At FormWerk, we strongly believe that environmental protection is an imperative which every individual as well as industry branches should subscribe to.

Due to controlled material depositing and energy input applied only where needed and intended, 3D printing as a technology has key inherent ecological advantages, reducing – at least theoretically – the ecological impact of manufacturing to a minimum.

However, despite the basic concept of 3D printing being an ecological one of frugal use of matter and energy, the devil is in the details, which in this case means mostly the 3D printing materials being used.

The production of raw and processed materials has a huge impact on the environment. Big holes are dug into the ground for mining ore for metals, big oil rigs and refineries are delivering the building blocks of modern plastics. And usually stuff is not produced where it is processed or consumed, adding a transport variable to the entire eco-impact equation.

No wonder then that, from the very early days of FormWerk, we’ve been preoccupied with a key question: how can we address this material issue and be part of a solution? We’ve decided early on to actively engage with our suppliers and our customers in order to educate the market and promote what we call “GreenPrint” materials.

The definition for GreenPrint materials is quite straightforward and in line with the one of The European Bioplastics Association, extended to include ‘recycled plastics’, so as to address the huge problem of end-of-life plastic disposal:

GreenPrint 3D materials are bioplastics, recycled plastics, or both.

In separate future blogs, articles and white papers we will dive deeper into this definition and its implications. We’ll try to answer questions like:

  • What are bioplastics?
  • How are bioplastics produced?
  • Can bioplastics be also performance materials outcompeting petroleum based ones?
  • Are bioplastics less expensive than standard plastics?
  • Can all plastics be recycled?
  • How do recycled plastic perform?

In conclusion: We at FormWerk are fully committed to work toward a future where we only offer 100% GreenPrint materials to the 3D printing market and, in doing so, adding value and avoiding false compromises or promises.