YUYO and Forward AM are turning medical waste into Surfboards thanks to 3D Printing

Image via Forward AM

The first step in transforming waste into surfboards starts with appropriate materials. For a material producers such as Forward AM, these materials needed to be 100% made of recycled waste, robust and reliable.

Sustainability is currently at the heart of everything, the way we live, the way we produce and the way we consume. For surfers, the challenge to protect the environment in which they work/play, is to use surfboards that respect ocean life but the vast majority of surfboards out there are pollutive, non-recyclable, and toxic to ocean life.

To address this issue, YUYO and Forward AM joined forces to develop a sustainable surfboard alternative.

YUYO is on a mission to produce surfboards with minimal environmental impact and AM seems to be the only technology they can rely on to achieve that. “Additive manufacturing allows us to responsibly produce tailor-made boards, which help preserve aquatic ecosystems . Using natural or recycled materials, producing less waste, protecting the health of shapers, sourcing raw materials locally are all levers that allow us to minimize the impact of our boards on the environment”, YUYO explained on its website.

The whole story started in 2018, when the company’s founder, Romain Paul heard about the high volumes of hospital waste, mainly as plastic packaging completely harmless to human health. His idea was to collect, sort and process this medical waste so that it can serve another cause. To back its idea with actions, he found a material that consisted entirely of recycled medical waste and was ready for processing on large-scale 3D printers.

The team’s extensive research led them to one recycled filament: Ultrafuse® rPET by Forward AM. Following fist testing, the team find out that Ultrafuse® rPET is the ideal sustainable alternative to PET. Not only can it be processed by large format 3D printers, but it enables to achieve a truly eco-friendly surfboard.

Image via YUYO

Today, “the internal structure of YUYO’s surfboards is 3D printed with Ultrafuse® rPET that’s 100% recycled from waste medical trays used for sterilizing surgical tools. This filament is outstandingly reliable, always delivering the exact same characteristics such as identical viscosity and filament diameter. Quite simply, it prints as reliably as a regular top-grade virgin PET filament”, Forward AM states.

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