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Paper Water Bottle: Helping Save Our Planet

One of our customers, Paper Water Bottle, has created a truly innovative, eco-friendly paper water bottle – the first of its kind in the world.

Here’s why.

— 80 billion plastic water bottles are produced each year worldwide,

— 80% of them end up in landfills, and

— Experts estimate it takes 800 years for a plastic water bottle to biodegrade.

Orange and black payloader approaching a large pile of plastic bottles

However, Paper Water Bottle’s innovative solution will biodegrade in 80 days, not 800 years.  That’s a 99.97% improvement!  Not only is it biodegradable, it’s compostable.

Four paper water bottles in yellow, green, tan, and blue

Paper Water Bottle Eco-1

How is 3D printing playing a role in this venture?  Paper Water Bottle’s President, Dan Doster, came to Strategic 3D Solutions with a challenge.  The initial design of the paper water bottle was complete, and they needed a prototype that would clearly communicate the vision of Paper Water Bottle.  We had the perfect technology for their application.  We used the Mcor IRIS, a 3D printer that uses paper for the build material, to fabricate a prototype.  What better way to demonstrate the concept of a paper water bottle than to use a paper prototype?

3D Printed prototype paper water bottle in white

3D Printed Prototype Paper Water Bottle

Paper Water Bottle has won numerous awards for innovation and sustainability.  The interest in Paper Water Bottle is enormous, and production begins in October 2017.

As the team at Paper Water Bottle ramped up for production, we used Geomagic’s Design X software to design prototype tooling for assembling the paper water bottle.  The first parts for the assembly fixture were fabricated using a very affordable, yet highly reliable 3D printer, the MakerBot Replicator+.

3D printed prototype assembly fixture for the paper water bottle in gray PLA material

3D Printed Prototype Assembly Fixture

This MakerBot 3D printer uses only PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is also a biodegradable material.  PLA is made of materials like corn starch, cassava roots, or sugar cane.  PLA prints reliably and provides good surface finish and dimensional stability for the short term.  It’s perfect for this application, because of its near-term physical properties and because it aligns with the sustainability goals of Paper Water Bottle.

These first tooling parts are being used to verify the functionality and the dimensional accuracy of the tooling design.  For the production version, we plan to use Markforged 3D printers.   Why Markforged?

Markforged is focused on 3D printing strong, high performance parts with a beautiful finish.  Their unique offering includes the capability to embed continuous carbon fiber inside the part, which provides strength and dimensional stability.  The strength-to-weight ratio of Markforged parts can exceed 6061 aluminum.  Once again, a perfect fit for this application at this stage of the product life cycle.

Want to have a sample paper water bottle?  Order one.

At Strategic 3D Solutions, we’re big fans of their mission, and we’re honored to play a part in their journey.  Have a project and need help with designing, 3D printing, or 3D scanning?  Looking for a 3D printer or 3D scanner?  Contact us.

About the author
Bruce Reimer is a business leader with over 30 years of experience in five industries: 3D printing, defense electronics, forensics, transportation technology, and agriculture equipment. His educational background includes a BS in Engineering and an MBA.
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