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Recreus promotes 3D printing sustainability with new 100% recycled TPU filament

A Reciflex filament spool.  Photo via Recreus.

Spain-based manufacturer of 3D printing materials, Recreus, has launched a new flexible TPU filament that is 100% recycled.

Reciflex consists exclusively of waste from the shoe industry and Recreus’ own production processes. As sustainability drifts into modern business practices, the company is making a contribution to the circular economy and reportedly delivering the same high level of performance as Recreus’ Filaflex flagship flexible filament.

The material is described as “easy to print” and can be used with all TPU-compatible FFF 3D printers on the market. Parts made with Reciflex can also be recycled once they have served their purpose. In addition to introducing the new material, Recreus has been renamed slightly. The company name now stands for “Recycle, Create, Use”.

A Reciflex filament spool. Photo via Recreus.

Flexible parts production with Reciflex

how is it done? As soon as the raw material is recovered, Recreus magnetically shields the polymer in order to pick out and remove any remaining metal residues. This enables the company to guarantee that the final filament will perform as expected during the printing process. The TPU then goes through a plastic grinder to crush it and turn it into small pellets. At this point it is drawn into a spool of usable filament.

It’s worth noting that Reciflex is currently only available in glossy black, as the company adds a black pigment to the final product to homogenize its otherwise rainbow-colored color. Although the TPU filament comprises several polymer sources, it offers an excellent set of mechanical properties, impact resistance, and solvent resistance. The list of potential uses includes RC car wheels and protective covers for phones, GoPros and drones – staples of the 3D printing community.

Various Reciflex spools can have hardnesses in the range of 96A to 98A SHORE ‘A’ due to the slight variations in their raw materials. However, the company says this difference cannot be noticed in the final 3D printed parts. For successful 3D printing of the filament, Recreus recommends a nozzle temperature of 220 to 235 ° C, a bed temperature of 50 to 60 ° C, and a print speed between 20 and 60 mm / s.It is available in spools of 750 g and 3 kg with a Filament diameters of 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm available.

A 3D printed part made from Reciflex.  Photo via Recreus.A 3D printed protective cover made from Reciflex. Photo via Recreus.

Promotion of the circular economy

Additive manufacturing as a whole is largely viewed as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional manufacturing techniques, but the message isn’t that clear when looking at the entire product lifecycle. Therefore, the advance towards sustainable raw material production is important.

The German polymer manufacturer Covestro announced the introduction of a new sustainable line of 3D printing materials back in November. Similar to Reciflex, the Addigy filament range is partly made from recycled polymers and ultimately aims to meet the needs of the circular economy.

Elsewhere in Amsterdam, 3D printing filament maker Reflow has already launched its own environmentally friendly line of translucent ‘Seaglass’ materials. The company’s sustainable line of six rPETG filaments is made from recycled plastic from the region and is characterized by its impact resistance and temperature resistance.

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The picture shown shows a Reciflex filament spool. Photo via Recreus.

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