According to the life-cycle assessment conducted by AMGTA, carbon emissions are reduced by 38% through Binder Jetting.

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Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA) has recently released the preliminary results of a life-cycle analysis study that compares the environmental impact of binder jetting and traditional metal casting techniques. The study, titled “Comparative Life-Cycle Assessment: Comparison of Casting vs Binder Jetting for an Industrial Part,” was commissioned by AMGTA, with the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) and Desktop Metal collaborating to conduct the analysis. Trane Technologies, a US-based climate innovator, also participated in the project.

To determine the environmental benefits of binder jetting, the team analyzed the production of a steel scroll chiller in an HVAC system manufactured by Trane Technologies. The preliminary results showed a 38% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the binder jetting process, primarily due to reduced energy demand during production.

Kevin Klug, Lead Additive Manufacturing Engineer for Trane Technologies, commented on the significance of the study’s results. He stated, “With the results of this study, Trane Technologies is in a better position to comprehensively consider AM’s cost, productivity, and environmental impact earlier in a product’s design cycle, when risk is lowest, and the potential benefits are highest.” Sherri Monroe, Executive Director of AMGTA, emphasized the importance of these findings for the additive manufacturing industry and companies seeking more sustainable production methods.

The study was conducted over a two-year period and analyzed the cradle-to-gate manufacturing life cycle of a scroll set. It compared traditional casting processes with additive binder jetting processes. Key findings from the analysis include a 38% reduction in GHG emissions with additive manufacturing compared to traditional casting. However, the study also noted that lightweighting with a lattice-type structure had a negligible impact on emissions reduction, as the majority of electricity consumption occurred during the 3D printing, curing, and sintering steps.

The study suggests that a 10% mass reduction in the scroll set would result in a 1% reduction in GHG emissions. However, the environmental benefits of lightweighting in the use phase were not assessed in this study. Additionally, production volumes and the energy mix at the manufacturing facility were identified as significant factors in GHG emissions. A more sustainable energy mix and higher production volumes contribute to reducing the environmental impact of both manufacturing methods.

Overall, this study highlights the potential of binder jetting as a more sustainable alternative to traditional metal casting techniques. Its findings provide valuable insights for companies considering additive manufacturing, emphasizing the importance of considering cost, productivity, and environmental impact early in a product’s design cycle.

In a recent study conducted by Yale, Trane Technologies, and AMGTA, it was found that binder jet 3D printing technology offers a greener approach to metal part production. The study compared the environmental impact of binder jetting with traditional manufacturing processes such as casting steel. While it was discovered that binder jetting does result in a slight increase in greenhouse gas emissions, this increase was deemed insignificant in the overall findings.

Jonah Myerberg, Chief Technology Officer at Desktop Metal, expressed his enthusiasm for the study’s results, stating that it validates what the team at Desktop Metal has believed all along – binder jetting is a more sustainable way to manufacture metal parts. The technology offers a unique solution to reducing the environmental impact of metal manufacturing.

Sustainability is a growing concern in the additive manufacturing industry. KIMYA, for example, recently conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for its PETG filaments. The analysis revealed that the company’s recycled PETG filaments can help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 35% compared to non-recycled options. This finding underscores the importance of favoring recycled filaments during 3D printing.

In the metal space, North Carolina-based titanium developer IperionX has partnered with Ford to supply 100% recycled, low-carbon titanium for the production of titanium components for future Ford Performance vehicles. An LCA conducted by EarthShift Global demonstrated that IperionX’s titanium had a carbon footprint over 90% lower than competing titanium powders produced using plasma atomization.

These recent studies highlight the ongoing efforts within the additive manufacturing industry to reduce its environmental impact. By embracing greener technologies and materials, manufacturers can contribute to a more sustainable future. As awareness of sustainability grows, it is encouraging to see companies taking proactive steps to mitigate their carbon footprint and make a positive difference in the world.

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By adopting innovative technologies like binder jetting and recycled materials, the additive manufacturing industry is poised to revolutionize the way we produce metal parts, all while minimizing our impact on the environment. It is an exciting time for sustainability in the 3D printing world, and these studies only further demonstrate the potential for positive change.

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