Veolia and Francofil for more circular 3D printing?

Posted on 10 November 2020.

As a key technology for Industry 4.0, 3D printing is gaining ground in all sectors. To meet the requirements of manufacturers and give it a circular dimension, Veolia and Francofil are collaborating in the production of recycled plastic filaments.

The continuous improvement in 3D printing techniques makes it possible to create increasingly high-performance parts and broadens the scope of applications for this additive manufacturing technology, which is gaining ground in more and more industries. Used in the automotive, aeronautics, construction and biomedical industries, it enables complex prototypes to be produced with shorter lead times and at a lower cost than traditional processes.

While the use of a large number of materials is gradually developing (concrete, metals and even human tissue!), plastics are the main raw material for today's 3D printers. And for 3D printing to deliver on its ecological promises, the issue of the sustainability of these plastics is central.
In fact, a large number of start-ups specialize in producing filaments from recycled plastics. Projects for extruders - machines that convert pieces of used plastic into filaments - have also emerged. These projects allow individuals and digital manufacturing shops to replace virgin plastic with recycled plastic. So where does this leave industrial manufacturers?

In order to meet their requirements, Veolia and Francofil, a French start-up specializing in producing 3D printing filaments, have joined forces. In concrete terms, Veolia supplies recycled resins to Francofil, which produces the filaments for 3D printers. The idea is to guarantee the Normandy-based company a constant supply of recycled plastic - in this case polypropylene (PP) and colored ABS – which allows it to offer its customers a high-quality raw material for perfect - and circular - printing