Full-circle can mean a lot of things — some good and some not so good. In the case of GREENFILL3D, an additive manufacturing solutions company, it means using waste from the production process to create a product display to market those goods. 

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A wooden mesh design that shows a cutout of a chicken in the center

In collaboration with Maspex, one of Europe’s largest food producers, the Polish-based GREENFILL3D collects waste wheat bran from pasta production. The wheat bran is then sifted and dried to a precise measurement. Once prepped, the wheat bran is combined with polylactic acid, commonly known as PLA, to develop a filament used in 3D printing

Related: Zero waste homes are 3D printed in less than 24 hours

A wooden column food display case and an up-close detailing of the chicken cutouts on top

PLA is an increasingly common plastic substitute made from plant materials such as corn and starch. PLA’s sustainability aspect is questionable due to the amount of water and resources required to grow the plants. However, the final product is fully biodegradable and one of the best options we currently have against the toxic flood of plastic. 

The PLA/wheat bran (20%) combo filament, called GF3D Branfill3d, is then fed into 40 3D printers to create POS (point of sale) display stands for the pasta. The stand is durable, but not overly rigid, and its modular design can accommodate future expansion with additional units. 

A 3D printed stand column filled with pasta in three rows and an up-close image of the top shows details of chicken cutouts

“It is filled with wheat bran, which gives it a unique surface finish and scent of baked bread. The scent also persists on finished 3D prints,” the company said.

Three different syrup bottles in a display container that has a handle

The idea is in alignment with modern goals of zero-waste, using a waste by-product to upcycle a new product. The fun marketing aspect of this particular project is then using the new product to advertise the “mother” product. 

A container shaped like a squirrel with its body filled with dried fruits and its tail filled with dried nuts

“The result is an advertising stand presenting food products, which was created based on the remains of the same food material,” GREENFILL3D said. “Production wastes – instead of being thrown away or disposed of, were used to produce common tools to support sales.”

GREENFILL3D completed the first prototype in December, which will show up in stores soon. The company is looking into other uses for the GF3D Branfill3d, including automotive, interior design and industrial applications. 


Images via GREENFILL3D