March 2023
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CASE STUDY 3 – Recycled Plastic 3D Printing

Case study intent: To demonstrate the use of potential local sources of plastic wastes as secondary raws materials for furniture purposes using 3D printing.


The University of Lorraine use case aims at evaluating and demonstrating the possibility of acting at a local level in favour of the environment by using part of the plastic waste to manufacture, repair, and/or customize products maintaining a durable and responsible vision throughout their life cycle.

The technological evolution in plastic recycling is mainly focused on developments in additive manufacturing (3D printing) and plastic injection molding that will allow the production of standard parts such as sheets and bars but also extremely complex parts.

In the Green FabLab where the use case is developed, it is important to focus on the initial state of the plastic waste, which is a factor to be considered in the evaluation of a complete recycling network, and the optimization of the collection carried on thanks to the creation of an Open-Source-Hardware Smart collector that allows identifying the weight inside the collectors in real-time. Furthermore, in terms of material control, it is essential the identification, variability/heterogeneity and refining of plastic waste for re-use.

The impact generated by the implementation of this type of activity in a specific ecosystem will be evaluated throughout the project, allowing a social, economic and environmental interaction around the plastic problem, between the Green Fablab, local actors, and the ecosystem formed by the other three Open Manufacturing Demonstrators Facilities’ (OMDF) in the framework of INEDIT project.

Tools / technologies involved
  • Production site / FabLab
  • Furniture manufacturer
  • Designer
  • Wood / filament supplier
  • 3D printing technical experts
  • Smart Collector
  • Path planning software
  • Fused granular fabrication
  • Consumer needs
  • Design specifications
  • DIT ecosystem technologies
  • DIT ecosystem stakeholders
  • 3D printed piece of plastic
  • Consumer satisfaction