Refil is an innovative Dutch company that makes 3D printing filament by recycling old automotive dashboards and PET bottles. They have named it “Refilament” and it actually enables you to help save the planet and reduce waste while giving you an option to use something different than plain old virgin ABS or PLA. They use a relatively simple process where they take waste car interior plastic parts or bottles. These are shredded into smaller pieces, then melted so they can be pulled into filament and finally they re-spool them into standard sizing making them ready to be used in your FDM machine. The process looks simple now, but it took the developers three years to perfectionate it and get all the variables right. 3D printing filament extrusion is a tricky and precise process where even a small temperature differential can have big effects on quality.
At the end of this process you get a nice spool with no added toxic dyes in 1.75 or 2.85mm diameter. Due to the recycling process and no additional coloring agents the tone may slightly vary, but you can find this issue sometimes with some “traditionally” made filaments as well. All materials are REACH and RoHS compliant. The spools are also fully biodegradable since they are made from cardboard. The price is in the range of other similar premium filaments and you can buy them for €40 ($45.44) in PET translucent version or €32 ($36.35) in ABS black per 750 gram spool.
You can judge the print quality for yourself. Here is an object printed with translucent Refilament on Ultimaker2:
Here you can see their promotional video:
Refil has even won the Best Material Development award at 3D printing Europe conference held in Berlin. The company was founded by Rotterdam based design agency Better Future Factory (BFF) and BFF was started by five alumni from the Delft university of technology. With their developments 3D printing will become even more environmentally friendly. The BFF team describes themselves as:
Better Future Factory (BFF) is a multi-disciplinary design, environmental and engineering company. BFF finds and develops creative, yet realistic and sustainable solutions to the most pressing issues. Incorporating the underlying principles of the circular economy to close loops, recycle materials, increase value and develop businesses that contribute to a better future. We are passionate about the application of intelligent, creative and innovative design, to make global impact and start a revolution.
Here is a Refil homepage from more information and the shop where you can buy Refilament: http://www.refil.nl/
So, my fellow Makers : “let’s make things right.”!