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Sustainability of Photopolymer AM

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Conference Abstract: Sustainability has become a major initiative for companies and consumers across industries. Corporate mandates, government initiatives, concern for environmental impact, and increasing interest from consumers to purchase products manufactured sustainably are some of the factors that have brought sustainability to the forefront of consideration. The definition of “sustainability” as it pertains to materials and additive manufacturing (AM) can be elusive, making it difficult for corporate leaders and engineers to define and incorporate true sustainable approaches, materials, and capabilities. By incorporating a process or technology touted as “sustainable”, the environmental impact compared to the incumbent material or technology should also be compared.

Additive manufacturing has natural advantages that lend it to be a sustainable technology. In this presentation, we will summarize the advantages of AM photopolymer technology, how photopolymer additive 3D printing and materials incorporate sustainability practices, and include industry examples. For the purposes of this presentation, sustainability will encompass renewability, recyclability, degradability, and reusability, at a minimum. This presentation will also include points for consideration if you are considering incorporating aspects of “sustainability” into your product development of materials, printers, or end-use parts and products.