The Rise of Sustainability in Additive Manufacturing Post-Processing Posted on April 22, 2022April 19, 2022 by Diana Robbins Sustainability for businesses has been a hot-button topic in recent years. Around the globe, companies strive to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their sustainability practices. Which begs the question: What leads to this push for sustainability in business? And how can we, as additive manufacturing post-processing pioneers, help contribute to our customer’s sustainability goals? Climate Change on A Global Scale Scientists have shown greenhouse gas emissions contribute to many concerning events and changes in the global climate. This has caused a movement in the past ~10 years for corporate responsibility in business and sustainability in business practices. To understand exactly why there’s an increase in demand for sustainable business practices, we need to discuss what spurred this desire for sustainability. Back in 2013, The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fifth Assessment Record about the ongoing global warming crisis. This data clarified just how heavily human activity affected climate change and inspired the 2016 Paris Agreement. The focus of the Paris Agreement was and still is to keep the temperature rise below a 2°C increase in the 21st century (preferably to 1.5°C). Actions to reach this goal involve significantly reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Climate change then became a hot-button topic and led to an increase in global initiatives to turn the tide on how humanity is managing its resources. Following the Paris Agreement, sustainability became a major focus in the global business marketplace. Customers valued sustainability so much that over 90% of CEOs acknowledged it was fundamental for a successful business. As pioneers in the 3D post-processing industry, we were aware of our responsibility to build a sector that is eager to act upon sustainability initiatives. Sustainability in Post-Processing We feel it is our responsibility to keep this in mind when developing our post-printing solutions. It’s not only important to us, but to the entire additive manufacturing industry. Sustainability has always been a consideration for our customers, with 65% stating in our 3rd Annual Post-Printing Survey they would like to increase their health, safety, and sustainability factors in their post-printing operations. So how do we do this? We keep sustainability in mind for every step of our patented three-step approach to post-processing. Our software-driven automated technology improves workflow efficiencies while reducing energy and chemical usage. Our detergents offer a significant advantage over traditional methods, with some solutions lasting 6X as long as traditional solutions. The recent launch of CONNECT3D® aligns with our sustainability goals, helping users with important tasks like recipe generation that will help them with optimum processing time and detergent usage. To us, the most significant value in our solutions is a human-centric one—the reduced time spent on manual labor. Traditional post-printing requires tedious hands-on labor to complete support removal or surface finishing without our automated solutions. These inefficiencies can negatively affect a company’s overhead because of the energy that technicians and engineers are wasting on post-printing. Instead, these individuals should be able to use their full potential to work on more fruitful projects. It’s no surprise that excessive manual labor can negatively impact overall health and well-being. People. Planet. Profits. Our sustainability initiatives do not end with our products, though. Sustainability is at the heart of our company, and we are continually striving to incorporate more of it into our day-to-day operations. Much like we focus on an integrative 3D printing approach based on the three steps of design, print, and post-print, we root our commitment to sustainability in a three-pronged approach: People. Planet. Profits. At PostProcess, we use the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals to help guide our sustainability approach. We strive to incorporate all 17 goals into the foundation of PostProcess Technologies, pulling out three to focus our initiatives around: Goal 3: Good Health & Wellbeing: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Sustainability is crucial to the future of our planet. We feel it is our company’s responsibility to ensure that all of our post-processing solutions have the concept of sustainability at the heart of everything we do. If you’re interested in learning more about our sustainability efforts or our post-processing solutions, be sure to explore our post-processing solutions.