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09 February, 2018

The greatest potential of 3D printing is in the design phase due to its time efficiency and great economic savings. This technology makes it possible to simplify the production process and hone the details, obtaining shapes that are difficult to produce with other technologies. It can certainly be said that 3D printing is an evolving and growing field. Gartner Technology Consulting predicts that sales of 3D printers will double in volume each year until 2020. Among the technologies used in 3D printing, FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) or better known as FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) dominate and will continue to dominate the market. However, today the cost of materials used in this emerging technology is still high.

Concern for sustainability represents a major leap in the conception, design and manufacture of components, becoming increasingly important from the point of view of competitive improvement and strategic product development. Thus, using waste as resources in a cradle-to-cradle design can become the ideal framework for finding a solution in line with the principles of the circular economy.

The objective of this initiative is to lay the foundations and demonstrate the viability of a business model based on Circular Economy, using plastic waste and wood waste for the development of new products with greater added value, as is the case of the filaments for 3D printing according to the user's requirements.

In this way, 3R3D Technology Materials will become the first Basque SME to access the additive manufacturing market with a product obtained entirely from recycled materials, transforming them into a specialised product. This Circular Economy strategy enables 3R3D Technology Materials to realize the company's values.

The European guidelines, set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy, make economic recovery a priority, basing their activities on: Intelligent growth: Development of a knowledge-based economy based on innovation. Sustainable growth: Promoting a resource-efficient, greener and more competitive economy. Combining both concepts, innovation and circular economy, is the objective of RecWood3D, which aims to obtain a new sustainable material for additive manufacturing, 3D FDM printing, based on 100% recycled materials, providing added value at a competitive cost.

The waste generated in the Basque Country with the best performance and availability for 3D printing applications are post-consumer plastic waste, fishing nets and wood waste. Overcoming the technological barrier of transforming this waste into 3D filaments is the great challenge of RecWood3D, without neglecting the information needs of consumers and/or customers.

The expected result of this project is the manufacture of wood filaments for 3D printing, so the research is focused on optimizing the pellet and its processing, as well as key parameters of 3D printing, without forgetting the environmental aspect quantified with a life cycle assessment study.

This initiative is led by the company 3R3D Technology Materials, S.L. (, Basque industrial SME of recent creation that develops its activity in the innovative field of 3D printing as a manufacturer of materials for additive manufacturing and distributor of 3D printers.

The project is possible thanks to the consortium formed by EkoREC Ecología, Reciclaje y Medio Ambiente, S.L. ( experts in the recycling of post-consumer plastic waste and the collaboration with Fundación Centro Tecnológico de Miranda de Ebro ( specialized in environment and plastic materials.

The results of the project are aimed at the construction sector such as architecture, modeling, furniture, etc. as well as educational centres, FabLab... without forgetting the home user.

“RECWOOD3D project Closing the cycle. From Waste to Filaments for 3D Printing” is financed by IHOBE, Public Environmental Management of the Basque Government, within the call 2017 “Demonstration projects in Circular Economy” co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).




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