Large Scale Additive Manufacturing of Recycled Polymer Composites
Paper in proceeding, 2023

The production of large-scale products is currently undergoing a considerable shift in the manufacturing sector in favor of additive manufacturing (AM). Complex structures and elaborate designs that were previously impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing techniques are now possible thanks to the usage of additive printing technology. At the same time, using recycled materials in the production process has also risen to the top of the industry's priority list as a result of a growing focus on sustainability. In this context, the use of recycled polymer composites in large-scale additive manufacturing (LSAM) is beginning to attract attention from both industry and research. Indeed, recycled polymer composites offer several benefits, including not only lower costs but also significantly reduced environmental impact and improved mechanical properties compared to virgin polymer materials. However, several challenges are still associated with using recycled materials in AM, including issues with material properties and compatibility with the AM process. Perhaps the most difficult polymer for AM is nylon where different grades pose different printing properties and challenges, thus printing large-scale objects in recycled nylon is a challenge that few have taken on. One objective of our project is to improve the properties of recycled polymers for LSAM by investigating how different additives, such as mineral wastes and/or recycled short fibers, influence the LSAM process and the properties of the resulting printed object. One way to achieve this objective is by simulating the AM process where we use ABAQUS AM capabilities that enable us to optimize the process and material parameters. Thermal and mechanical analyses using the element activation technique in ABAQUS AM allow us to implement multi-scale multi-physical models for material and process simulation and ensure that the final product meets the desired mechanical and structural properties. To truly reach a circular economy, a systems-level transformation of manufacturing must be achieved [1]. Our vision is to digitally transform manufacturing by turning recycled polymers and other industrial wastes into secondary raw materials and composites for LSAM of final products. However, further research on different industrial use cases and applications is needed to address the remaining challenges associated with this approach and to fully realize its potential in the manufacturing industry.


recycled materials

additive manufacturing

artificial intelligence



Mohammad Sadegh Rouhi

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Robin Teigland

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Johan Landberg

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Woodrow Wiest

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden

Karoline Teigland

Ekbacken Studios AB

Proceedings of the American Society for Composites - 38th Technical Conference, ASC 2023

9781605956916 (ISBN)

38th Technical Conference of the American Society for Composites, ASC 2023
Boston, USA,

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VINNOVA (2022-02455), 2022-10-01 -- 2023-03-31.

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Mechanical Engineering

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Materials Engineering

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