From orange peels to 3D printing filament with Felfil Evo

3D printing is often linked to several initiatives to promote circular economy and increase sustainability.

Here at Felfil we developed our extrusion system to reuse plastic waste as a basis to create new filament for 3D printing. For this reason Carlo Ratti Associati turned to us when the started a project to valorize organic waste, and in particular orange peel.

How many oranges are needed for a glass of juice? It depends on their being juicy (and on the power of our squeezer), but experience teaches us that an orange is not enough. Whenever we want to quench our thirst with a good juice, we produce a lot of organic waste that are usually thrown in the garbage.

From here was born Feel the Peel, a circular and eco-friendly juice-bar, designed by Carlo Ratti Associati studio in partnership with Eni and with the collaboration of Felfil. The idea? Just using the whole orange: the pulp, from which the juice is obtained, and the peel which, when processed, becomes an innovative material for 3D printing.

Thanks to the technology of the Felfil Evo extruder, the recycling recipe is very simple: first, the orange peels are collected and dried. Then, they are chopped to obtain a very fine powder, which is mixed with a specific amount of PLA. At this point, the compound is inserted in the tank of Felfil Evo, ready to be transformed into filament. Then, it’s possible to use this filament to print new things.

In this case the main idea was to print bioplastic cups suitable to drink the orange juice: a perfect example of circular economy.

It is not the first time that Felfil Evo has been used to extrude 3D printing filament starting from organic waste mixed with plastic material.

Some time ago, for example, we helped exploring the potential of mussel shells, from which we obtained a particular filament (with about 20% of shell powder), and ground coffee, from which we produced a 3D printed cup.

Compared to industrial extruders, Felfil Evo allows to test and experiment with very small quantities of materials. And this is a great advantage, in terms of time and costs.

If you are interested in trying Felfil Evo for a new project, or if you want more information about our product, do not hesitate to contact us!

Want to know more about Felfil System?