one of a long journey. A large operation such as Raise3D will have plenty of opportunities to eco-optimize their operations and products. Considerations of power consumption, shipping, transportation, machine design, materials, and much more can be made. Certainly there will be more to come from Raise3D on this topic.
We know that Raise3D has very strong goals for this initiative, as coordinator Diogo Quental explains:
”The vision we all have is to have ocean’s plastic pollution transformed into filament we can use in 3D Printing, contributing to a circular economy. While there are still many challenges to get there, the innovative process sometimes surprises us with relevant leaps forward, and so we shall hope the dream will one day become a reality, even if it may take one or two decades. In the meantime, it’s our responsibility to implement all the actions that are possible already, and we are committed to do so. We want to make 3DP always look greener on our side.”
This is an idea I’ve never heard before. It’s ambitious, outrageous and incredible.
And it just might work.