Recycled plastic for 3D printing

Covestro and Polymaker collaborate on a polycarbonate filament made from recycled plastic

  • Reduced CO₂ footprint
  • Broad product portfolio on display at TCT Asia trade show


Polymaker™ PC-r polycarbonate filament for 3D printing is made from a Covestro plastic recyclate produced from used water bottles from Chinese water bottle manufacturer Nongfu Spring. © Covestro


Polymaker, a leading manufacturer of 3D printing materials, uses a recycled polycarbonate developed by Covestro, a globally leading materials supplier, to produce Polymaker™ PC-r, the polycarbonate filament for 3D printing made from recycled plastic. The material comes from 19-liter bottles from Chinese water supplier Nongfu Spring, which contain polycarbonate in a fairly pure form. Covestro blends the plastic waste with virgin material to yield a polycarbonate base that can be extruded into filaments for use in electronics automotive and other industries.

The filament is particularly suitable for brands wanting to make their supply chain more sustainable, especially in combination with 3D printing technology for production on an industrial scale. Compared to virgin material, the filament using recycled material has a lower carbon footprint. The product is also more durable and meets industry-specific requirements such as the Blue Angel and EPEAT seal.

The fact that the waste comes from one single source is an advantage. This means that no prior sorting and identification of the plastics is necessary. The plastic waste is quite pure and can be recycled in a cost-effective manner. In addition, it is available in sufficient quantities. In China, large-volume water bottles are widespread in private households and public places. These are collected and refilled again and again before finally discarded and sent for recycling. This is another example of how Covestro is helping to build a circular economy in collaboration with partners along the value chains.

The high temperature post-consumer product has outstanding thermal stability and strength. Because of its properties, a constant temperature chamber is required to print successfully.


Machine manufacturer INTAMSYS conducted print tests with Polymaker™ PC-r on its FUNMAT PRO 410 printer. The printer can achieve a dual jet temperature of up to 500°C and a platform temperature of up to 160°C. The chamber temperature can be up to 90°C, which prevents warping of printed parts and allows larger and more complex models to be printed more successfully.

Tests have demonstrated that the Polymaker™ PC-r material is extremely easy to process. The test scores show good values for tensile strength, Young's modulus, flexural strength and flexural modulus, which were slightly higher than standard polycarbonate.

Extensive range of products at the TCT Asia trade show

Polymaker will be presenting a wide range of materials for 3D printing, ranging from high-performance plastics to unique aesthetic solutions, at booth number F44 at TCT Asia, the 3D printing trade show in Shanghai, China, from May 26-28, 2021.

At the trade show, Covestro and its additive manufacturing business, including the newly acquired business from DSM, will be exhibitingon two booths as both had registered separately prior to the transaction. Visitors to the trade show are invited to visit Covestro at booth number E46 and the former DSM AM at a at booth number C48 to learn more about the company's broadend product portfolio.


About Covestro:

With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro is among the world’s leading polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative, sustainable solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. In doing so, Covestro is fully committed to the circular economy. The main industries served are the automotive and transportation industries, construction, furniture and wood processing, as well as electrical, electronics, and household appliances industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. At the end of 2020, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

About Polymaker:

Polymaker is a company that produces advanced 3D printing materials specifically engineered for a wide range of applications across many industries. At the heart of Polymaker is a large research and development laboratory which drives the company forward through constant innovation and testing. All Polymaker materials are formulated and optimized for 3D printing while maintaining the unique properties inherent to the respective base polymer. Find more information at


INTAMSYS is a world-leading high-tech company providing 3D printing and industrial direct additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance materials. Focusing on aerospace, aviation, automotive, electronic manufacturing, consumer goods, healthcare, scientific research and other industries, the company provides comprehensive additive manufacturing solutions from functional test prototyping, tooling and fixture manufacturing to direct mass production of final products, covering equipment, software, high-performance materials and printing services. For further information, please visit

Forward-looking statements

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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