New HIPS 3D printer filament made from recycled fridges
Partnership between Renewi and Refil results in a new High Impact PolyStyrene Plastic (HIPS) filament that is environmentally-friendly
Coolrec, a subsidiary of Renewi, carries out the material’s recycling process in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. Then Dutch recycling filament specialist, Refill, transforms the base material supplied it into HIPS. The result is a strong, durable, non-toxic 3D printing filament made from the plastic inside of old refrigerators.
Since it is typically comprised of a polystyrene and rubber blend, HIPS material dissolves in a limonene solution. Which means prints made from this material are ‘free’ of any markings caused by support removal. It is slightly lighter than ABS, making it a great option for certain prints and it’s also easy to paint or glue.
Despite being a more sustainable option, this recycled material also manages to improve upon certain characteristics that oftentimes hinders the 3D printing process. According to a press release, Coolrec also optimise the HIPS filament for 3D printing by eliminating warping and shrinkage.
“Whereas Coolrec is all about the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, Refil transforms the acquired plastics into 3D printing filament and makes it available around the world,” says Casper van der Meer, CEO Refil. “Making recycled filament may seem easy, but getting a steady supply chain and maintaining a high quality over different batches is a real challenge. This is why it took us several years of development to be able to guarantee the quality of HIPS. Together with Coolrec we’ve managed to realise this.”
According to CEO of Refil words, it took around three years to develop HIPS filament and bring it to the market.
From the beginning, their goal has been to replace existing plastic filaments with environmentally friendly product of equal calibre. Arjen Wittekoek, Director of Coolrec, states. “This collaboration is a good example of two companies at the forefront of plastic recycling working together in their own field of expertise…”.
More Recycled filaments are coming in 2019
The filament comes in a diameter of either 1.75mm and 2.85mm. According to Renewi and Refil, it has showed nice performance among many 3D printer brands.
In order to prevent waste, the filament comes with a fully recyclable cardboard spool. You can aquire HIPS filament for €34 / spool incl. VAT. Meanwhile, Refil and Coolrec are also in the process to create another recycled filament but made from old televisions. This material would be in black color and we can expect it to be available next year.
I think it is really important to start trying sustainable filaments like HIPS so the things we 3D print from now and on have less negative impact for the planet. Let’s support the arriving of these kind of materials to the growing 3D printing market.
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Truly amazing that 3d printing filament can be made using the fridge in your home!