Our mission at 3DQF is to support local manufacturing and pay close attention to responsible packaging solutions. Our hobby in certain respects is a guilty pleasure, we all understand that we have an unhealthy addiction to plastic so we try to minimize this where we can. For instance, we use a card spool, we see no reason to use a plastic spool on a single-use item like the majority of the 3D printing market. Even if you can recycle the material a plastic spool is made of, once it gets to the sorting centers it is going to be marked as burnable or landfill as they just don’t see enough of them to be able to correctly identify and sort them. Thankfully our card spool is made from all card stock with thermoset glues that are commonplace in the card industry, making identification and ultimately recycling much easier.
Furthermore, our card stock is cut shaped and printed at our box manufactured based in Manchester, and their board is supplied from paper mills in both Preston and Ellesmere Port. Card spool cores are made in Leeds, and this is all brought together inside 3DQF where we laser cut our flanges and lock rings and then hand assemble them in-house. Lots of love goes into making our spools and we make up to 420 per day.
Adding to our locally sourced material our masterbatch (colouring) also comes from the Leeds area and our Vacuum bags are made in Bury just 20 miles away. We try to keep things local where possible and support the same industry that we are grateful that you are interested in supporting.
Internally we make every effort to recover our waste and have in 2020 purchased some new equipment in the hope of being able to reclaim this industrial waste back into a new range of repurposed 3D printing filament. Currently, this waste material is not used in our standard filament range and only Virgin NatureWorks polymer makes up our 3DQF filament. We recycle all our card waste to a local paper sorter and aim to constantly review our internal process to manage all other waste.
We are always on the lookout for more UK sources, with our current hunt for a UK manufacture of desiccant pouches one of the few products that we struggle to source from the UK.