San Francisco-based 3D printing and consulting company Emerging Objects is using waste tyres as a source material.
According to local news reports, the firm says the same characteristics that make waste tyres problematic (namely, their cheap availability, bulk and resilience) make them attractive.
Emerging Objects has reportedly developed a formula for using recycled rubber content in 3D printing using tyres that are cryogenically reduced to a micronized rubber powder. The company claims many possible applications for the 3D printed material exist in the building industry:
“We envision using this material to make 3D printed outdoor furniture and as 3D printed panels for exterior building components such as wall panels that can be used for acoustic and sound dampening purposes.”
The company has made a 3D printed ‘rubber pouf’ out of recycled rubber tyres as an example of the technology. The product can be used as a low seat, a foot stool or a playful object.
The raw material for the project is being provided by Lehigh Technologies, which converts end-of-life tyres into micronized rubber powders that can be used in a wide range of markets.