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Is printing parts the future's pioneer?

Techbuyer is supporting Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.


Techbuyer is a sustainable IT solutions company, driving circularity throughout the industry. Going beyond finding new ways to recycle old, unwanted IT equipment - Techbuyer constantly innovates to make equipment last longer, reduce e-waste and conserve natural resources.

Dumping the linear economy

Our day-to-day will never be the same. From smartphones to solar panels, televisions to turbines, technology is one of the biggest influences in modern life. For the most part, technology’s benefit to society is unmatched. But, so is its detrimental impact on the environment.

Responsible for a predicted 74.7 million tonnes of e-waste every year by 2030, the IT industry operates a wholly unsustainable model. Despite devices getting smaller, the piles of e-waste are not. The circular economy challenges the usual take-make-waste linear economy, and is all about making electronic hardware last longer. This means less equipment needs to be produced and consumed, and is where the work of organisations like Techbuyer, which specialises in sustainable enterprise IT solutions, is so important.

A 3D printing farm

Old MacDonald might have had chickens, dogs and cows, but Techbuyer has printers! Their small 3D printing farm has two printers operating twenty hours a day, to help make the all-important tech repairs and spare parts that the circular economy needs.

The team of people and printers work hard to create rare and broken components, custom tools for specialised repairs, or even protective items to make sure servers stay safe in transit.

Printing positivity

There are several perks of 3D printing replacement parts. They can be up to ten times cheaper than purchasing the original component, which makes repairing cheaper and more accessible for everyone. 

Plus, it saves on transport-related carbon emissions, as parts don’t have to be shipped across the ocean, and can be printed in real-time. As Techbuyer has full mechanical design capabilities, even the trickiest challenges can be overcome with new tools and mechanisms.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing as the printers can be pretty slow. But great things do take time, and Techbuyer is working hard to innovate new ways to speed up the process.

Repairing with plastic, it’s fantastic

Obviously, 3D printing doesn’t use the typical ink-and-paper materials. Traditionally, it uses thermoplastics, which can be melted, re-solidified, and melted again - like butter! But, there’s a general concern about the growing amount of plastic waste on our planet so alternatives have been found in this case.

Determined to be part of the solution, not the problem, Techbuyer primarily uses PLA for printing. This plant-based resin is made from crops, like corn and sugarcane, and is biodegradable under certain conditions, minimising environmental impact as much as possible.

Innovating the industry

By choosing printing over purchasing, Techbuyer has managed to double the monthly average of repaired parts. They are developing three new softwares to support their printing adventures, and are seeking ways to make 3D printing repairs global and continue to prevent disposal.

This story shows how Techbuyer supports Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, specifically Target 12.5: “By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.”

About Techbuyer

Techbuyer is a Sustainable IT solutions company based in Harrogate North Yorkshire. Their priority is to extend the productive lifecycle of IT equipment and materials through reuse, repair and refurbishment to reduce electronic waste (e-waste) and conserve natural resources.

Learn more about Techbuyer

Is printing parts the future’s pioneer?
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