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I am planning on getting a 3D printer soon and I was just wondering, what do you do with 3D prints that either failed or were prototypes that you no longer want?
I tried looking online but the closest I got was effects on environment, turning prints back into filament, or restarting a failed print half-way, none of which were the information I was looking for.

The solution should be somewhat eco and just keeping unwanted prints in a box somewhere isn't a very good solution either.
Finishing off failed prints isn't totally applicable because it wouldn't apply to prototype prints that you don't want to keep.

Is there anywhere to send failed 3D prints for professional recycling, or are there any recommendations for properly disposing 3D prints?

In case this is of any use, the printer I am planning to get uses filament that can be made of PLA, ABS, Nylon, and possibly other materials. The printer is this one specifically (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/101hero/101hero-the-world-first-us49-3d-printer) from KickStarter.

1 Answer 1

It will be very difficult to find a recycling facility that will accept your 3D prints, because they're mainly set up to handle packaging material (which constitutes the vast majority of plastic waste) such as bottles. If you sent your 3D prints to your municipal recycling programme they would at best sort it out from the packaging material and incinerate it, and at worst it would contaminate a batch of recycled plastic (of a different type).

You might be able to find a recycling company that specializes in recycling the plastics used in your printer, but given the extremely low volume involved it is not worth their or your time to handle it.

You should discard your prints as household waste, and offset your environmental impact some other way (by paying for some trees to be planted, or investing in renewable energy,...) - this would be a more viable use of your time and resources.