A seminar was held in Chicago back in 2015 about the impact of 3D printing technology on waste management business. Many entrepreneurs attended the seminar and discussed the possible solutions. However, we’ll paraphrase a speech held by James White who is a professor at The University of Chicago.
The modern technology is evolving and expanding. This phenomenon helped to speed up the development of 3D printing technology. The overall impact of it on the industry is massive. It will change the way we live and comprehend waste disposal. However, we’re not in that stage yet. There are a few obstacles in front of us that we need to tackle before thinking about printing a whole roll off dumpster.
The first problem is the size. Because of its size, we need to print it in pieces. The bad thing about assembly is that you’re always left with weak spots. The obvious weak spots of an assembled container are the welding hot-spots. Because we’re dealing with a lot of weight, we cannot risk constructing it poorly. It’s different with steel tanks because electric welding is a much more reliable way of assembling a container instead of screwing it with bolts.
One of the problems is the price. It’s still pretty expensive to do a massive 3D printing project. On the other hand, the technology is evolving, so a decrease in price is expected. However, this isn’t much of a consolation because it still won’t be cost-efficient to print it in comparison to making it out of steel. The metal is cheaper, for now.
Speaking of steel, it’s the optimal material for these material. In fact, it’s also the most reliable one. You can make changes with steel “on the go” whereas that’s not possible with the 3D printed pieces. Most units use nylon, ceramics, or titanium for printing. Those materials aren’t suitable for manufacturing large dumpsters. You can think of it as a giant Lego piece, it has a lot of possibilities, but we still aren’t there with the technology.
However, home containers are available on the market at the moment. It means we’re not far from a fully printed 20-yard one. You can find many drawings and projects online, but no one dared to accept the task and build it. It’s just not cost-efficient or worthwhile.
The vulnerability and flexibility of a 3D printed container aren’t optimal. Because the materials aren’t dense enough, there is a severe risk of cracking. We all know where cracks lead. The most important thing is to take precautionary measures and think about safety, 24/7.
Professor James White said that he’s expecting a rapid increase of interest in this subject because it has a big potential, according to him.