Once the stuff of science fiction and now revolutionising industry and manufacturing, 3D printing technology is changing the way we design and print all manner of things. Now featuring in our mainstream psyche, you can print a mini-me in Asda, draw in 3D ink and print designs from your iPad.
3D Printing. Recycle. Remake
Earlier this year 3D Systems appointed will.i.am, from the Black Eyed Peas and BBC’s The Voice, as its Chief Creative Officer. A random choice you might think, but no. The producer has had previous success as Intel’s Director of Creative Innovation and helped launch the EKOCYCLE brand alongside Coca-Cola.
You might be wondering what this is all about – we are getting there, promise.
3D Systems is making an environmental splash with its latest 3D printer, the EKOCYCLE Cube. A collaboration between 3DS and EKOCYCLE, this device is based on the 3D Systems Cube line whilst promoting sustainability through the creation of lifestyle products made in part from recycled plastic bottles.
It has been said the will.i.am first came up with the idea of a 3D printer that used recycled products whilst playing to an arena full of fans. When the concert ended the performer witnessed the mounds of garbage and plastic bottles left behind; more than likely destined for landfill. “The appetite with which we consume and dispose of things devalues both resources and human capital,” says will.iam. “The Cube will inspire people to make and print.”
As ambassador and 3DS’s Chief Creative Officer, will.i.am explains that the aim of the EKOCYCLE brand is to “partner with the most influential brands around the world and use technology, art, style and inspiration to change an entire culture. We will make it cool to recycle, and we will make it cool to make products using recycled materials. This is the beginning of a more sustainable 3D-printed lifestyle. Waste is only waste if we waste it.”
“Waste is only waste if we waste it”. – will.i.am
It is this ethos that is behind this latest edition to the 3D Systems family. The 3D printing industry could have an enormous impact on the manufacturing industry; it is important to make sure that it is a good one. Sameer Vachani, vice president of business development at 3DS, maintains that the Cube “is one of the most energy efficient processes available to produce thermoplastic parts today”.
Depending on how familiar you are with 3D printers, you may or may not know that they use a plastic filament to ‘print’ your design in 3D. The EKOCYCLE printer aims to challenge this principle by remixing our relationship with recycling and new products.
The carbon footprint of additive manufacturing (the technical name for 3D printing) is 40% lower than more traditional manufacturing methods. Each EKOCYCLE cartridge is made in part from 3 recycled PET plastic bottles and will be available in a curated palette of red, black, white and natural.
- Setting the standard for manufacturing – Each EKOCYCLE cartridge turns the equivalent of 3 plastic bottles into wearable fashion, accessories and ornaments. Users will receive 25 fashion, music and tech minded accessory designs curated by will.i.am.
- A new print experience – Prints in stunning 7—micron resolution up to 6” cubed in size.
- Instant load cartridge – New moisture-lock cartridges improve print quality and sustainability.
- Convenience in the palm of your hand – With the Cubify app for Android and iOS you can print direct from your smartphone.
Get your own Cube Printer
Here at Printernet we stock a wide range of 3D printers including the 3DS Cube and Cube X Duo printer. If you want to start creating and printing your own 3D designs order online today from Printernet. For more information or advice from our team call 01344 354 944.
Featured Image: cubify.com