Green FabLab

Towards a distributed and
local plastic recycling for OS 3D printing

Fabio A. Cruz Sanchez

Équipe de Recherche sur les Processus Innovatifs (ERPI)
Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés (LRGP)

  • Hakim Boudaoud (ERPI)
  • Sandrine Hoppe (LRGP)
  • Mauricio Camargo (ERPI)

The Challengue: Reduction of Landfill

  • Production Production (2015):
    • World: 322 Mt/year
    • Europe: 58 Mt/year (18.5%)
  • Plastic Wastes (2015): 25.8 million tonnes

Source: Plastics Europe

Plastics waste is a key resource towards circular economy

17 Goals to transform our world

Goal 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patters
  • Paradigm change:
    from linear economic model ('take-make-dispose') to Circular
    “ The value of products and materials is maintained for as long as possible...”
  • Rethinking products and services using principles based on:
    • ✓ durability
    • ✓ renewability
    • ✓ reuse
    • ✓ repair
    • ✓ replacement
    • ✓ upgrades
    • ✓ refurbishment
    • ✓ reduced material use

  • Circular Economy Action Plan
    • Production
    • Consumption
    • Waste management
    • From waste to resources
    • Strategy for Plastics
      • Secondary raw materials
      • Quality standards for Second raw materials?
      • Clarification of "Waste"..
      • Legislation..

The Opportunity: Open Source (OS) 3D Printing

The Way: (OS) 3DP at the FabLab context

What is a FabLab?

A fab lab (fabrication laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering (personal) digital fabrication.

  • Space to make (almost) anything responding to a local need
  • Social dynamics of cooperation, collaboration
  • Local and global impact thanks to share information through the network

Democratization tools for personal expression!

Morel, L., & Le Roux, S. (2016). Fab Labs. Fab Labs. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Where are the FabLabs?

More than a 1000 Fablabs around the world! (146 en France)

Who is interested?

In 2015, over 1.2M persons experienced 151 Maker Faires in 30 counntries around the world

More and more people are getting in touch with technology!

Technologies in a FabLab?

3D printing.... but formally Additive Manufacturing!

What is Additive Manufacturing?

“ A process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies. ”
  • ✓ Geometry Freedom
  • ✓ Customization a reduced cost
  • ✓ Digital Fabrication (reduced human interaction in the fabrication)
  • ✓ Material efficiency
  • ✗ Fabrication speed
  • ✗ Materials availability
  • ✗ Standards

American Society for Testing and Materials. F2792-12a Standard Terminology for Additive Manufacturing Technologies (2012).


Technologies in Additive Manufacturing?

  • SLA

    VAT Photopolymerisation

  • Powder Bed Fusion

  • Directed Energy Deposition

  • Sheet Lamination

  • Poudre process

  • Material Extrusion

  • Binder Jetting

Seven main types of technologies

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Commercial Open Source
Principle CAD + GCode + Printing CAD + GCode + Printing
Cost Expensive (5.000€ - 800€K) Low-cost (Under $5000)
Methodology Closed Design (Patented) Open design
Printer Standardized Personalized
Quality: Assured by company. Complex?

  • Expiration of patents (FDM patent in 2009)
  • Internet facilities
  • Common-Based Peer Production (Kostakis and Papachristou 2014)

Our Research

To propose a sustainable waste management option for plastic waste using the open-source additive manufacturing, in the context of prototyping spaces.

Nevertheless, many issues have to be solved to achieve the Green FabLab vision

Our challengue

  1. How can we evaluate the technical feasability to recycle plastic for 3D printing technology?

  2. How can we establish a logistic model to collect the plastic for the FabLab?

Methodological Framework

To evaluate technical feasability to recycle plastic for 3DP?

Operational methodology

To evaluate technical feasability to recycle plastic for 3DP?

Preliminary results of our work, so far

Mechanical properties of Recycled PLA.

Injection Vs. 3D Printing

Polylactic Acid (PLA) and Tensile strengh properties

Mechanical properties of Recycled PLA.

  • Injected Samples

    3D Printed Samples

  • Elastic Modulus [MPA]

    - 8 samples per cycle, and per recycling process chain. Five cycles

    - Injection: 3.7% reduction of Elastic module

    - 3DP (45/45): +4.7%

    - 3DP (0/90): 4.17%

  • Tensile Strength [MPA]

    - Injection: -19.8% reduction of Tensile strength

    - 3DP (45/45): -41.2%

    - 3DP (0/90): -38.1%

Mechanical properties of Recycled PLA.

Recycling → Viscosity → 3DP meso-structure → Mechanical Properties

Mechanical properties of Recycled PLA.

  • 1. Material Definition

    Polylactic Acid (PLA) 4043D (NatureWorks)

    Polymer intended for 3DP according to manufactuer

  • 2. Process

    Extrusion process for the fabrication of the feedstock 3DP.

  • 3. Fabrication

    Two types of samples

  • 4. Evaluation

    Tensile properties

  • 5. Recycling

    Shredding process

We had results but...

  • We need to consider real plastics wastes...

  • ✘ Starting from a virgin material

    ✘ Laboratory conditions.. (~200k€)

Partnership with
Industrial actors

Broplast Goal: Thermoplastic collecting/sorting/recycling

  • Division of AUREA
  • 36 employes
  • 8000 tonns/year
  • Recycling in-situ on Automobile Industry
  • 17000 m2 stock
  • ABS

  • PS-Choc

  • PS-Crystal

  • Surlyn

Preliminary results of our work, so far

Recycled Filament for 3DP
  • ABS

  • PS-Choc

  • PS-Crystal

  • Surlyn

Validation of the technical feasability using laboratory conditions

Printing with recycling plastic
  • ✌ ABS

  • ✌ PS-Choc

  • ☠ PS-Crystal

  • ☠ Surlyn

Towards a Printability Index...

Towards a Printability Index...

  • How we can evaluate the relevance of a material for the 3D Printing technology?
    • Technical elements:
      • Mechanical issues
      • Chemical Aspects
      • Security/Hardazous
    • Logisitc / Disponibility
    • Properties of the printed object
    • Notion of usage
    • ...

Our challengue

  1. How can we evaluate the technical feasability to recycle plastic for 3D printing technology?

  2. How can we establish a logistic model to collect the plastic for the FabLab?


  • Considering resources of a FabLab
  • Cost reduced respected to laboratory conditions
  • Technical viability


  • Local circuit around the FabLab.
  • Potential sources of plastic waste: Restaurants, Librarys, Schools.. etc

Towards a local and distributed recycling model

  • Optimal Radius?
  • Mean of transport? Car / Moto / Cycle?
  • Quantity?
  • Environmental and Economical Analysis

for distributed plastic recycling model...

We need to contextualize the reversal logistics model...

  • What kind of plastic?
    Where they came from?
    Dangerous additives?
    Sorting technology?
    Cleaning process? etc...

Model very complex... we have to symplify it..

  • Suppositions:
    Type of waste:
    Type Plastic?:
    Where they came from?

we will consider:

  • Only 3D printing wastes relatively 'clean'
  • PLA and ABS
  • Schools and Technical Institutions
  • Projection for the 5 years coming

Mathematical Model

The mains goals are:

  • Quantity of plastic to recycle
  • Select best collecting points from potential sources
  • Establish optimal routes
  • Comparation of means of transport
  • Economical and enviromental aspects

Objective Function (OF):


$OF= Max[\textcolor{Orange}{Operational~Benefice} + \textcolor{Purple}{Environmental~Benefice}]$

Objective Function (OF):

$OF= Max[\textcolor{Orange}{Operational~Benefice} + \textcolor{Purple}{Environmental~Benefice}]$

$\textcolor{Orange}{OB} = \textcolor{RoyalBlue}{Cost~Virgin} - \textcolor{SkyBlue}{Recycling~Cost}$

$\textcolor{Purple}{EB} = \textcolor{ForestGreen}{Emissions~CO_{2}(Virgin)} - \textcolor{LimeGreen}{Emissions~CO_{2}(Recycling)}$

  • Three type of Restrictions:
    - Routes
    - Means of Transport
    - Capacity on FabLab
    - Time
  • $ \textcolor{RoyalBlue}{Cost~Virgin} = \left( CDPM + \sum\limits_{i \in I}\sum\limits_{c \in C}\sum\limits_{r \in R} q_{i}*PR_{irc} *cmu \right)$

    $ \textcolor{SkyBlue}{Recycling~Cost} = \left( \sum\limits_{i \in I} \sum\limits_{j \in I} \sum\limits_{c \in C} \sum\limits_{r \in R} X_{ijrc} * d{ij} * g_{c} + \sum\limits_{i \in I}\sum\limits_{c \in C}\sum\limits_{r \in R} q_{i}*PR_{irc} *cpu \right)$

    $\textcolor{ForestGreen}{Emissions~CO_{2}(Virgin)} = \left( \sum\limits_{i \in I}\sum\limits_{c \in C}\sum\limits_{r \in R} q_{i}*PR_{irc} * qCO_{2}f * pem \right)$

    $ \textcolor{LimeGreen}{Emissions~CO_{2}(Recycling)} = \left( \sum\limits_{i \in I}\sum\limits_{c \in C}\sum\limits_{r \in R} q_{i}*PR_{irc} * qCO_{2}r * pem + \sum\limits_{i \in I} \sum\limits_{j \in I} \sum\limits_{c \in C} \sum\limits_{r \in R} X_{ijrc} * d{ij} * qCO_{2}t *pem \right)$

Bing, X., Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J. M., & van der Vorst, J. G. (2014). Sustainable reverse logistics network design for household plastic waste. Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal, 26(1-2), 119-142.
Bing, X., de Keizer, M., Bloemhof-Ruwaard, J. M., & van der Vorst, J. G. (2014). Vehicle routing for the eco-efficient collection of household plastic waste. Waste management, 34(4), 719-729.

Preliminary results

Questionnary in order to obtain real data to validate the model..


  • Circular economy is a need in order to change the paradigms
  • Plastic recycling for 3D printing is one option to valorize the waste
  • We need to define notion of quality for a recycled material for 3DP
  • We need to establish the technical/Economical of the local recycling

Green FabLab

Towards a distributed and
local plastic recycling for OS 3D printing

Thank you very much for your attention..

  • Fabio A. Cruz Sanchez (ERPI)
  • Hakim Boudaoud (ERPI)
  • Sandrine Hoppe (LRGP)
  • Mauricio Camargo (ERPI)