3D printing — whether prosumer printer polylactic acid (PLA) materials or low-volume rapid production’s increased energy efficiency within specific additive manufacturing technological permutations — has boasted a number of ecological benefits already in these, the technology set’s nascent and formative years. Some application projects are specifically green. Here follows one that is about as eco-friendly as manufacturing can get!
UAE-based Recycle Beacon required a working prototype for its “Smart City Sensor.” They faced a slight obstacle: The turnaround for the project’s prototype was confined to just fourty-eight hours. Recycle Beacon turned to one of the UAE’s primary 3D printing centres — the ‘future factory’ at Paradigm 3D. Paradigm offered a bespoke solution using their faculty that includes a range of Stratasys high-grade industrial additive manufacturing machines, including the cutting edge Fortus 400mc prototype, tooling and product part printer.
Paradigm 3D isbased in Dubai Silicon Oasis, UAE. The company supplies additive manufacturing services for low-volume rapid prototyping and rapid parts production — removing the requirement for expensive tooling, saving time and with it, money. Recycle Beacon’s co-founder, Valerie Schafer, approached the bespoke team with the Smart City Beacon initial sketches and schematics. The innovative sensor is pitched as with significant ecological and economical potential. Specifically the augmentation of community recycling efforts — an integral system of monitoring and behaviour analysis with a gamification reward system, social network and media interface platform for recyclers. Sure enough, Paradigm 3D delivered a functional prototype sensor in only two days.
Valerie Schafer remarked “I was impressed with the Paradigm team because they didn’t just interpret our ideas into a 3D model within a couple of hours, but actually improved some areas saving us corrections to our prototype. We were very surprised that we could take delivery of our prototype model the following day. Paradigm 3D offered a “smart, green” and rapid solution to our needs. For low volume manufacturing, I would recommend looking at 3D printing to keep the cost of product development to a minimum and have less impact of the environment.”
Recycle Beacon saought production values that matched theireco-friendly ethos, whilst developing a working modeel for proofverification and product testing. As part of their R&D Recyle Beacon investigated the potential of 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Paradigm 3D created an optimized CAD file for 3D printing, incorporating assembly instructions and formation features into that model.Paradigm 3D general manager, Jimmy Nicolaides says:“with 3D printing only the materials needed are used – with Stratasys Performance 3D printers there is no toxic waste or emissions and ABS is recyclable material.”
With organizations such as the Ethical Filament Foundation already established, fuel-intensive shipping logistics predicted to eventually be disrupted by direct digital downloads, and desktop factory market leaders such as Stratasys Makerbot emphasising PLA, 3D printing’s eco-potential is increasingly pertinent and tantalizing!
For your ease, the full 3DPI article archives for: United Arab Emirates.