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The Reprap's impact on the environment

Posted by anton 
The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 10, 2010 05:44PM
Lately I've come to thinking about the vision of the reprap project, about critical volumes, a reprap in every home, and so on; and it occured to me, if the vision and perspective of this project is to have a significant impact on how things are produced in the future. Then I think we also need to evaluate the environmental impact of the reprap.

When listening into some of the debates in various forums, we are debating using some chemicals known to be pretty tough on the environment, nano particles some of which are known or suspected of being pretty harmful. Heck, I get the impression that most people are using ABS rather than PLA.

I did a quick google search of the forums but didn't find much about the environmental impact of the reprap, in case there were previous discussions, could anybody provide me with pointers, if not, is the environmental impact something we should worry about?
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 10, 2010 06:12PM
Environmental impact of the reprap

Generally it is very positive. As we are making parts locally we do not need to burn fuel to bring the product from China and therefore do not need to build the trucks, ships, trains, roads and rail tracks which therefore reduces pollution and the chance of accidents which cause oils spills etc.

Hopefully the reprap will make the 5,000 mile part a thing of the past.
Note: 5000 miles - The distance between America - the world’s consumer
and china – the world’s factory.

As for the plastic the reprap uses there has been a lot of work being done on using PLA which is biodegradable and can be locally produced.

Hopefully that is enough to get you started on your research.

Regards

Stephen
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 10, 2010 07:17PM
There are also a few threads talking about making recyclers for repraps, so that when they finally begin to produce vast amounts of goods, the used, broken, or rejected can be crunched up, and remade into plastic filaments, ready to make new parts. As the items made by repraps get more complicated (conductive materials, embedded fiberglass, cast or machined metals) it will become harder to separate them back out to recycle. But the advantage of a machine is that it can spend lots of time on a single task without getting bored. And when used in individual homes, the recycling phase will not be a negative impact if it takes hours or days to disassemble the old parts and return them to raw material form.

However you do have a valid concern. Nothing can fill Landfills faster than a geometrically growing base of personal fabricators that make the cheesiest things the owner temporarily wants.

Mike
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 10, 2010 08:34PM
This is one of the main reasons I only use PLA. There's a lot of talk about recycling ABS, but it really does not recycle well, even in commercial operations. PLA should recycle a bit better, as it doesn't loose so many volatile compounds during the melt process, and if it doesn't, we can always compost it.

Composting PLA is not as easy as composting vegetables, but at least it's possible.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 11, 2010 01:16AM
The purpose of this thread, wasn't really to gather information relevant to researching the environment impact, but an attempt to get a debate going.

I have no doubt that everything pans out for reprap, it will have an impact on society similar to the cotton gin and mass production.

I do however not see a compelling reason why the reprap should reduce the shipping of materials, as I see it as analogous to moving down the food chain. Instead of moving finished items, raw materials will have to be shipped, currently those goods are: plastic welding rods, electrical components, machined metal parts of various metallurgical composition. Who knows what kind of materials the future will bring to the reprap?

In one thread the electrical properties of carbon nanotubes was discussed, however research is starting to demonstrate that carbon nano tubes has an impact on the lungs similar to asbestos. In another thread the use - and means of production - of nano scale silver particles is discussed, those particles are also used to kill germs, the silver particles have been demonstrated to remain in the environment and drain into the soil, contaminating the ground water. Silver nano particles kills germs indiscriminately, both the good and the bad.

I believe that in creating a machine like the reprap, which many hopes will replace a good portion of the current production system, we need to ensure that we do not carry over - or even worse, increase - the problems we currently have with producing goods in an environmentally sound way.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 11, 2010 01:43AM
However you do have a valid concern. Nothing can fill Landfills faster than a geometrically growing base of personal fabricators that make the cheesiest things the owner temporarily wants.

Agreed. It's one of the immediate consequences of RepRap that most science fiction readers think of within 1-2 hours of hearing of the project. Ditto a library of things to make, ditto 'what if someone makes a weapon', ditto 'Grey Goo', ditto 'That's a cool project. I think I'll fork it.'. smiling smiley

I'm not being dismissive, but I've wondered about how each of these things will play out. Now you're wondering as well.

See also:
[www.foresight.org]

So, yes, we are working on the Recycler. RepRap is about technical solutions to problems. (Because no one reads my essays, which would be a social solution to a problem). smiling smiley

We're also investigating sustainably sourced thermoplastics like PLA.

If you assume peak energy, peak oil, and other resource allocation issues are true, then plastic prices will shoot up and we'll all start printing durable stuff and we'll all start recycling stuff. If your plastic trowel breaks, you print another. Once that one breaks, you get pissed off and design a durable one.

There's a chance RepRap will get into cutting metal stuff, and there is [[Laser Cutter]].
[objects.reprap.org]
and that will make it easy to do thing like take those Coroplast (cardboard shaped plastic) political signs and 'Student Painter' signs and treat them like raw material.

But really, I don't know what the economic model of a World With RepRaps looks like. Idealistic green utopia? Generic post-apocalyptic desert planet, but with huge dunes of plastic whistles that never got turned into RepRaps?

One of the things that may happen is that people will develop a respect for the stuff they make - the same way that people don't throw away books. They trade them, sell them, archive them, etc, but most people don't read a book and landfill it. But they do landfill newspapers (when they don't recycle them). Is the RepRapped widgit more like a book or a newspaper?

This is turning into a ramble, because I don't have the answers either. I'm hoping we'll see something like respect for personal craftsmanship 2.0. RepRaps are sufficiently non-instant gratification that you have to think about what you're making, and make decisions to print X rather than Y.

On the other other hand, we're all fabrication geeks in here, so I don't know how this will play out in the population that does want a cornucopia machine, but doesn't care about details.

As the items made by repraps get more complicated (conductive materials, embedded fiberglass, cast or machined metals) it will become harder to separate them back out to recycle.

Agreed, especially regarding the reinforced plastics and blended stuff.

Eventually we may see regulation of the feedstock-sellers, if the RepRap movement gets big enough, as they'll have to answer to this:
[en.wikipedia.org]
I know no one likes to be restricted on what they sell or make, and yes, lead solder flows better and is easier to use than the new stuff, etc, etc. But we probably already have enough metals and plasticizers in our water supply so ... ?

Dunno.

I've a good idea for a new [[Motto]], though:
Please self-replicate responsibly - RepRap.org


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
VDX
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 11, 2010 03:15AM
... i have two reasons why i'm not arleady happy fabbing things with a FDM-extruder but are working on stuff like paste-dispensers or laser-cutters:

- first issue was the accuracy i need ...

- second issue was the sourcing/resourcing and 'landfilling' aspect of the fabbing materials ...

With pastes mixed from ceramic dust or microspheres and some solvent as waterglass i'll have essentially 'sand' as fabbing material ... even the glass- or rock-spheres are made from environmentally irrelevant material - you need only energy (eventually solar-powered?) to convert common available 'mud' into clean isomorphic resources ...

And with some more energy you'll transform the same 'mud' into metals ... either powder for sintering or sheets for milling and cutting ...

So my vision goes to energy-transformers from solar sources into some megawatts of power locally and then let's do some sophisticated chemistry grinning smiley


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 11, 2010 03:15AM
@Sebastien: Ok, point taken about economics eventually forcing people away from plastics made from mineral oils.

There is however a lot of research going on in the reprap community, which does raise some concerns, e.g. there is a talk about Rose's metal (lead) and Wood's metal (lead and cadmium), both metals are subject to RoHS. Further more, I see a lot of suggestions for using materials which are known or suspected to be unsafe in various ways: environmental, health etc.

At the time of the industrial revolution there was very little knowledge about environmental feedback systems and health issues (heck they believed the cholera moved through the phlogiston). When considering the stated goals of the project, I believe we must consider - at least - the impact of the materials used to build the reprap as well as the materials we recommend as building materials. Anything else would be a mistake of omission IMO.

Some seem to believe that the reprap is on the brink of achieving a sufficient growth rate to bring about widespread adoption, I am in no position to judge that claim, but if that claim is true, we need to focus not only on the reprap technology but also on the "cradle to grave" impact of this technology. Surely if we do not do this ourselves, any detractors to the project will definitely do so.

As for creating weapons: I'm hard pressed to think of any human invention which cannot be used either as a weapon or used to produce a weapon, such an invention might exist, but at the moment I cannot recall a single one.

As for forking: I believe that this is a different subject unrelated to this thread, but forking usually carries a lot of drawbacks, which I believe both RapMan and BfB is starting to realize.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 11, 2010 09:40PM
It's worth remembering that Reprap can't be considered in isolation. Everybody freaks out about lead but I'll bet most of them wouldn't bat an eye about using PVC piping in their house, for example.

Well children, the plasticising agent used in PVC piping is none other than lead acetate. A surprising amount is used in making PVC piping. I've watched PVC piping being extruded and they keep a 50 lb sack of lead acetate flakes sitting by the extruder hopper and dump in a big scoop every so often. That stuff leaches out into your water, sports fans! smoking smiley

Further, if you have a house fire and that PVC piping is burned you have PCBs out the kazoo, never mind vapourised lead and hydrochloric acid gas as well.

Same thing happens when that nice plastic coated romex wiring in your house burns. That crap is why firefighters wear oxygen masks when they enter a burning building.

If you want to get further into the atrocities those nice squiggle lamps that the enviroNazis have managed to get made mandatory {they're all made in China, btw} are basically little fluroescent lamps and the plasma within them is mercury vapour. Break one and you have a HAZMAT problem. Throw one in the garbage and you've made your landfill a HAZMAT zone as well. That's really environmentally sensitive.

You'll pardon me if I haven't got much time for a lot of skinned cat environmental objections to Reprap machines. We've gone to tremendous trouble to reduce the environmental impact of a Reprap world way down from that of a conventional manufacturing world. If that's not good enough for the watermelons, tough shit.

Picking at Reprap with a bunch of precautionary principle bullshit just ain't on. The sorts of people who pose as environmentalist activists haven't had the moral stature to make such demands for a long, long time. In fact, they have a lot of explaining to do about their own behaviours. >grinning smiley<

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2010 09:49PM by Forrest Higgs.


-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 12:12AM
Forrest,

agreed, re. standard quibbles re. 'Dangers of RepRap'. Also, it would be interesting to have numbers on this stuff, and a RepRap economic model, but I'm too busy saving the world to figure that stuff out.

Some of this stuff turns into a maze of twisty passageways when you look close at it. Roger Connah was telling me one of his arch. grad students was looking into bamboo flooring. "Suistainably sourced", then shipped to ... Denmark? Scandenavia, whence it sliced and bondded with epoxy and sliced, and then it is shipped to the US, then to a warehouse, then to your kitchen, where it will stay for 10 years and then get ripped out or covered with whatever is currently trendy. The Danes would not give numbers or much msds info to the arch. student in question, which is why this made a good parable for Roger.



I do think Wood's metal, Roses's metal is silly. Decent test material, maybe, but nothing to roll out on our users' machines.

There's going to be a lot of work on bio-sourced polymers, resins, etc in the next few years. Part of all of us RepRap user-developers will work on it, I'm sure.

Beyond that 1) we do think about this stuff, and 2) I'm not sure what the action items are, besides:
a) Develop [[Recycler]]


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 01:42AM
@Forrest Higgs
I don't think the wording of my questions was accusatory in any way, giving cause for an aggressive tone like that. I'm not a native English speaker, so maybe I did sound accusatory unwittingly, in that case I would like to apologize,

In case I didn't misapprehend myself, I would like to point out that too many people around the globe are concerned with the environment, for this debate to be shouted down with harsh words and name calling.

@SebastienBailard
I do share your misgivings in the amount goods being shipped around the globe, Strawberries flown daily from the middle east, flowers refrigerated and sailed from countries in Southern Africa. As I noted previously, I haven't seen a compelling argument, why the RepRap will change that, the difference - as I see it - being the kind materials shipped rather than the volume of materials.

General reply:
In terms of actionable items: How about an optional section on each of the development wiki pages, where the environmental soundness of the design is reviewed.

In my mind there can be no doubt, that if this project is successful the businesses which will be threatened by this technology will jump through every loop and hole to stop this technology, including injunction due to "environmental concerns"

A likely scenario in my mind, will be legal action by companies like Sony, Warner Bros., Disney etc. The real cause being that the RepRap version x, hurts their merchandising business. A little forethought now, will take away one potential angle of attack from said companies. Incorporating what is currently thought to be the best environmental practices is IMO in the best interests of the project, regardless if you subscribe to environmental "religion" or not.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 02:47AM
Anton, there's a massive tendency to 'Bikeshed' in this project: [en.wikipedia.org]

If you show us the numbers (and tack them up on a wiki page), Forrest will be more respectful.

If you help figure out the Recycler, Forrest will be even more respectful.

He's seen a lot of grant-based architecture/ecology talking shops come and go that haven't done much to save the planet but have created piles and piles of publications. In his discipline, it's called 'paper architecture'.

Here's an example of something that may actually help people:
[www.theglobeandmail.com]

I do share your misgivings in the amount goods being shipped around the globe, Strawberries flown daily from the middle east, flowers refrigerated and sailed from countries in Southern Africa. As I noted previously, I haven't seen a compelling argument, why the RepRap will change that, the difference - as I see it - being the kind materials shipped rather than the volume of materials.

[[Recycler]]? Durable goods? Modular design
[objects.reprap.org]

Also, you can work on end-of-live RepRap design issues and decomissioning.

In terms of actionable items: How about an optional section on each of the development wiki pages, where the environmental soundness of the design is reviewed.

The Library Staff and Volunteers might flag it as cruft unless it is numbers-based and carefully cited. Opportunity costs to the reader, when we could tell them how great RepRap is.

Try working on this:
[dev.forums.reprap.org]
[objects.reprap.org]

A likely scenario in my mind, will be legal action by companies like Sony, Warner Bros., Disney etc.

The IP drones will auto attack once RepRap threatens their market share.
They won't care if we also do this:
[objects.reprap.org]

In my mind there can be no doubt, that if this project is successful the businesses which will be threatened by this technology will jump through every loop and hole to stop this technology, including injunction due to "environmental concerns"

Yup. Somewhat ahead of you:
[objects.reprap.org]

I'm really good at setting up scarecrows for myself and for RepRap.

Any numbers?

Also, how's the portion of the population that lives at <$2 a day going to engage RepRap?



Let's go numeric and look a simpler topic:
[objects.reprap.org]
I assert that Eiffel, being made from steel, aluminum, or wood, is ecologically better than Mendel, but I don't have numbers to back it up.

How much is aluminum square tubing in Denmark?

Also, we can make stuff from aluminum, wood, and steel, which is recyclable and compostable.


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 05:00AM
It was definitely not my intention to criticize the project, the vision or any members of the project, I sincerely apologize if my posts has given that impression.

I believe the RepRap project is a very worthy project, and I am willing to chip in and assist where ever I can. Unfortunately - due to unemployment - my current financial situation precludes me from completing my current build, so practical tests isn't an option for me right now. I have tried to help, to the best of my capabilities, writing documentation on the wiki, and things of that nature,

I have, like most people, a ton of ideas on things to do and try, the cross disciplinary aspects of the RepRap is one of the many things I find attractive in the RepRap project. I have held back on discussing these topics, since my ability to actually perform and participate in any worthwhile testing is currently limited. Putting out ideas, expecting others to do the work, will only be a source of noise IMO.

Thank you for pointing me to the definition of "bike shedding", I wasn't familiar with that term in english. It's an interesting term, unfortunately it is also very subjective, often it will only be possible with the guidance of epimetheus to tell the difference between a "bike shed" and a "nuclear power-plant". (By the way, I do have some objections to nuclear power plants as well grinning smiley)

I have looked at the Eiffel design, and I think it looks very promising, and has the potential of becomming a more versatile machine than the current design.

In terms of the vision of global "dominance" in the third world, I think building materials like wood and tin cans (recycled food and paint containers) would be good candidates.

While researching materials for a RepStrap, I did look into the cost of square aluminum tubing, and discovered that as a consumer the range of choices are limited. In a B2B environment the choices and prices are far better. One offer I did find was a 5x1000mmx1/2"x1/2" 16swg wall thickness tube @ DKK 176 (EUR 23.65).

So in short, I do have time on my hands I can put to use moving things forward, and would like to contribute to the project. I do have a personal conviction that everything I do should be done with a balanced view towards reducing the environmental impact of my actions.

In the spirit of trying to benefit the project I will continue to voice my concerns over environmental problems, when I believe it is required. Pollution does not occur out of malice. It is very difficult to find anybody who is actively seeking to damage the environment, Just like the term "Bike shedding", balancing priorities is often a very subjective exercise.

Edit: added the word "find" to the sentence: "It is very difficult to anybody"

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 05:12AM by anton.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 05:25AM
Quote
SebastienBailard
Let's go numeric and look a simpler topic:
[objects.reprap.org]
I assert that Eiffel, being made from steel, aluminum, or wood, is ecologically better than Mendel, but I don't have numbers to back it up.

Ok, I'll try to look into it, seeing that I have the time to do it :-)
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 05:53AM
Just a quick update:

Bang & Olufsen did a life cycle assessment of the chassis for the Beovision Avant TV set. They compared plastics, Aluminum combined with MDF and MDF as materials, and MDF came out as a clear winner:


Although a LCA will be different from country to country, due to difference is how electrical power is generated, local availability of materials etc. It appears the MDF will be a clear winner in almost all cases.

I'll try to dig up some numbers to crunch.

Edit: Trying to add an image to the post

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 05:57AM by anton.
Attachments:
open | download - Screenshot.png (30.5 KB)
MDF clear winner ... Cool My reprap is 95% MDF .......

Grin

Stephen

P.s. Hope you get a good job anton. Where in the world are you?
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 06:53AM
Sebastien, guessed my nationality correctly when he asked for prices on aluminum tubes in Denmark. I live some 60Km west of Copenhagen.

It would appear that even though wood of almost any kind does have a rather big waste percentage compared to some other materials, it's a clear winner.

The fact that wood contains no foreign chemicals to speak of, produces far less CO2 during production (Although locally produced starch and then local production of PLA may come close), and the almost neutral decomposition (it varies, depending of whether it is composted or burned) makes wood a clear winner in all the studies I have found.

So I would think a Reprap made primarily out of wood would be the better choice.

Edit: Fixed a typo

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 08:54AM by anton.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 09:24AM
Sebastien, I've started to gather some information relevant to the LCA of the materials used for the RepRap project.

Would you prefer to have that information in a personal blog or somewhere on the wiki?

Edit: Typos

Edit: based on this:
Quote
Sebastien
If you show us the numbers (and tack them up on a wiki page), Forrest will be more respectful.
I've started out on a wiki page, containing some numbers.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 10:03AM by anton.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 11:07AM
anton Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> @Forrest Higgs
> I don't think the wording of my questions was
> accusatory in any way, giving cause for an
> aggressive tone like that. I'm not a native
> English speaker, so maybe I did sound accusatory
> unwittingly, in that case I would like to
> apologize,
>
Okej, Anton. Om din engelska är dålig, hur är din svenska?
>
> In case I didn't misapprehend myself, I would like
> to point out that too many people around the globe
> are concerned with the environment,
>
Det finns många människor runt om i världen som insisterar på att alla borde vara muslimer, också. Det innebär inte att jag måste ta dem på allvar heller.
>
> for this
> debate to be shouted down with harsh words and
> name calling.
>
Anton, sa du...
>
>At the time of the industrial revolution there was very little knowledge about environmental
>feedback systems and health issues (heck they believed the cholera moved through the
>phlogiston).
>
Har du någon faktisk erfarenhet modellering miljö återkopplingssystem eller är du bara pratar strunt?

Flera veckor sedan hade vi en person här som självgoda berättade att personuppgifter 3D-skrivare måste förbjudas eftersom de skulle skapa en fast avfall problem.

Det har varit min erfarenhet är att folk vill "debatt" miljöfrågor sällan har någon akademisk utbildning som skulle ge dem trovärdighet diskutera vilken tid på dagen är det mycket mindre effekten av återkopplade system i miljön. Är du annorlunda i detta avseende?

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 11:19AM by Forrest Higgs.


-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 11:27AM
SebastienBailard Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anton, there's a massive tendency to 'Bikeshed' in
> this project:
> [en.wikipedia.org]
>
> If you show us the numbers (and tack them up on a
> wiki page), Forrest will be more respectful.
>
Absolutely!
>
> If you help figure out the Recycler, Forrest will
> be even more respectful.
>
I will worship at Anton's feet if he develops a personal means of recycling used plastic into new filament.
>
I respect hard work and good results. I loathe self-righteous people who feel themselves entitled to tell other people how to live their lives. The environmental movement is full of this kind of person> I was an ardent environmentalist in the 1970's and 1980's but quit several years after the Berlin Wall fell when the movement filled up with not-so-ex-Marxist intellectuals who's object of worship, the old USSR, fell apart on them unexpectedly. Thus the term "watermelons", green on the outside, red on the inside. I view them as frauds, and dangerous frauds at that who give themselves permission to tell other people how they must live. They're hateful, nasty people, by and large. angry smiley


-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 11:32AM
Forrest Higgs Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> anton Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > @Forrest Higgs
> > I don't think the wording of my questions was
> > accusatory in any way, giving cause for an
> > aggressive tone like that. I'm not a native
> > English speaker, so maybe I did sound
> accusatory
> > unwittingly, in that case I would like to
> > apologize,
> >
> Okej, Anton. Om din engelska är dålig, hur är
> din svenska?
Jeg kan læse og forstå svensk ganske udemærket, men jeg kan desværre hverken tale eller skrive svensk. Men da dansk og svensk er næsten det samme kan vi måske prøve på denne måde.
> >
> > In case I didn't misapprehend myself, I would
> like
> > to point out that too many people around the
> globe
> > are concerned with the environment,
> >
> Det finns många människor runt om i världen som
> insisterar på att alla borde vara muslimer,
> också. Det innebär inte att jag måste ta dem
> på allvar heller.
Men at tale ned til selvsamme muslimer er vel heller ikke nogen løsning, hvilket var hvad jeg opfattede at du forsøgte at gøre.
> >
> > for this
> > debate to be shouted down with harsh words and
> > name calling.
> >
> Anton, sa du...
> >
> >At the time of the industrial revolution there
> was very little knowledge about environmental
> >feedback systems and health issues (heck they
> believed the cholera moved through the
> >phlogiston).
> >
> Har du någon faktisk erfarenhet modellering
> miljö återkopplingssystem eller är du bara
> pratar strunt?
Jeg har en lille smule erfaring fra et projekt som jeg var ansvarlig for, men jeg er ikke fagmand, ikke desto mindre har jeg besluttet at samle den relevante information jeg nu formår, for at få syn for sagen. Så der kan komme fakta og tal på.
>
> Flera veckor sedan hade vi en person här som
> självgoda berättade att personuppgifter
> 3D-skrivare måste förbjudas eftersom de skulle
> skapa en fast avfall problem.
Det er der ikke megen belæg for, det er pt. umuligt at sige om 3D printere vil skabe affalds problemer eller ej, og uanset dette findes der jo allerede tusinder af produkter der har affaldsprodukter. Dog er en af påstandene at RepRap vil udgøre en miljøforbedring, udfra en betragtning om transport af varer, når vi - jeg betragter mig som en del af projektet, selvon jeg ikke er fast medlem - kommer med en sådan påstand, så ligger bevisbyrden i vores banehalvdel. Ellers er vore påstande også bare tomme påstande.
>
> Det har varit min erfarenhet är att folk vill
> "debatt" miljöfrågor här sällan har någon
> akademisk utbildning som skulle ge dem
> trovärdighet diskutera vilken tid på dagen det
> är, utan hänsyn till vilken typ av
> återkopplingar i miljön. Är du annorlunda i
> detta avseende?
Nej, kan ikke sige at jeg har alle kvalifikationer der skal til, det skal dog ikke forhindre mig i at prøve at samle den information der er behov for. Når så næste "miljøforkæmper" melder sig på banen, har teamet mere at bruge som argumenter end bare hårde ord.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 12:04PM
> anton Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
Jeg kan læse og forstå svensk ganske udemærket, men jeg kan desværre hverken tale eller skrive svensk. Men da dansk og svensk er næsten det samme kan vi måske prøve på denne måde.
>
Bra!
>
> Men at tale ned til selvsamme muslimer er vel heller ikke nogen løsning, hvilket var hvad jeg
> opfattede at du forsøgte at gøre.
>
Muslimer är övertygade om att islam är lösningen. Miljöaktivister tenderar att vara övertygad om att vad de tror är "lösningen", också. Jag tycker att de två grupperna påminner mig en hel del av varandra.
>
> Jeg har en lille smule erfaring fra et projekt som jeg var ansvarlig for, men jeg er ikke fagmand,
> ikke desto mindre har jeg besluttet at samle den relevante information jeg nu formår, for at få
> syn for sagen. Så der kan komme fakta og tal på.
>
Vad analysmetoder för att du planerar att gälla för dessa "fakta och siffror"?
>
> Det er der ikke megen belæg for, det er pt. umuligt at sige om 3D printere vil skabe affalds
> problemer eller ej
>
Vi har redan haft mer än en "miljöaktivist" redo att kräva ett förbud av personlig 3D-skrivare på grund av detta "problem" .
>
> Dog er en af påstandene at RepRap vil udgøre en miljøforbedring, udfra en betragtning om
> transport af varer, når vi - jeg betragter mig som en del af projektet, selvon jeg ikke er fast
> medlem - kommer med en sådan påstand, så ligger bevisbyrden i vores banehalvdel. Ellers
> er vore påstande også bare tomme påstande.
>
Många påståenden i slutändan har visat sig vara tom. Miljövänner har gjort så många tomma hävdar att i dessa dagar många automatiskt förvänta sig att när en miljöaktivist hävdar något som han är i bästa felaktig eller mer vanligen ligger i hopp om att uppnå något önskvärt mål som har något att göra med miljön. Det är säkert så det ligger i USA, och, förefaller det, i Storbritannien också. Visst, påståenden som förespråkarna för Reprap bör behandlas med försiktighet, också.

När det gäller transport anspråk, kanske jag kanske kan hjälpa dig med detta. Man måste fundera över hur råvaror och färdiga produkter skiljer före påståendet att spara på transporterna blir tydligare.

En färdig produkt tenderar att vara mycket mindre täthet än en färdig produkt, även om båda, som ni har väl sagt, i slutändan ha samma vikt. Medan tätheten av en transport är inte stor betydelse när ett fartyg något till sjöss, blir det mycket viktigt när man använder lastbilar eller tåg. Det transporten kostnaden avser första volym och vikt sekund. Som väl är förpackningen råvaror eller delvis bearbetat dem som plast smälttråd mycket mindre i både vikt och volym än vad som är fallet med färdiga produkter.
>
> Nej, kan ikke sige at jeg har alle kvalifikationer der skal til, det skal dog ikke forhindre mig i
> at prøve at samle den information der er behov for. Når så næste "miljøforkæmper" melder
> sig på banen, har teamet mere at bruge som argumenter end bare hårde ord.
>
Jag tror personligen att din tid skulle vara bättre för att utveckla några av de låga miljön maskiner inverkan Reprap som du har talat om, kanske din trä Reprap maskin, till exempel.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2010 12:06PM by Forrest Higgs.


-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 01:03PM
Ok, I have completed the first section of the wiki page, it contains information about HDPE, PET, ABS and PLA which I have gathered from various sources.

To my surprise there is absolutely no "winner", there are simply too many unknowns, especially when considering the how varied the geography of the project members are. Although the quality of the numbers can be definitely be debated, at least there are some kind of numbers behind that statement.

I'll continue to try gathering numbers, for other raw materials. But I seriously doubt it will be possible to do a proper LCA for the RepRap, unless a specific exemplar is chosen.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 01:28PM
Nice work, Anton. Interesting read.

It might also be interesting to include the aspects of 'cradle to cradle' lifecycle that reprap might encourage, where the only 'waste' is energy consumed. Material degraded beyond the point of being commercially viable may still be viable at a personal/individual level.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 02:33PM
Good start, Anton. I've commented in a bit more detail on the page on the discussion tab.


-------------------------------------------------------

Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Thomas A. Edison
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 12, 2010 04:26PM
Forrest Higgs Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > anton Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> >
> Jeg kan læse og forstå svensk ganske udemærket,
> men jeg kan desværre hverken tale eller skrive
> svensk. Men da dansk og svensk er næsten det
> samme kan vi måske prøve på denne måde.
> >
> Bra!
> >
> > Men at tale ned til selvsamme muslimer er vel
> heller ikke nogen løsning, hvilket var hvad jeg
> > opfattede at du forsøgte at gøre.
> >
> Muslimer är övertygade om att islam är
> lösningen. Miljöaktivister tenderar att vara
> övertygad om att vad de tror är "lösningen",
> också. Jag tycker att de två grupperna påminner
> mig en hel del av varandra.
At alle muslimer og miljøaktivister har en særlig holdning tvivler jeg på, jeg er tilgengæld sikker på at der findes enkelte mennesker der er gode til at råbe op. Desværre er evenen til at råbe op ikke kun begrænset til miljøaktivister, det er nok snarrer en generel egenskab. At nogle råber op og ikke kan gå i dialog, betyder jo ikke at alle muslimer/miljøaktivister har det sådan.

> >
> > Jeg har en lille smule erfaring fra et projekt
> som jeg var ansvarlig for, men jeg er ikke
> fagmand,
> > ikke desto mindre har jeg besluttet at samle den
> relevante information jeg nu formår, for at få
> > syn for sagen. Så der kan komme fakta og tal
> på.
> >
> Vad analysmetoder för att du planerar att gälla
> för dessa "fakta och siffror"?
> >
Nu har jeg samlet lidt data, og kan ganske enkelt ikke finde nogen analysemetode der giver mening. Der er meget store regionale forskelle på forsyningsnettet, miljø krav til råvareproducenter, energieffektivitet i produktionen, osv. Oven i det kommer at nogle får sendt deres plastic via airmail fra eet kontinent til andre.

Regionale forskelle, forskelle i måle metoder mellem producenter, og den åbentlyse mangel på troværdighed i nogle rapporter, gør det helt umuligt for mig at finde en god metode. Hvis du har en ide, hører jeg det gerne. Jeg har ikke noget imod at bruge tid på det her.

> > Det er der ikke megen belæg for, det er pt.
> umuligt at sige om 3D printere vil skabe affalds
> > problemer eller ej
> >
> Vi har redan haft mer än en "miljöaktivist" redo
> att kräva ett förbud av personlig 3D-skrivare
> på grund av detta "problem" .
> >
> > Dog er en af påstandene at RepRap vil udgøre
> en miljøforbedring, udfra en betragtning om
> > transport af varer, når vi - jeg betragter mig
> som en del af projektet, selvon jeg ikke er fast
> > medlem - kommer med en sådan påstand, så
> ligger bevisbyrden i vores banehalvdel. Ellers
> > er vore påstande også bare tomme påstande.
> >
> Många påståenden i slutändan har visat sig
> vara tom. Miljövänner har gjort så många tomma
> hävdar att i dessa dagar många automatiskt
> förvänta sig att när en miljöaktivist hävdar
> något som han är i bästa felaktig eller mer
> vanligen ligger i hopp om att uppnå något
> önskvärt mål som har något att göra med
> miljön.
Jeg ville ønske du har ret, jeg kan desværre nævne nogle eksempler hvor aktivisterne har haft ret, f.eks. forureningen af grundvandet, for 20 år siden blev der slået alarm om at pesticider var en risiko for grundvandet hvis der ikke blev skredet ind. Der blev ikke skredet tilstrækkeligt ind, og idag er det ikke unormalt at nye grundvandsboringer går ned i 100-200 meters dybde for a finde rent vand.
Det är säkert så det ligger i USA,
> och, förefaller det, i Storbritannien också.
> Visst, påståenden som förespråkarna för
> Reprap bör behandlas med försiktighet, också.
>
> När det gäller transport anspråk, kanske jag
> kanske kan hjälpa dig med detta. Man måste
> fundera över hur råvaror och färdiga produkter
> skiljer före påståendet att spara på
> transporterna blir tydligare.
>
> En färdig produkt tenderar att vara mycket mindre
> täthet än en färdig produkt, även om båda,
> som ni har väl sagt, i slutändan ha samma vikt.
> Medan tätheten av en transport är inte stor
> betydelse när ett fartyg något till sjöss, blir
> det mycket viktigt när man använder lastbilar
> eller tåg. Det transporten kostnaden avser
> första volym och vikt sekund. Som väl är
> förpackningen råvaror eller delvis bearbetat dem
> som plast smälttråd mycket mindre i både vikt
> och volym än vad som är fallet med färdiga
> produkter.
> >
> > Nej, kan ikke sige at jeg har alle
> kvalifikationer der skal til, det skal dog ikke
> forhindre mig i
> > at prøve at samle den information der er behov
> for. Når så næste "miljøforkæmper" melder
> > sig på banen, har teamet mere at bruge som
> argumenter end bare hårde ord.
> >
> Jag tror personligen att din tid skulle vara
> bättre för att utveckla några av de låga
> miljön maskiner inverkan Reprap som du har talat
> om, kanske din trä Reprap maskin, till exempel.
Nu er Wolfstrap desværre ikke "min" maskine, jeg har bare hjulpet med at oversætte fra tysk til engelsk. Desværre er min økonomi ikke til at bygge en maskine i øjeblikket, hvilket er årsagen til at jeg prøver at hjælpe ved at skrive på wikien. Tid har jeg nok af smiling smiley

Når jeg atter får mulighed for at genoptage opbygningen af en maskine tror jeg at det enten bliver en Wolfstrap eller en Eiffel, men det må fremtiden vise.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 13, 2010 03:06AM
How certain are you that when PLA breaks down, it returns its CO2 to the atmosphere? I'm under the impression that if disposed of / composted properly, PLA will store carbon in the soil for decades.
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 13, 2010 04:43AM
The articles I have found, all seems to suggest that even under anaerobic landfill conditions, there will be some degradation of material. The rate will of degradation will be drastically slowed down (I haven't been able to find information on how slow the process is)

During the anaerobic breakdown, GHGs will be released, primarily CO2 and Methane, as well as the nitrates and phosphates, which are also released during aerobic degradation.

Unfortunately I didn't save the URL's containing this information, but I'll try to rediscover that information.

In the defense of PLA it should be noted that:
  • There is ongoing research into how to reduce the energy consumption expended during production of PLA
  • PLA, can be considered a renewable material, especially of the transport sector and power utitlities are based on renewable energy
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 13, 2010 02:15PM
Oh, I meant composting, not landfill. Does that change things?
Re: The Reprap's impact on the environment
March 14, 2010 05:36AM
Sorry, It does not appear as if PLA is the sought after method which can be used to "scrub" the environment of excess CO2.

There is really no very longterm difference between landfills and composting, when considering only the CO2 released. The decomposition of the PLA polymers will release the captured CO2 to the surrounding environment regardless.

In the landfill scenario if will eventually seep directly into the atmosphere, (unless the landfill is airtight). In the aerobic decomposition/digestion scenario of composting, carbon in the PLA will either be converted to CO2 directly, or indirectly when converted to either sugar or starch. In both scenarios the CO2 will return to the ordinary biological cycle.

The fact that 1Kg PLA releases 2.8Kg of CO2, caught me by surprise, and initially made me doubt the numbers I found, considering the chemical composition of PLA, and the atomic weights has made me less skeptical of the numbers, although not enough to trust the number completely.

The amount of CO2 released relates directly to the amount captured when the corn/potatoes/rice grew, which is why the CO2 tables on the wiki page does not include the 2.8Kg, since - over the complete lifetime of the PLA - it does not constitute an increased burden of released GHG emissions.

This document is a German evaluation (Written in English) of PLA used as food packaging. In section 2.2 and 2.3 there is a pretty decent comparison between composting and landfilling.

Note, I have not used the actual numbers from this report on the wiki page, due to my "conservative" principle, rather I chose to base my numbers of NatureWorks and Cargill's own report.

I hope this clarifies matters a bit, or did I misunderstand the question?

ps. Don't put too much into this information. I have no doubt that carefully selecting your sources of information, you can get to any result you please.

pps. I just re-read your question, and stumbled upon the word "decades", in terms of evaluating GHG levels, a 100 year view point us customarily considered. The 1 century perspective is based on the suns impact on the chemical composition of GHGs. As briefly discussed on the wiki page, the "value" of the temporary storage of CO2 is difficult to quantify objectively, and different formulas are presented in the litterature I found. But in order to gain maximum effect of the storage, the PLA should preferably be recycled, to the greatest possible extend, although I have found no information about how much virgin PLA should enter the recycling process (for other plastics I have seen figures like 4-5%) and then landfilled.

edit: Added the pps

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/14/2010 06:53AM by anton.
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