Graphical abstract of Sustainability and Feasibility Assessment of Distributed E-Waste Recycling using Additive Manufacturing in a Bi-Continental by Mazher Mohammed et al. 2022
Project data
Authors Joshua M. Pearce
Completed 2021
Instance of 3D Printing
OKH Manifest Open Know-How Manifest Download

The most abundant e-waste plastic is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which is not typically processed by municipal programs and is equally one of the most popular 3-D printing filaments. This makes ABS a prime candidate for the distributed recycling for additive manufacturing (DRAM) approach, which has the potential to increase recycling rates by providing economic incentive for consumers to recycle. For DRAM to be globally applicable, this study investigates the role of the ABS e-waste source and processes to fabricate 3-D printing filament and printed components in both Australia and North America. The study used two different open source extruder systems to convert e-waste into 3D printer filament and for material quality to be assessed through standardized tensile and compression testing. Results revealed a modest reduction in mechanical properties compared to virgin ABS, highlighting the potential for recycled e-waste ABS for consumer and industrial uses. We also show DRAM can significantly reduce 3-D printer filament cost, however, carbon emissions from conversion underscored the need for technical efficiency improvements in electricity generating between countries. Finally, the variations in the properties of the ABS e-waste indicates the need for appropriate labeling of materials in order to advance recycling.

Source

  • Mazher Mohammed, Daniel Wilson, Eli Gomez-Kervin, Aliaksei Petsiuk, Rachel Dick, Joshua M. Pearce. Sustainability and Feasibility Assessment of Distributed E-Waste Recycling using Additive Manufacturing in a Bi-Continental Context. Additive Manufacturing. 50, 102548 (2022) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addma.2021.102548, academia.

Keywords[edit | edit source]

additive manufacturing; agriculture; agrivoltaic; distributed manufacturing; farming; gardening; open hardware; photovoltaic; recycling; solar energy

Highlights[edit | edit source]

  • Production of 3-D printer filaments with e-waste ABS.
  • Mechanical testing of resulting polymers.
  • Energy consumption measurement of filament extruders and 3-D printers.
  • Carbon footprint analysis for complete conversion from grave to cradle.

See also[edit source]

RepRapable Recyclebot and the Wild West of Recycling[edit source]


Recycling Technology[edit source]

Distributed Recycling LCA[edit source]

Literature Reviews[edit source]

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Externals[edit source]


  • Cruz, F., Lanza, S., Boudaoud, H., Hoppe, S., & Camargo, M. Polymer Recycling and Additive Manufacturing in an Open Source context: Optimization of processes and methods. [2]
  • Investigating Material Degradation through the Recycling of PLA in Additively Manufactured Parts
  • Mohammed, M.I., Das, A., Gomez-Kervin, E., Wilson, D. and Gibson, I., EcoPrinting: Investigating the use of 100% recycled Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) for Additive Manufacturing.
  • Kariz, M., Sernek, M., Obućina, M. and Kuzman, M.K., 2017. Effect of wood content in FDM filament on properties of 3D printed parts. Materials Today Communications. [3]
  • Kaynak, B., Spoerk, M., Shirole, A., Ziegler, W. and Sapkota, J., 2018. Polypropylene/Cellulose Composites for Material Extrusion Additive Manufacturing. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, p.1800037. [4]
  • O. Martikka et al., "Mechanical Properties of 3D-Printed Wood-Plastic Composites", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 777, pp. 499-507, 2018 [5]
  • Yang, T.C., 2018. Effect of Extrusion Temperature on the Physico-Mechanical Properties of Unidirectional Wood Fiber-Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composite (WFRPC) Components Using Fused Deposition Modeling. Polymers, 10(9), p.976. [6]
  • Romani, A., Rognoli, V., & Levi, M. (2021). Design, Materials, and Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing in Circular Economy Contexts: From Waste to New Products. Sustainability, 13(13), 7269. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/13/7269/pdf
Page data
Part of FAST Completed
Type Project
Keywords e-waste, recycling, distributed manufacturing, additive manufacturing, plastic, open source
SDG Sustainable Development Goal SDG09 Industry innovation and infrastructure, SDG12 Responsible consumption and production
Published 2021
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
Affiliations Free Appropriate Sustainable Technology, Western, Loughborough University
Language English (en)
Impact Number of views to this page and its redirects. Updated once a month. Views by admins and bots are not counted. Multiple views during the same session are counted as one. 18
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