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60 Second Hangout

Learn more about the people behind the projects...

Name: William Hoyle

Company: techfortrade (registered charity)

Website: http://techfortrade.org and http://ethicalfilament.org

Social: @techfortrade and @ethicalfilamentorg

The project: Ethical filament: http://www.eulergy.com/projects/view/ethical-filament/9/

In a nutshell:  We aim to create a ‘fair trade’ standard for 3D Printing filament made from recycled materials collected by waste pickers in developing countries.

1. What is the most interesting challenge of this project?

Converting waste into commercially acceptable high quality filament in a way that doesn’t require expensive ‘industrial’ techniques.

2. What is the value of the project to research?

This project makes a useful contribution towards research into how to reduce the millions of tons of waste that pollutes our lands and seas.

3. And what is its value to industry?

The ethical filament initiative is a poster child for ‘closed loop manufacturing’, something that’s becoming a mantra for the FMCG industry. In addition the ability to localize small scale production will offer interesting opportunities for re-engineering supply chains as this technology develops.

4. Can you name the 3 most important skills your partner would have to have?

  • The ability to take an academic understanding of the materials science challenges involved in recycling and apply it to a developing market context.
  • The ability to design processes and equipment that can be established and operated in a variety of different locations by people who may not have the same levels of skills as the partner.
  • The ability to communicate their work in an easily understandable way that can be grasped by a wide and varied audience.

5. What sort of University departments and researchers would be attracted to this project?

Most likely people working in materials and engineering.

6. Can you name 3 skills a partner might develop from working on the project?

The same as above!

7. How long do you think the project would last?

That’s a difficult question. Our current priority is to identify a commercially acceptable alternative to ABS & PLA filament that can be sourced from the types of recyclable plastics that are readily available in developing countries, such as HDPE and PET. I have no idea how long this might take, but I’d hope no more than 12 months!

Categories: 60 Second Hangout, resources

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