Tuesday, 29 June 2010

RapidPro has been "Green" for 1 year!

RapidPro has always been an environmentally friendly business, but with concerns about global warming, the escalation of greenhouse gas emissions as well as our massive water shortages, we decided that it was time to take a fresh approach to our entire operation.

RapidPro is proud to celebrate our one year anniversary as a Carbon Neutral business. Aside from tree planting to offset our emmissions, we have also employed new water saving technologies and are recycling even more from the prototyping technologies used in-house.


Objet prototyping uses high pressure water to remove support material required during the building of a prototype. Most commercial 'wash stations' are connected to mains water and the water that is used is simply washed away.
Instead, RapidPro has engineered its own wash station which enables the recycling of this water, using 90% less water than conventional parts baths or wash stations. This is a massive saving for the environment, with no impact on the finished product.


Building prototypes through Fused Deposition Modelling involves receiving the thermoplastic material in cartridges.
These cartridges have a metal case, plastic spool and IT chip. At RapidPro, when we finish a cartridge, it is completely broken down into it's various components for recycling.
The metal is sent to scrap metal for recycling, the plastic is recycled and the IT chip is sent back to RedEye in the USA where it can be used in other FDM cartridges.
We took the initiative to look into how we could reduce the waste from these cartridges, and now we produce much less waste, resources are not being used unnecessarily, and every useful component is being recycled or reused.


RapidPro is proud celebrate our first year as a carbon neutral business.
100% of emissions used in the making of prototypes, freight, and everyday running of the business are completely offset by the planting of trees.
"We were already running a 'Green Office'," says Simon Bartlett; "So this was the next step to minimising our impact on the environment."
RapidPro has planted more than 1000 trees in the last 12 months as well as looking at additional ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
"Most packaging is recycled, as well as shredding our own waste paper and using this as packaging material," says Simon. "This was the first step we took to establishing a 'Green Office' and we have simply continued from there."
"Becoming carbon neutral was a natural progression and something we are really proud of."

Direct Digital Manufacturing: the Green alternative

Your Green Alternative to Traditional Manufacturing Methods

Designing for sustainability is a hot topic in today’s engineering world. Design software companies are adding tools to help engineers compare manufacturing methods and materials so they can evaluate their design's carbon footprint, executives are insisting that their operations teams adopt just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing techniques and customers are demanding new products that are eco-friendly.

RedEye On Demand's commitment reaches beyond supplying environmentally friendly parts. It extends throughout our offices, manufacturing facilities and distribution systems.

Direct Digital Manufacturing "Green" Attributes

• JIT Manufacturing

• Less Hazardous Materials Used

• Low Material Waste

Just-In-Time (JIT) Manufacturing
DDM is a manufacturing process which creates physical parts directly from 3D CAD files using additive fabrication technology. All DDM parts are intended to be used as the final product itself with minimal post-processing, making it a viable choice for engineers looking to implement JIT manufacturing techniques.

Manufacturers can create parts in as little as 3 days using RedEye's DDM services, so there's no need to carry large quantities of inventory or dispose of discontinued product. At RedEye, product design files are stored digitally so users can manufacture any quantity without any cost penalty - on demand.

Less Hazardous Materials Used
Unlike some rapid manufacturing processes, the DDM process uses no hazardous or dangerous materials and produces no harmful gasses.

Low Material Waste
DDM is an eco-friendly process because there is little waste in creating the product. With traditional manufacturing methods like CNC Milling, parts are created from a block of either plastic or metal shaving off tons of material that goes to waste every year. With conventional machining of metal parts, energy is used to smelt metal into ingots, which become billet materials. These billet materials are then machined, removing a great deal of the material to produce the final part.

In contrast, DDM parts are built in layers melting plastic and applying it through very small outlets not much wider than a human hair. This layer-by-layer application uses only the amount of plastic required to make the part, so there is only an insignificant amount of wasted building material in the process.

A sparse fill option is also available to manufacturers who want to further reduce the amount of plastic being used to create their parts. Parts can be built to a variety of fill levels.

Finally, limited waste enhances energy efficiency because energy is not used to transport or dispose of wasted materials. When manufacturers eliminate machining, they also discard the use of petroleum-based cooling fluids not used in DDM.