When I first started my business I wasn’t very conscious of the fact that I was doing harm to the environment. That’s changing…
3D printing is something that uses a lot of resources; electricity to run the machines, plastic to print, it generates heat and noise, and then sending those prints out into the world also uses packaging materials.
While PLA, the material that I use for printing, is often advertised as ‘biodegradable’ it is in fact not under normal circumstances. It’s made using renewable and natural raw materials, such as corn from which the starch is turned into a plastic. However, while it can break down in a compost heap, it requires very specific circumstances to do so.
To that end I have managed to reduce my waste-plastic output significantly. Previously I was using larger blocks of plastic to purge colours for multi-material printing, but I have managed to reduce that by around 55% overall. Any remaining waste plastic is sent for recycling in the plastics bin.
My machines use between 80W and 110W for printing. Instead of running them both direct from the mains, I have them connected to an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). This charges a battery from the mains, and then sends the power to the printers, topping up the battery when it reaches a lower level.
While I haven’t properly measured the draw on the battery, I have seen a significant reduction in power usage since installing the UPS, despite an increased amount of printing hours. Thankfully, the majority of Scotland’s energy comes from renewable resources like wind and tidal power.
When it comes to posting my props I previously used a lot of either bubble wrap or packing peanuts to ensure that the props were safe on their journey. While both the bubble wrap and the packing peanuts are recyclable, I felt that the cost of using them was too great and would prefer to use more sustainable means. To that end, I am now using (wherever possible, some larger props may still require bubble wrap) paper packing, as well as recycled postage boxes.
I want Darny3D to be as energy-efficient as it can be, and not only provide you with the props you love but make a small change in my carbon footprint and ensure that climate change is fought.