Waste to wonder to explore possibilities with recycled materials in 3D printing

Mattew A. Olawumi, Bankole I. Oladapo (Lead / Corresponding author), Omolayo M. Ikumapayi, John O. Akinyoola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


In a world grappling with environmental challenges and the need for sustainable manufacturing practices, the convergence of 3D printing and recycling emerges as a promising solution. This research paper explores the potential of combining these two technologies and comprehensively analyses their synergistic effects. The study delves into the printability of recycled materials, evaluating their suitability for 3D printing and comparing their performance with conventional materials. The environmental impact of 3D printing with recycled materials is examined through a sustainability analysis and a life cycle assessment of recycled 3D printed objects. The findings reveal significant benefits, including enhanced resource efficiency, waste reduction, and customisation possibilities. The research also identifies challenges and opportunities for scaling up the use of recycled materials in 3D printing, highlighting the importance of collaboration, innovation, and regulations. With potential applications spanning various industries, from prototyping to construction and healthcare, the implications of this research are far-reaching. By embracing sustainable practices, industry collaboration, and innovation, the integration of 3D printing and recycling can pave the way for a more sustainable future, where resource conservation, circularity, and customised production are at the forefront of manufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number167109
Number of pages11
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online date16 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023


  • 3D printing
  • Recycling
  • Sustainability
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Circular economy
  • Printability assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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