- story by MaterialDistrict
Fishy Filaments™ aims to provide a win-win solution to fishing communities by taking end-of-life fishing gear and transforming it into commercially viable products that have the potential for a multitude of uses. The high quality 3D printer filament is made from 100% recycled marine nylon.
Fishy Filaments’ recycled nylon (otherwise known as PA6) is unusual, possibly unique, in the world of 3D printing filaments. The company can track the polymers they reclaim all the way from their original sources, mostly in Japan, through the global fishing net supply chain, the commercial fishery and ultimately to their doorstep. This is possible is because the nylon used by commercial fisheries is made to very high standards in order to meet the demands of an extremely tough industry.
But just to make sure they know exactly what the net material is and where it is coming from, Fishy Filaments has carried out scientific analysis to confirm documentary evidence. They have also commissioned independent 3rd party labs to make sure that the material we gather isn’t becoming contaminated or chemically altered through its life.
The nets have typically been used by Cornish fishers for 3-6 months, and very rarely any longer as their surfaces become cloudy and they stop catching fish. Net lofts around Cornwall re-string frame lines (the ropes on the top and bottom of each net panel) whenever a panel gets too worn or gets ripped, and Fishy Filaments gathers both full panels at the end of their useful life and fragments of repaired nets.
So the nylon might be a bit salty and have a few bits of seaweed attached but the underlying high quality polymer is still there and Fishy Filaments does our very best to make sure that they don’t destroy its value by over processing, adding pigments or including other chemical modifiers.
All the polymer blends are 100% recycled. No pigments or other modifiers are added. Instead, Fishy Filaments works with the nets they receive, grade them according to colour and wear, and process them separately in order to maximise their potential. They then combine the grades to provide customers with a consistent blend that they can add their own uniqueness and value to through 3D printing.