Recycling printer consumables


It would be really good to know if Formlabs are looking into any recycling solutions for their products. They say that cartridges and tanks can all be disposed of as household waste, but then how many must now be sat in landfill across the globe?

The base structure of the cartridge is Polypropylene which can be recycled, but because its black it can’t be picked up by the near infrared optical sorting, as a result we cannot send it with our recycling. I appreciate that because the resins are light sensitive that restricts options for the cartridge material, but surely the base doesn’t need to be? Is anyone even looking into this?

We’re really pleased with our printers and results, but I can’t help feeling this is the one area that Formlabs really drops the ball.

Pouring resin out to extend tank lifetime?

It would be helpful to the environment if Formlabs designed their tanks to be able to be refurbished. Officially. And ideally by the user.
The do it with their Form2 printer.
Logistics are tricky, but for example, they could offer to do it per batch of 5 trays at once.

It would be really nice to see some commitment on a mission statement level (every other company on earth as well, actually :slight_smile:) on how they do their very best to preserve the planet.

Some things could be accomplished straight away. I mean: Do yo need a new tray containment box with every new tray?


I totally agree!

Yes logistics are tricky, and sometimes what appears to be a greener solution can actually be worse, but if that were the case then just be honest and explain the situation. The fact that we hear nothing makes me believe that nothing is being tried or tested, or even discussed.

Surely it would be in their interests to be proactive on this, both from a PR/ marketing standpoint, but also to generate a solution that could potentially reduce manufacturing costs?


I totally agree!


Totally agree - a recycling option would be great (and demonstrate some social responsibility for Formlabs).


I agree to the user refurbishment option. The only parts that wear out need to be replaced.


Ah, but then they can’t charge you $149 for a whole new cartridge!