If you’ve ever attributed 3D printing mechanisms to a complex system used to manufacture hi-tech matter, you’re right on the money! Since the dawn of its existence, 3D printing as a whole has offered a plethora of technological advancements amongst diverse industries with a myriad of different applications in today’s greener global community.
For those intrigued by its cutting-edge and transformative delineations of the nuanced technological era we’re currently living in today, most who aren’t as tech-savvy might find this manufacturing process to be highly advanced and far too ‘next-level’ to grasp – this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Without disputing its digitally intricate and front-running technological nature, the good news is that understanding 3D printing and how it works isn’t as complicated as one might make it out to be.
3D Printing Explained in a Nutshell
Also referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’, 3D printing is a process that leading manufacturers employ to produce objects by adding material in layers that correspond to successive cross-sectional designs of a 3D model. Materials that are most commonly used for 3D printing consist of plastics and metal alloys, however, it can also work on nearly anything including concrete and even living tissue.
In addition to introducing a ground-breaking platform of new-age techniques implemented by manufacturers to create previously impossible designs, the developmentally innovative mechanisms that 3D printing has afforded the tech world of today is redefining the production capabilities of a vast array of companies on a global scale.
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The Enviro-Friendly Future of 3D Printing & Fashion
With 3D printing at the forefront of sophisticated evolving technology, the modernized mechanisms surrounding its value to the global community has subsequently brought about an emergence of energy-efficient technology that can provide environmental efficiencies in the manufacturing process.
By utilizing up to 90% of standard materials, 3D printing has amounted to the output of less waste creation thereby imposing a reduced carbon footprint when compared with traditionally manufactured products by way of lighter and stronger design throughout an additively manufactured product’s operating life.
“3D printing is showing great promise in terms of fulfilling a local manufacturing model, whereby products are produced on-demand in the place where they are needed thus eliminating huge inventories and unsustainable logistics for shipping high volumes of products around the world.” – www.3dprintingindustry.com
In addition to the various innovative initiatives that combine 3D printing with sustainability, it’s become fascinating to discover how enviro-friendly 3D printing practices are also being creatively and authentically adapted by renowned fashion aficionados looking to showcase the latest trends in the ecological world of style and design.
This is evidenced by designer-researchers at ‘Freedom of Creation’ in Amsterdam and Philip Delamore at the London College of Fashion, who are currently:
“Cranking out seamless, flexible textile structures using software that converts three-dimensional body data into skin-conforming fabric structures. The potential for bespoke clothing, tailored to the specific individual, are as abundant as the patterns that can be created, from interlocking Mobius motifs to tightly woven meshes.” – www.eprints.whiterose.ac.uk
Examples of 3D printed dresses by fashion designers Catherine Wales and Iris van Herpen:
Photo Credit: http://www.dezeen.com
With the sustainable development movement operating at an all-time high on a global scale, UK manufacturers are breaking new ground in ‘Green Living’ by adopting and implementing cohesive measures enveloped in today’s ecological shift towards greener 3D printing initiatives.
If you want to learn more about sustainable fashion, you can check out this article.
How Eco-Friendly UK Companies are Frontrunning a New Frontier in Sustainable Development with 3D Printing
Awarded the highly reputable accolade of the world’s ‘Most Sustainable 3D Printing Service Provider’ at the Corporate Excellence Awards last year, Yorkshire’s leading product design consultancy 3D Folkes is proud to be recognized for its commitment to sustainability during such a challenging time.
Being one of the few design and manufacturing companies that offer environmentally friendly 3D printing and product design solutions, 3D Folkes is dedicated to applying creativity and expertise in designing successful products in an environmentally friendly way. With their sustainable practices at the fundamental core of their operations, 3D Folkes and Filamentive have collaborated in their crusade to significantly minimise our carbon footprint by using only recycled plastics and sustainable 3D printing in their manufacturing, as Filamentive’s sustainable 3D printing filament ensures that the exceptional quality of eco-friendly products is consistently provided to their customers.
“At 3D Folkes, we believe that sustainability is the future of 3D printing, and it is something that will always be core to what we do.” – www.3dfolkes.co.uk
5 Top Sustainable UK 3D Printing Companies
Operating at the forefront of the eco-friendly 3D printing revolution, 3D Folkes has influenced and inspired other UK 3D printing companies to follow suit.
1. Midlands 3D
The Midlands 3D firm has aided in the reduction of our environmental footprint in a multitude of notable ways:
- The use of up to 100% of recycled content in their plastics.
- Producing waste streams, such as plastic food containers and drink bottles.
- Ensuring the availability of 100% plant-based plastics – both biodegradable and compostable.
- Advocating recycling where possible and reducing waste that might otherwise go to landfills.
2. Lancashire 3D
Eco-Responsible UK 3D printing service Lancashire 3D specializes in the manufacturing of high-quality FDM Plastic, HP Multi Jet Fusion, MJF Plastic, and SLA Resin parts.
3. Park Communications
As a regular winner of the ‘Print Week Environmental Printer of the Year’ award in recent years, Park Communications is renowned as one of the UK’s most eco-friendly printers.
4. Additive Flow
Founded on the principle of disrupting ‘additive manufacturing’ for an improved world by focusing on reducing the impact that manufacturing has on the environment, Additive Flow harbours sustainability in modern-day product development at its core.
- Drives improved recycling.
- Conducts life cycle analysis in their mode of operations.
- Supports safer workplaces.
With a keen interest in utilizing ‘additive manufacturing’ measures in their mode of operations, core principles at TOffeeAM include:
- Cutting down on logistics, waste of materials, and energy waste.
- Less fuel consumption.
- Less CO2 and NOx emissions.
It is fascinating to see ow UK companies are embracing the sustainable 3D Printing revolution by embedding a green digital footprint in the age of our ecological evolution. We continue to watch this space in the hope for even more revolutionary 3D printing techniques and processes that will further our endeavour of green living.
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- South African wordsmith Zanda Simamane is an enthusiastic, cheerful, conscientious, and talkative individual who is likely to express my emotions, enjoy change and exhibit a lively attitude. In addition to being warm-hearted and outgoing, he is actively interested in others and tolerant of them. Throughout his career, Zanda's exceptional copywriting, editorial, and communication skills have proven valuable in his diverse fields of interest, some of which include Copywriting, PR & Marketing, Entertainment & Fashion Journalism, Social Media, Tech, and Influencer/Talent Management.