The world is drowning in plastic. It’s an immediate problem that we have to learn to deal with now. The longer we wait, the worse off we’ll be.
3D printing is a relatively new technology that has great potential in terms of its capabilities–producing things like prosthetics, orthotics, and replacement parts for medical equipment offer a great deal of benefits to humanity–but it threatens to compound our growing challenges around plastic waste.
That’s where Full Circle Filament (FCF) comes in.
Full Circle Filament is attempting to counter the growing plastic waste problem by producing the world’s first ethical 3D printing filament. In addition to using recycled plastic, we’ll work with members of the informal recycling community (individuals who collect plastics and sell them to local shops recycling shops) to source the plastics we use. The goals of doing so are to increase the incomes of the informal recycling workers, while also increasing recycling rates.
Full Circle Filament is working to build a sustainable business that will provide multiple benefits to the communities it serves, but it will also act as a model for future circular economy initiatives. To do so, it will show others how they might reconceive the way they view and use the valuable resources that are being wasted all around us, in a way that broadly benefits their communities.
FCF’s project lead is a member of the faculty at the School of Global Studies at Thammasat University’s School of Global Studies, a school that teaches social enterprise and social innovation at the undergraduate level. Through the project, many students will be able to try their hand at various parts of the social enterprise to help them gain experience as they work towards launching their own ventures.
Our team has developed a process for recycling plastic into a high-quality 3D printing filament. It has been tested in labs that found it to produce sharp, durable prints. We’re now ready to take the next step to begin producing filament for testing with local 3D printing shops, to gain additional feedback on the material as we perform market research and work towards product launch.
FCF is currently looking for help to bring our initial product to market. We have strong support from the project partners below, but we could use additional help in areas like market research/marketing. We’re also looking for seed funding to help bridge the gap between where we are, having completed the proof of concept, to where we need to go, having developed a list of customers and developed a reliable supply chain. Once we get there, we’ll be able to collect customer feedback and additional data, that will help us move towards a larger-scale manufacturing phase. If you’d like to learn more, please drop us a line.
Covestro is “among the world’s leading manufacturers of high-tech polymer materials for all key industries.” The firm’s inclusive business unit initiated the project that led to the initiation of Full Circle Filament, and it remains a strong partner.
Covestro blends the PET and other inputs to create the pellets that will become filament, as well as providing material testing to help develop FCF’s products.
Endeva helps create business models and ecosystems that include low-income people into value chains for mutual benefit.
Endeva is an integral partner that supports the effort with project management, research, and relationship building.
Filabot builds machines which recycles plastic into filament for use in 3D printers.
Filabot provides testing services and tech support on filament extrusion that’s done with their machines.
The School of Global Studies
Thammasat University’s School Global Studies (SGS) is an academic initiative based in Bangkok, Thailand, that delivers innovative programs, projects, and research around social enterprise, sustainability, and social innovation.
The SGS team is launching the FCF hub which will coordinate inclusive sourcing and processing of plastics for recycling, as well as filament production.
Full Circle Filament
FCF is a social enterprise that’s working at the nexus of inclusive business and the circular economy. We’re part of an effort that’s working to turn waste PET bottles into high-quality 3D printing filament to help meet the growing demand of that sector in an ethical, sustainable manner.
FCF is developing the strategy, and leading market research. It will also lead the sales, marketing, and operational management.
Interested in learning more? Drop us a line.