The Better Future Factory is a design studio that develops sustainable solutions based on new and recycled materials. One of its best known ventures is the PPP, Perpetual Plastic Project, which we have covered often in the past. Out of that very simple concept of re-using plastics through 3D printing came the inspiration and experience for a new line of fully recycled PET and ABS filament called refill.
The stylish spools are available as 90% recycled plastic filaments. The black ABS, available both in 1.75 and 2.85 diameters, is made from recycled car dashboards, while the transparent PET is actually derived from used plastic bottles. Both were thoroughly cleaned and shredded by professional partners, and both are REACH and RoHS compliant.
While the quality of the filament appears impeccable, the prices are affordable, with the ABS priced at €29.00 per spool and the PET set at €36.00. In fact, BFF was even awarded a prize at the recent IDTechEX conference for the “best development of materials for 3D printing”.
Even the boxes and the spool are made from recycled cardboard, which give the product both an elegant appearance and increased sustainability index. For an added touch, users and retailers can remove the refill logos embedded in the cardboard box and use them for added visibility and marketing purposes.
I had a chance to speak with Jonas RJ Martens, CEO/Captain of BFF, on the showfloor at Euromold, and he seemed genuinely enthusiastic about this product. He and BFF also carry out many other activities for a more sustainable use of plastics, especially in emerging nations. Some of these do not necessarily relate to 3D printing, but are no less fascinating, such as a machine to shred plastic bottles in strips so thin that they can be threaded into actual fabrics in order to create other, more useful, products.
While there are lots of great filaments and new materials coming out all the time, using 90% recycled ABS and PET surely has a significant added value in terms of global well being and allows us to continue to dream about a future in which new plastic products will be made from old plastic products seamlessly. A future in which every failed print can have a new life.