The Role of Sustainable Design

by Sherry Handel* — 2020/11/02

In many areas of additive manufacturing, sustainability is receiving increasing attention. With the Sustainable Design & Products Panel, Formnext Connect is focusing on this important topic even more.

On November 12 at 9:30am CET, Moderator Sherry Handel, Executive Director of the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) will host an insightful discussion on the role of sustainable design in the additive manufacturing process. It brings diverse and thoughtful perspectives from entrepreneur, Romain Paul, founder of »Yuyo – the world’s most sustainable surfboards made from biocomposites and 3D printed plastic waste«; academic researcher, Susan MacKay, Ph.D., Senior R&D Program Manager, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine; and sustainable design expert Jeremy Faludi, Ph.D., principal of Faludi Design; Assistant Professor of Design Engineering, Technical University of Delft; and adjunct faculty of engineering at Dartmouth College.

In this session you will learn about the largest thermoplastic 3D printer in the world; discover cutting-edge research related to large-scale 3D printing with biomaterials; understand the driving factors that inspired an entrepreneur to launch a business that utilizes biomaterials and plastic waste to manufacture 3D printed surfboards; and ultimately, recognize the areas we need to focus on to improve sustainability in AM.

Here are a few highlights of what the panelists have to say about sustainable design and products in relation to additive manufacturing:

»At Yuyo, we tried to rethink completely the way surfboards are built to make it as sustainable as possible because nowadays there is a paradox between the environmental mindsets of most surfers and the toxicity of the equipment we use and the way they’re built. Our recipe is based on large format 3D printing and biocomposite materials. We want to produce products with locally collected trash, and more specifically, from plastic waste that comes from the sea. Today, it’s worthless to think about design without thinking about sustainability. I don’t see how one could imagine a new product or service – or anything without thinking of it as a sustainable process because that is the only way for it to last.«

Romain Pau, Founder Yuyo

»We try to develop materials for very specific applications within 3D printing – it’s not so much we have new materials and we’re looking for a place to put them, it’s much more driven by the need. Additive manufacturing has the potential to transform many sectors of how we make things around the world. I think this is a huge opportunity at the ground level to implement more sustainable materials from the start. We’re still at the nascent stage of developing new materials to qualify the parts that we’re making using this method. We need to develop new ways to do QA and QC.« 

Dr. Susan MacKay, University of Maine

»We need a lot more work in inventing new materials for sustainable 3D printing. To be clear, it’s not just because we need to reduce the impacts of the materials themselves, it’s because choosing better materials can improve the whole system as well, because the materials and the manufacturing method – the processing – are very deeply intertwined. We really need to do this now, while the industry is still growing before it has already scaled up and becomes ossified in certain habits.«

Dr. Jeremy Faludi, Technical University of Delft

Join the Panel:



*Sherry Handel is the Executive Director of the Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA)