Got a 3D printer? If so, you have likely experienced 3D Printing Fails. A 3D printing fail is the point that you’re beautifully crafted 3D model turns into a blob of molten plastic or if you’re lucky a piece of 3D printed abstract art. 3D printing fails are part of the experience of 3D printing, typically the more detail you have in a model the higher the chance of failure, 3D printer maintenance and material can also effect this. As the 3D printing industry continues to grow what will we do with all of these 3D printing fails?
It’s true that 3D printing one object can be more efficient than using traditional manufacturing techniques however as 3D printing scales up and the industry is reportedly set to be worth almost $5 billion dollars by 2018 that translates into a huge amount of failed plastic as well as support material for your object that is simply discarded. Plastic is harmful to the environment so when we do use it, it’s best we don’t use more than we absolutely need and its best that we don’t create waste plastic such as ‘3D printing fails’.
There are companies out there with products that recycle plastic filament such as Filabot which is a really interesting concept and a good way to avoid directly binning those failed prints and support material. However when we start moving on to resins and composite 3D printing materials it complicates the situation again, my question to you is…
What do you do with your failed 3D prints?