The circular economy is important to us, here at OmniDynamics. In many ways, it shapes everything that we do, from the type of packaging that we choose, to the manufacturers we decide to partner with. And yet we don’t talk about it much, so here’s a chance to set the record straight and answer some of the questions we’ve received in the past.
What exactly is the circular economy?
The circular economy is a little bit like an ecosystem, with the aim that materials and resources are reused, recycled, and repaired, rather than throwing them out and just replacing them. The idea is that everything keeps moving around the economy in different shapes and forms, instead of an open economy which constantly requires new things to be put back into it.
Consider paper for a minute. If we as a planet decided that we were never going to create any new paper, then any time we wanted to have ‘new’ paper, then we need to source it from the paper that already exists. That could mean reusing a piece of paper, recycling it, or making do without it.
What does that mean for me?
Most of us do not live circular economy lives, but in the last few years, it has become more of a focus. Reusable water bottles and coffee cups have made real headway across cafes and offices around the world, reducing the need for generating new plastic cups and bottles. The digital world has also enabled more swapping and reselling, enabling people to buy a car, laptop, or piece of jewellery that already existed rather than purchasing one that needed to be created to fulfil that order.
The circular economy doesn’t just have to benefit you, of course: it can also benefit you financially. Many cafes now offer discounts on drinks for those who purchase them with reusable cups, and some people live entirely by swapping goods and services with others, rather than spending money.
What is OmniDynamics doing about it?
It’s almost impossible not to hear about the challenge of plastics in the world right now. There are already vast amounts of waste plastic in the ocean and within communities, and yet it is still being generated by manufacturers. Just think how much plastic could be taken from the ocean and reused into the plastic that we need for our daily lives.
Although 3D printing has enabled many people around the world to create new things for themselves within the circular economy, the very act of 3D printing initially creates waste plastic while the filament heats up to the required temperature. There is also the challenge of not having the exact type of filament that you want, and having to make do with something that isn’t quite right, and can create additional waste.
That’s where we come in. Our Strooder generates filament for 3D printers that can be completely customised to the needs of the 3D design you are crafting, and at the same time can take waste plastic to form the filament itself. This moves the waste plastic back into the circular economy, and reduces the amount of other plastic that is needed to create the 3D design.
How will this change the world?
In small ways. We know that the world isn’t going to stop needing plastic any time soon, and in many cases, plastic is the best material for that specific requirement. We don’t want to stop people from using plastic, but instead we want to use plastic in a smarter way. By creating the possibility that 3D printers can contribute to the circular economy, we can immediately start to reduce the need for additional plastic to be manufactured – and with a cost saving to you, too.Want to learn more about the Strooder? Just click here.