Many people support the idea that 3D printing technology is more environmentally friendly for the manufacturing industry than conventional construction processes. According to the TRACTUS3D article “3D printing sustainability” here are just a few of the reasons why.
3D printing can save fuel. Many products are made in other countries and have to be transported several times. This involves products being moved to a packaging company before finally going to the shops. Since the product is transported a number of times, large amounts of fuel are used and more exhaust emissions are released. With 3D printing, the entire product can be made locally, along with the packaging. Products can be designed in one country and that design file can be emailed to another country in preparation for production. As a result, transporting the product several times is no longer necessary.
3D printing can print a specific part to repair a broken component for a product instead of having to replace the entire product because of that one broken piece. Old products can be reused more often instead of buying new ones.
3D printing sustainability is also helped by the weight of products. With 3D printing technology, products can be up to 50 percent lighter than traditional produced items. This means that 3D printed parts would require less energy to transport.
3D printing uses exact required amounts of material to create a part or product. This results in generating less wasted material than with other processes, such as milling or laser cutting for example.
There are many materials that can be used for 3D printing, but today, more and more PLA plastic is being used. PLA plastic is biodegradable and better for the environment.
With 3D printing, less energy is used, exhaust emissions can be reduced, there is less waste, and the possibility to make products from more environmentally friendly materials. All of these things contribute to better ecological systems and help with 3D printing sustainability.