May 24, 2016 | By Tess

What makes 3D printing an especially innovative and accessible technology is the fact that developments within it come not only from highly-funded government agencies, or from corporate labs, but they often come from a wider part of society. Entrepreneurs, people working in various industries, and even students have helped to make an impact on the advancements of 3D printing technologies. A team of students from Michigan Tech, for instance, are making their mark in the industry by developing a brand of recycled 3D printing filaments called Superior Filament.

The Houghton, Michigan-based startup was co-founded last year by business management student Cedric Kennedy, Josh Krugh, who is studying materials science and engineering, and two other students. And though the startup underwent an unfortunately unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign last December, they are still carrying on thanks to over $18,000 in funding from a number of pitch competitions, including the Elevator Pitch Competition held at Michigan Tech last November.

The students behind the 3D printing filament startup are hoping to make their mark in the additive manufacturing world by making it more eco-friendly and sustainable. Specifically, the startup is developing a method by which they can create quality filaments from used soda bottles, water bottles, milk jugs and other consumer plastics. Cedric Kennedy explained in an interview, “3D printing is so young and such new technology. We have an opportunity to change the course in which how this revolution is being fueled. We focus on plastics…At this point in time, when we’re preventing more plastics from entering out ocean, we don’t only just want to prevent it, we also want to help eliminate the plastic that’s already there.”

Currently, some of Superior Filament’s recycled products are available for pre-sale through their website, including an rPET filament ($24.95 per kg) and an rABS filament ($29.95). They are also selling a standard PLA filament ($20.95 per kg), which while not explicitly made of recycled materials, is at least bio-degradable. According to Superior Filament’s website, they will soon be launching two new materials: an rPLA or recycled polylactic acid filament made from post consumer waste, and an rHDPE or high-density polyethylene filament made from the type of plastic that milk jugs are made from. The pre-sale filaments are expected to ship as of July 2016.

Of course, the startup is still looking for more funding to fully get on its feet, and will be launching a new crowdfunding campaign this June in an effort to raise at least another $10,000. The funds, as Kennedy explains, will go towards purchasing office space for the startup which will allow them to establish a manufacturing facility to “really get this business off the ground”. The team at Superior Filaments, which currently consists of seven people are hopeful that their products will make a difference.

Stay tuned to hear about Superior Filament’s crowdfunding campaign next month.



Posted in 3D Printing Materials



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richard swallow wrote at 7/14/2017 7:02:16 AM:

good job

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