- According to AMGTA Lifecycle Research, material jetting showed 24.8% reduction in CO2-eq emissions over traditional material processes and saved 49.9% of stock material across the supply chain
The Additive Manufacturer Green Trade Association (AMGTA), a global advocacy organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable additive manufacturing industry practises, has released the findings of a life-cycle inventory (LCI) study on the environmental benefits of 3D material jetting in fashion footwear.
The study, titled, “Comparative Analysis: 3D Material Jetting vs Traditional Methods for Designer Luxury Goods.”, was commissioned by the AMGTA and conducted by Reeves Insight, a UK-based AM consultancy firm, in collaboration with Stratasys, a global leader in AM technologies, and Dyloan Bond Factory, a Pattern Group company that specialises in the engineering and production of luxury fashion brands, examined the transition from traditional manufacturing methods to advanced AM in the creation of a logo applique for luxury designer shoes, printed on fabric and produced by a material jetting process.
When compared to the traditional process, the results showed a dramatic 24.8% reduction in CO2-eq emissions and a 49.9% reduction in stock material across the supply chain.
Environmental Benefits of Material Jetting in Fashion Footwear
The study came up with the following key takeaways:
- Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions: When compared to traditional processes, the additive manufacturing print-to-textile production process reduced CO2e emissions by 24.8%.
- Reduction in Material Usage: AM print-to-textile demonstrated a 49.9% reduction in stock material across the supply chain, as well as a reduction and streamlining of related transportation needs, and a 50.0% reduction in material in the resulting 3D printed logo component.
- Reduction in Water Usage: The AM process saved over 300,000 litres of water across the 16,000 logo components.
- Reduction in Power Consumption: The additive manufacturing process reduced electrical energy consumption by 64%.
- Reduction in Supply Chain Dependencies: The transition to AM reduced supply chain dependencies from four to one: with a single additive workflow – and transportation and logistics impacts are eliminated for three processes.
“We are pleased to issue the third body of research in a series of independently commissioned papers designed to reveal the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing adoption. We are committed to advancing the research and publication required to better understand the sustainable value of AM technologies as part of the manufacturing cycle for broad business cases.”– Sherri Monroe, Executive Director, AMGTA
Monroe continued, “This collaborative study with Stratasys and Dyloan Bond Factory, assessing the impact of a print-to-textile process, is our first research undertaking involving polymer. It delivers important data that supports the value of AM to impact one of the most historically polluting industries in the world.”
The 14-month study looked at the life cycle of a 3-dimensional graphic component attached to the heal of a luxury athletic shoe. The AMGTA commissioned the study in 2022 to better understand the potential environmental benefits of additive design and manufacturing in an industry that may not be immediately thought of when thinking of additive practises – fashion. The study compared the manufacturing of a 3D component using traditional and additive methods, and it was limited to this one component rather than the entire shoe.
The study was peer reviewed by ACAM Aachen Centre for Additive Manufacturing GmbH and evaluated both processes for a production run of 16,000 logo components for 8,000 pairs of shoes.
2D Inkjet printing and thermal welding of injection moulded parts with sheet polyurethane materials are part of the traditional multi-step process. With significantly fewer steps, the streamlined additive process included material jetting with photocurable liquid resins. Additional environmental and operational efficiencies were documented as a result of reduced supply chain dependencies and production process steps.
About AMGTA: The AMGTA was launched in 2019 to better understand and promote the environmental benefits of additive manufacturing across the global economy. AMGTA members represent the entirety of the manufacturing spectrum – from design and raw materials to end products and users – focused on innovating better, more sustainable, and financially advantageous products through best additive practices.
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