I have to print a prototype of a turbine for a project, and I was wondering is it an option to use recycled filament instead of ABS? Since I’ll probably go through several iterations, I might as well the sustainable route.

Thanks for the help!

Offcourse, just buy your filament @Refilament


But you should fresh up the mix with 20% new Filament and have a eye on the mix. It should be only the exact same filament from the same supplier because they all use a different Material-mix in the Filament.


Depends if your prototype will be a semi-working prototype or just for display, in other words if you will any stress test to it.

If it is for display you can use recycled. If you will do any tests with it and there will be stress to the part use the best ABS you can find (MG94 is one choice).


Recycled filament is often just as expensive as new filament.

If you’re worried about the environment, why don’t you just use PLA as filament.

PLA is basically a environmentally friendly and renewable type of filament. Not only that, it is a very hard material as 3D filaments go and has a tensile strenght that is easily twice that of ABS. Downside is, it has no basically NO flex at all, which means parts in PLA don’t really bend but just break. And of course, PLA has a low operating temperature range of only 50-55 degrees Celsius.

Nevertheless, if you print two parts of the same dimensions and start putting a load on it, PLA will usually support almost twice the weight that ABS will.

If you need a material that will stand up to more heat, you might want to try the new Colorfabb HT filament. That doesn’t have the fumes, odor, shrinking and warping that ABS has, has a higher tensile strenght, similar impact strength and similar temperature range. The Formfutura Apollo-X filament might also be a good choice.

Basically, I think that for many if not most parts, there are better alternatives to ABS. It has become my least favorite material to use. For most uses I can use PLA, PETG or one of the already mentioned new filaments which give less printing problems and perform better in almost every circumstance.

You could also use a filament that behaves similar to ABS, but is derived from organic material. The first one I can think of is Biome3D, but I’m sure there are others. I’ve used this for prototyping a few times now and really do like it; it is definitely stronger than PLA but prints much more nicely than ABS does and the parts have a nice silky look/feel to them.

It’s derived from potato starch (I believe) so it is more sustainable than ABS.

Beat u to it…currently patent pending.


Yes, sure!! We have just print a Jet Engine model in PLA that is a environmentally friendly and renewable type of filament.
If you want, take a look of our Hub where there is a photo of it.

There are several recycled filaments available. You can probably use any of them to print your project. If you are thinking about recycling the prints to make new prints that will be considerably more difficult as you will need a filament recycling setup and they are rather expensive. You will also need to be able to recycle more than one print at a time in order to get a usable length of filament.

you make for simulation (only for see) or you print is for functional item?

so , we use PLA , and PETG for our customers

To start, I would just simply use PLA. PLA is an environmentally friendly and renewable type of filament, is much stronger then ABS and has little to no flex, which is a plus for your project and has a relatively low cost. Most important it is a much more forgiving material, by not warping as much of ABS and prints much more easier. Personally I never liked ABS, this is also a reason I do not offer it as a filament choice on my hub.

Back to your project, in my opinion, I would print the initial prototypes with regular PLA and low infill. This way you save on material and time, and once you finalize your prototype you can then choose a different filament to print on. It is then a question of how strong and sturdy the turbine needs to be.

Take a look at my profile, I have printed a large cut-out model of a turbine for educational purposes. It was printed with PLA at 100 microns.

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Completely agree on your statement about PLA versus ABS.

Most times, I end up printing a ABS order in PETG or similar material with most of the times is better, stronger and gives a nicer finish.

Everyone has their own opinion of what to print in. I am sick of throwing ed3v6 hotends in the trash after they jam up with PLA, so I only print in ABS. ABS dissolves in acetone, which is a natural non toxic solvent. Dissolving PLA requires dichloromethane which is so toxic you’ll probably have to order it online from Russia. This is why I think printing in PLA is the dumbest idea since pet rocks.

We use it for simulation but it has got bearings and can be connected at compressor to make it move.

True and false my friend… I have heard about PLA clogging hotends, however I have never had a hotend clog up while using PLA, as for the Dichloromethane, I have a local source providing me with all the necessary chemical solvents I need. But like i said, I had NEVER had a hotend clog up. It really depends on the quality of PLA one selects, the quality of the printer, and the settings one uses on printing. Then ultimately, it really depends on the final use and purpose of the printed part. I am against ABS, because it is a totally different material which lacks all the PLA properties that delivers a nice and good quality part. I have tried ABS, for months on end, and no matter how I tweak it or what quality material I purchase, it is still far inferior compared to PLA after the print is done. I have even tried other hubs to see if it was me or my printer or my settings, to have them print a test part I designed. 99.9% of the time all other hubs i have tried (roughly about 30) delivered a much better and higher quality part when printed with PLA versus ABS.

Hmm, I never have had hotends or nozzles clog so much with filament than I have to throw them out.
Mind you, I print just about anyhting my printer can handle, PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, NGEN, XT, HDGlass, Flexifil, HT, ASA and I am going to try POM.

I DO have had problems with clogged PTFE-tubes and clogged nozzles, but that is usually caused by switching filaments without cleaning the printhead of any residu. But PLA is probably the most troublefree filament I have ever used.

I would like to review a couple of points.

1. Pla will dissolve in hot water 200 F for about a week will work on most. Some are very fast and other’s may take some time. We make one that is gone in 24 hrs.

2. Pla with impact modifiers added will add some flex. A lot of your plastic forks, spoons, knifes is made from PLA and most have some degree of flex to them. And there are other compounders that do make a soft flexible PLA.

3. Pla could be recycle to be reused, but at what expense. We compound PLA for other industries, but we do not recycle any of our scrape.

Personally I think the old ABS versus PLA debate is pretty much redundant these days… we’ve moved on. Filament manufacturers are now using all sorts of new co-polymer’s in their products which are sometimes derivatives and blends of both but also blends of neither. As someone already mentioned below… better to make your decision on functionality rather than sustainability. From just your comment that it’s a ‘turbine prototype’ model I personally would use a carbon mix like Colorfabb’s XT-CF20… which gives accurate and relatively inflexible prints suited for something like a workable/functional turbine.

Alternatives could be Apollo X (an ABS derivative) and ColorFabb’s HT (a co-polyester derivative) already mentioned here by TypeR.

Function First!