I have been searching through the forum to find some advice on the best/ethical methods for disposing of the resin cartridges and tanks?
I have kept the empties in storage for now as I don’t feel comfortable throwing something that has hazard warnings displayed across it, being thrown in general waste.
Really think it would be great if there was a return service for this from Formlabs. I suppose it’s one of the dark sides of a great technology, not easy to manage waste responsibly, in a world that needs less waste!
I would first look into reselling them. Some people might be interested in recycling the tanks (you can remove the PDMS layer and “cast” a new one in) and others might be interested in the cartridges to experiment with.
What we do here is cleaning the used tanks thoroughly (this allows to put the solvents and towels in a chemical wastes bin we have set up at work) and then dump them with the standard trash, as the PDMS and PMMA that the tanks are made of can be disposed of this way. No solution for the cartridge except from putting them ins a chemical waste bin, which takes a lot of space and costs money.
leave tanks in the sun for a couple days to cause ALL traces of photopolymer to cure completely.
Cut all cartridges in half and leave them in the sun as well.
Once polymers are photocured- they are no different than any other non-recyclable plastic that you might throw out. ( i.e. not necessarily good for the environment- but not being thrown in the ocean. )
if you want to get precious about it- you can sculpulously clean out any photopolymer- strip the PDMS layer out of the tanks And snap off the chip- the rest can be recycled with ordinary styrene. ( If the clear window at bottom is actually glass- strip that out as well.)
alternatively, if you instead religiously clean all traces of photopolymer out of the cartridges- strip out the chip and the valve- the rest is just ordinary polypropylene, and can also be recycled.
I wish there was a good answer to this, but the toxicity of the resin makes it hard to know what the right thing to do is, unless you’re confident about your cleaning ability. The last time I threw away a bunch I was saving was at Home Depot when they had a day they were taking toxic material. I told them they were paint supplies
As mentioned tanks and other resin outside of a cartridge is easy, just set it in a sunny spot for a day. All the resin will cure and you are no longer hazmat.
For the tank i’ve been thinking about making a 405nm LED on a wire. Basically just an LED or two on the end of a wire that you could hang in a spent tank to sure all the resin inside before disposal.
that’s another great idea
Someone should sell those. I would buy one. I guess that means I’ll have to make one myself, though.
Are there blacklight fairy lights, I wonder…