Protoprint is a Social Enterprise based in Pune, India that empowers urban waste pickers with the technology to ethically produce fair trade 3D printer filament from the waste plastic they collect. We market the filament globally, providing consumers with a price competitive, ethically sourced, recycled alternative to virgin plastic.
In addition to the sale of our filament, we work with organizations and institutions in India to set up affordable 3D printing facilities for their students and professionals. See our Products and Services page for more information.
In March 2012, Protoprint began developing an ethical, fair trade filament process that empowered waste pickers in India. In collaboration with our pilot partner SWaCH (a local wastepickers co-operative) we have developed a low-cost, scalable process to produce recycled HDPE printer filament from waste collected on the ground.
The idea began as a project when we recognized a gap in the 3D filament market for a recycled filament offering. The filament on the market largely consists of virgin PLA and ABS plastic, only adding to the already rampant plastics problem we face. Protoprint Fair Trade Filament is pioneering the concept of an environmentally friendly, ethical filament offering. We began pilot filament production in December 2013 and are currently in the late stages of testing. After proving the concept, we worked with a UK charity to form an 'Ethical Filament Standard' to propogate the Fair Trade Filament process. We're still ironing out the kinks and will begin filament distribution in mid 2015.
Protoprint is committed to open source development and we've assisted other organizations interested in implementing similar solutions since our inception. Contact us if you're interested in our work!
Born and raised in Pune, Sidhant holds a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has worked on development projects in Nicaragua and Tanzania and is a current Echoing Green and D-Lab Scale-ups fellow.
Katie holds degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering from MIT. She is an expert at computer aided design and, as a student at the Harvard Business School, is particularly interested in the creative applications of 3D printing for development.
Jayant is a software professional with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is in charge of the manufacturing and design of our locally sourced technology.
Suchismita is a published journalist with degrees in Economics and Management. She focuses on the company's finances and on interacting with the waste picker cooperatives.