Sculptur – a second life for plastic waste

A staggering 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are dumped into the sea every year. Another 150 million tonnes of rubbish is floating in the world’s oceans, 80 per cent of it plastic.

In a pioneering project, Swedish sustainable additive manufacturing company Sculptur is turning the discarded nets and other plastic waste into furniture and other design products, using a specially adapted robot from technology leader ABB. The industrial robot now functions as an advanced 3D printer.

Because the robot can extrude the plastics from any angle, at 35 kilos per hour, it is far superior to conventional 3D printers and helps save around 50 per cent of the base material.

ABB’s simulation and offline programming software RobotStudio offers a complete digital twin of physical assets. Together with a newly developed add-on for 3D printing, they ensure that the printing robot can be programmed in just a few minutes. A complete designer piece can be manufactured in less than two hours.

Sculptur’s vision is to bring this sustainable form of digital industrial production to the world by developing 3D-printing hubs. Furniture and other products can be manufactured in this sustainable form by using locally collected waste and sending digital files between the hubs.


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