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Australian researchers want to use plastic waste for sustainable manufacturing

The University of Wollongong Australia (UOW) is looking to research more sustainable manufacturing with 3D printing, titled “Designing for a Circular Economy: Creating Impact from Local Plastic Waste and Apprenticeship-Based Learning Using Off-Grid Containerized 3D Printers”. With support from the National Science Foundation in the US and the CSIRO in Australia, Dr. UOW project leader Aziz Ahmed is on the team led by Texas-based company re:3D. The interdisciplinary team also includes researchers from Austin Habitat for Humanity, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Western Sydney.

As part of the project, the UOW team is focusing on the net-zero aspect of developing a scalable and accessible net-zero-footprint-based 3D printing manufacturing system that is comfortable to work with and can easily move between. Allows non-professionals to design and manufacture products from construction sites and on-site plastic waste. The result? Decorative houses that are sustainable, functional, aesthetic and have significant socio-economic impact.

The design is compatible with the requirements of Habitat for Humanity, can be used anywhere in the world and is fully open source.

Ahmed said that the Doctor Global program is truly multidisciplinary and collaborative.

“It’s 3D’s expertise in 3D printing directly from plastic waste, humanity’s desire to measure demand for custom 3D printed household products made from plastic waste, Austin’s expertise at the University of Texas, Engineering Design, Sustainability and Life Cycle Analysis, UOW’s expertise in the built environment and recycling at Western Sydney University. Experience in material science of doable 3D printing.

Dr Ahmed said he was delighted to be able to work on such pioneering and innovative research.

“Imagine a world that supports the creation of sustainable homes using local plastic waste, while not only keeping waste out of landfills, but also creating jobs and educating underrepresented talent. What if we could implement this capability in a modular package in villages and urban areas around the world?” Said Dr. Ahmed. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work on such a visionary project as it falls under the umbrella of the National Science Foundation’s Synergy Accelerator Program, which aims to accelerate integrative research to application and commercialization.”

Professor David Crowe, UOW’s Vice-Chancellor (Research and Sustainable Futures), Dr. Ahmad said he was happy to see the funding and research progress.

“As we all know, how to deal with the enormous amount of plastic waste on our planet is urgent and overwhelming. This novel research will have a significant and positive societal impact while playing a vital role in helping the environment. I congratulate Dr. Ahmed and the UOW team on their success in this prestigious international funding round.” About,” Kuro commented.

Find out more about the University of Wollongong Here.


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