Pitching for a Circular Economy: Part 2- Why We Presented our Big Idea to Bunker Labs Austin

Sharing our Vision to 3D Print from Reclaimed Plastic in Texas

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After reflecting on Aruba at Atech2016, Matthew and  I were convinced that our vision to 3D print from reclaimed plastic, albeit premature, was a passion we were compelled to continue sharing. We also felt it was imperative that in addition to casting our vision overseas, it was just as important that we pitch the opportunity to join our cause to our colleagues in Texas.  For this reason, I took a break from travel to join Mike Strong, Gigabot and Todd at the 2016 Austin Bunker Muster, a short walk…err roll….down the street from our Austin office.

We arrived a little sweaty, but stoked to assist our friends at Austin Bunker Labs in setting up for their annual fundraising event. Mike & Todd volunteered to help with setup & lighting while I paced around the block, practicing for the pitch competition that evening. The Muster in Austin was a unique event that brought together participants and partners for a day-long event of veteran entrepreneurs pitching their businesses, an Idea Lab for speakers, and a marketplace to buy products from veteran-owned small businesses. As a veteran employer & owned company, our entire team was humbled to support the festivities.

lighteningThe day flew by as we listened to talks, demoed Gigabot, and chatted with old friends such as Marcus from Vthreat.  We also made new relationships, including JP Morgan Chase, re:3D’s new banker!

As the evening drew a close, I found myself incredibly nervous as we prepared to pitch against 20 peers. Unlike past competitions, this time we took the stage in front of friends, not strangers. These contestants were heroes we revered, who had sacrificed time & limbs for opportunity. Taking the stage with them was perhaps the greatest honored of my life. Normalized with stage-fright and determined to support our buddies, we celebrated each other and our companies’ successes to date.

stumparmourpitchDuring the event, I struggled to convey our strategy for repurposing post-manufacturing waste into 3D printers in less than 90 seconds. Further adding to the anxiety was the realization that without winning, we would not have the resources to begin explore 3D printing from recyclables in Q1 2017.  It was only by leveraging the encouragement from friends like Travis from Stump Armour we presented our desire to 3D print from trash. With so many outstanding competitors, we were stunned to learned the community had honored us with $5K to make our idea a reality!

screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-7-34-58-pmWhere do we go next?

With $5K in hand we re:3D received much-needed affirmation that 3D printing from recyclables was not only something inherently right, but offered benefit for our neighbors. Taking a selfie with Austin Mayor Steve Adler gave us certainty that Austin & the Bunker community could incubate our audacious idea!

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~Happy Printing!

Samantha

Testing Fiberlogy HD PLA

Below are our notes that reflect our new open source filament testing. ASTM test samples are being created and in the upcoming months you can anticipate a summary on our website about our adventures in 3D printing material science. 

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MATERIAL TESTED: HD PLA

Manufacturer: Fiberlogy

Filament Diameter: 2.850 mm Normative, 2.851 Real Ave Diameter, +/- 0.02mm

Color Tested: Red

Date Tested: 11/15/2016

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OBSERVATIONS

Ease of use: Working with this filament was very enjoyable. It printed easily, was consistent and predictable. No breakage was noticed. The PLA appeared to be of a high quality.

Appearance: The filament displayed a pleasing red tone with an incredible sheen!

Size consistency: Awesome, less than 0.1mm within the roll, the filament measured 2.851mm

Color consistency: Great, consistent throughout the coil.

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SETTINGS

Print temperature: 200-220 C (suggested)/210C was used: nozzle / 60C : bed

Printer Used: Gigabot

Speed: 60 mm/s

Layer Height: 0.3mm

Infill: 15%

Type(s) of print surface used: PRINTnZ

List of test files printed: re:3D’s test files 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Logo, Vase, Moai and Benchy Torture Test).

img_5764You view watch a video summarizing our testing here:

FINDINGS

Odor: None

Bed adhesion (1: terrible – 5: fabulous!)

  • 5- Great adhesion was achieved with no temperature manipulation.

Stringing (1: lots – 5: none!)

  • 5 –No stringing was observed with our settings.

Shrinkage (1: lots – 5: none!)

  • 5- The filament extruded and cooled with no shrinkage.

Interlayer adhesion (1: terrible – 5: fabulous!)

  • 5- Perfect!

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NOTES:

  • We were first contacted by the Fiberlogy team last fall, who offered to send us a spool of their filament to evaluate on Gigabot. We recognize that the community is fortunate to have several PLA vendors to select from, however as not all PLA is created equal, and were eager to vet a European supplier for our customers accross the pond. Fiberlogy HD PLA boasts that it is a high quality and dependable PLA that has the added benefit of increasing strength when annealed.
  • Seeing that we offer a limited color selection in our store that ships from North America, we are always eager to test additional PLA sources.
  • This material appears to yield consistent, quality prints.
  • Filament size consistency was excellent and no breakage was evident in the 1 kg roll we examined, suggesting it was well mixed.
  • The packaging and spool design was futuristic, intentional, and of high quality.
  • No curling was observed in any of the 4 prints created.
  • We used the mid point of the temperature range that the manufacture provided (200-220C). No guidance was given for settings aside from temperature, so we used the standard Simplify3D profile on wiki.re3d.org.
  • The unboxing experience was outstanding and highly professional.
    • A batch number was provided for traceability.
    • Manufacturer recommended settings were easily referenced on sticker located on the packaging.

RECCOMENDATIONS:

  • After printing the four objects in our protocol, I support Fiberology’s claims that they produce high quality PLA and would recommend it to our customers.
  • Upon review, we would also recommend that we include this filament in our ASTM test sample research.
  • Per the guidance on their website , I did attempt to anneal the PLA in my oven at home, however without empirical testing against similar objects printing in ABS, I can not testify to the strength claims Fiberlogy asserts for annealed HD PLA.

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Want to chat?

Join our forum where we have initiated a thread about our experience at:

https://re3d.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/255640066-Testing-Fiberology-HD-PLA

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~Happy Printing!

Samantha