Sep 29, 2016 | By Tess

French ink cartridge manufacturing company Armor has recently transitioned into the 3D printing materials industry with the launch of its first filament line Owa 3D. The new filament, fully recycled and made from high impact polystyrene (HIPS), is part of the cartridge manufacturer’s effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle printer cartridge plastic waste.

About a year ago, Armor launched its Owa campaign, which was aimed at reducing the amount of plastic cartridge waste in the world. According to the company, 360 million printer cartridges are purchased each year in Western Europe alone, with a staggering 70% of them ending up either in landfills or incinerated rather than recycled. Owa, therefore, was devised by Armor as a circular economy approach to dealing with this waste and cutting back on it significantly. Since the program’s launch, Armor has been picking up old cartridges from businesses and has effectively been turning them into new cartridges or breaking their materials down to become new office supplies.

Now, it seems Armor is branching out even further with its Owa initiative with its new 3D printing filament. If you haven’t guessed, the Owa 3D filament will itself be made from plastic from recycled cartridges, as well as other sources such as yogurt containers, etc. As mentioned, the filament will be made from high impact polystyrene, also known as HIPS, which itself is a more flexible and durable material than other standard 3D printing materials such as PLA or ABS.

Owa 3D, which is currently available in both France and Japan, is preparing to launch in the rest of Europe (for instance in Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Italy), as well as in the UK and Switzerland. The filament is compatible with most FDM 3D printers and will be available in standard filament spools of 750g, as well as in two diameters, 1.75mm and 2.85mm. Additionally, the recycled HIPS filament will be available in a range of 12 different colors, and can be tested by customers through “discovery” packs, which will comprise of six 162g spools of different colors.

Notable about Armor's Owa process as well, is that the company has agreed to pick up recyclable used cartridges from businesses in order to further incentivize them to recycle their office waste. From there, the used cartridges are brought to one of Armor’s processing facilities where they are either turned into new cartridges or 3D printing filament. The 3D printing filaments are currently being manufactured at Armor’s factory in Morocco as well as in La Chevrolière near Nantes.

No prices have been attached to the new recycled filament thus far, but interested parties and customers can follow the product’s launch countdown on the Owa 3D website.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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