CubeFactory2 – an Off-Grid and Circular 3D-Printing Mini-Factory

Bernd Muschard, Jeremy Bonvoisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The CubeFactory2 is a self-sufficient and luggage-sized production unit illustrating the concept of sustainable manufacturing through circularity and resource conservation. It is circular in the sense that it can create new products out of waste. It embeds a Fuse Filament Fabrication 3D-printer whose input material is supplied by a recycling unit producing filament out of thermoplastic waste. It saves resources in the sense that it embeds renewable energy and material supply to recycle and 3D-print without the need for further infrastructure. In its current state of development, the purpose of the CubeFactory2 is primarily illustrative and to support awareness on sustainable manufacturing. If offers an experienceable application of the concepts of circularity and resource conservation. The long term vision is to take advantage of its compactness, portability and autonomy, in order to enable fabrication in areas of low infrastructure.
The CubeFactory2 combines off-the-shelf and custom subsystems, the four mains of which are a 3D-printer, a recycler, an energy supply unit, and a casing. The present hardware meta-paper describes the design rationale of these systems and offers complementary information to the published open source hardware design files. Great care has been paid in the design process to enable replicability by using standard components when possible and releasing all documentation of bespoke elements following open source standards. This article should contribute to make this functional proof of concept ready for replication and for further development towards a market-ready product.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Open Hardware
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2019


  • mini-factory
  • circular economy
  • filament recycling
  • 3D-printer
  • making
  • sustainable manufacturing


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