Did you know that some of Airwolf 3D’s most significant innovations are also environmentally friendly? We often focus on how we push and strive to make our products better, bigger, and faster, but we are also incredibly proud to have developed some true green 3D printing solutions.
HydroFill Water-Soluble Support
We recently released a ‘new and improved’ version of HydroFill Water-Soluble Support and while the formula has been changed slightly, it is still a green chemistry solution, just like the original version.
HydroFill is the first viable soluble support material for large ABS and nylon parts. It dissolves in clean water without the use of any caustic chemicals, detergents, or solvents and without the use of special equipment like ultrasonic or heated baths. Because HydroFill was designed for large-scale projects, it was imperative that we make disposal easy and safe. To clean up dissolved HydroFill, simply wash it down the drain. It is fully environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
Wolfbite Bed Adhesion Solution
Like HydroFill, our Wolfbite 3D Printer Bed Adhesive is also a green chemistry product. With Wolfbite’s ability to strongly bond industrial, high-temperature materials to glass, it might come as a surprise that it is completely safe when used under normal conditions. We always recommend avoiding skin contact and even wearing gloves, but this is a precaution for individuals who may be particularly prone to skin sensitivities or irritation. The truth is no one here at Airwolf 3D takes extra safety measures when using Wolfbite. We know it’s safe. We use it every single day — and a lot of it!
In fact, in the early days of the company, bottling Wolfbite was often a family affair. Company Co-Founder Erick Wolf would mix up a batch of the Wolfbite and then his wife and company Co-Founder Eva, along with their two young kids, would fill and label the bottles to prepare them for sale.
The EVO Additive Manufacturing Center
The EVO is Airwolf 3D’s first machine to feature an air cleansing system. While studies on 3D printer emissions have shown that FFF machines do not emit significant, much less dangerous emissions, it is still a cause for concern for some of our users. The requests for 3D printer air filtration have come primarily from our Education customers. Teachers and parents of students using 3D printers have expressed concerns about using 3D printers in a classroom, worrying that the emissions that result as a byproduct of the extrusion process could have harmful effects.
In response to these requests, we built in a solution to the new EVO Additive Manufacturing Center. The EVO features two oversized filters: a HEPA filter and an active Carbon filter. The integrated filters are installed directly beneath the print bed for active containment of UFP and VOC emissions during the desktop manufacturing process.
Green 3D Printing Initiatives
The Airwolf 3D Wolfpack strives to support our community, and we love it when we can work with innovative customers and organizations on initiatives that help reduce waste and serve a higher cause.
Old 3D Prints Find New Life at Child Creativity Lab
The Child Creativity Lab in Santa Ana, CA approached us asking if there was anything we could do to help support their CCL Depot for Creative Reuse, a program that specializes in creating pre-packaged STEM-Based Challenge Kits for kids. Together, we eventually realized we already had a perfect solution right in front of us. As a company full of obsessive 3D printing geeks, we generate boxes of test prints and sample parts that we really don’t know what to do with. What better use for all those extra prints than donating them to the Child Creativity Lab for use in “Mini-Creativity Stations” where underprivileged kids can have fun building super cool things.
Scrap Acrylic Repurposed for Great Causes
Another example of a creative relationship that we have that helps create value while reducing waste is with one of our customers, Mark Bush. A local high school teacher who teaches STEM, Mark found an innovative way to repurpose the scrap acrylic from AXIOM printers. With a little help from his own 3D printer, laser cutter, LED lights, and a microcontroller, Mark creates beautifully illuminated custom lights for his family and friends. But Mark’s creativity and resourcefulness doesn’t stop there. Mark uses the money he makes from the custom signs to purchase supplies for new projects for his students.
Closed Loop Plastics Recycled Filament
We’re also just as happy watching our amazing customers tackle the challenges of saving the planet. We first met the founders of Closed Loop Plastics when they were students at the University of California Irvine. In an effort to make 3D printing a more sustainable practice, Will Amos and Aldrin Lupisan developed a plastic recycling system as a student project. Now a full-fledged startup, Closed Loop Plastics specializes in manufacturing filament out of plastic waste — a feat with the potential to disrupt the 3D printing industry and help save the planet.
Happy Earth Day!
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