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3D printing to recycle waste A researcher from Victoria University

“The filament rolls can either

of Wellington is revealing new ways

be sold for use on 3D printers

to recycle waste in the Pacific using

across the world, or people in

3D printing.

the Pacific can start 3D printing

The project began when Lionel Taito-

their own objects, like souvenirs,

Matamua, a Master of Design Innovation,

household items and spare parts.

saw firsthand the lack of education in

“This approach … creates

the Pacific around recycling. “There is

jobs and incomes for local

so much plastic and other recyclable

families. It’s the whole idea

waste in the Pacific,” he said, “and local

of creating a cottage industry

companies, industries and people don’t

through 3D printing and digital

know how to dispose of it properly.

creation.”

“For example, landfills in Samoa are

Taito-Matamua has created

not divided into separate areas — paper,

3D scans and models of various

different types of plastic and organic

items, including shells and turtle skulls.

printers over to the Pacific and establishing

waste are all mixed together.”

“These also educate people about disposing

a system if locals aren’t the users.” Together with his collaborative partners

Taito-Matamua has now found an

of waste,” he said. “We can transform

alternative option to repurpose and re-

materials that are potentially harmful to

— Victoria’s School of Design,

use the waste to produce useful items.

local wildlife.”

Accelerator, Viclink and Te Ropu Awhina

NZ

Product

He explained, “Once you separate the

As part of his research, Taito-Matamua

— Taito-Matamua has now created an

different types of plastic items from a

identified the importance of upskilling the

outreach program called Creative Pathways.

landfill, you can shred them into small

general public about new technology and

He goes into classrooms to give children

particles and extrude that through a

digital literacy and believes that outreach

the opportunity to interact with these

specialist machine that makes the filament

into local Pacific communities is needed. He

different types of technology and teachers

rolls used in 3D printing.

noted, “There is no point in us taking 3D

to teach through new learning tools.

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Sustainability Matters Aug/Sep 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Aug/Sep 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...