Benefits of circular economy for SMEs

Natural Fibers-LaNDER┬│ project HSZG

The focus of the environmental service branch is on the use of technologies for the extraction, processing and use of natural resources. In this way the reduction of consumption and reuse of secondary raw materials are essential.

It is essential to integrate circular economy principles into the new manufacturing 3D Printing processes. The principles of circular economy are:

  • Relevance of energy and resources: Save and improve natural capital by balancing renewable resources flows.
  • Following natures cycles and designs: Optimize resource profits by circulating products.
  • Combine renewable energies: Developing the systems effectivness by detecting and shaping negative externalities.

The current industrial application of 3DP is increasingly offering circular production systems using recycled materials as input for additive manufacturing processes.

The figure below shows the circular economy model, from the idea to the recycling of a part. It aims the extending of the life cycle of products and shows how additive manufacturing can significantly support this system.

Model of Circular Economy


Circular economy can be designed directly into the open business model and ideas of consumers can be more involved into the production processes. Additionally new profit opportunities can come from playing in new markets and cutting costs off with waste and energy reductions.

The closed-loop economy is based on the Cradle to Cradle principle, which describe the technical or biological cycle and how products can be recycled indefinitely. Based on this model, resource-efficient companies can appear dynamic, competitive and responsible in their environmental commitment.

This forms a solid fundament for competitions and grant applications where the AMiCE Alliance and its experts are available to provide advice and practical support. 1

To read a customized article for RTOs please open: Benefits of circular economy for RTOs

To read a customized article for Policy please open: Benefits of circular economy in Policy

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Marlen Krause
University of Applied Sciences Zittau/G├Ârlitz
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Show bibliography for this article
1 Anguera, M. G., . TACTICAL PATHS IN ADOPTING of ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING.; Arup. (2016). The Circular Economy in the Built Environment. London; Bax&Company, H. (2018). DT1.1.2-Foresight Study; HSZG. (2018). Report in the field of advanced manufacturing and related support schemes; Leitat Technologie Center. (2016). Additive Manufacturing- Benefits of the implementation of Additive Manufacturing,,
Published on the 02.03.2020