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UBQ Materials’ waste-based 3D printing filament wins SXSW Award


UBQ Materials, a climate tech developer of advanced materials made from unsorted household waste, has been named the winner in the Speculative Design category at the SXSW Innovation Awards. 

Taking place on 14 March at the Austin Convention Center during the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference and Festivals, the SXSW Innovation Awards recognise and celebrate the most exciting tech developments in the connected world. 

UBQ Materials won for the first ever waste-based 3D filament made with UBQ, the company’s climate positive thermoplastic. This was developed in partnership with Plastics App, an R&D company in tailor-made applicative innovation for polymers and plastics. The novel filament brings a new sustainable option to the additive manufacturing space by enabling 3D printing with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. 

Of hundreds of applications submitted, UBQ Materials was one of just 15 winners. Each entry was graded on four criteria: creativity, form, function and overall experience. UBQ Materials took home the top prize in the Speculative Design category, which looks at design solutions that address the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of the future. 

Finalists in the category included Biometric Ignited Solo Blade from SOLO Secure; Coldsnap’s Flash Freeze Premium Ice Cream On-Demand; Katalyst Training System by Katalyst Interactive, Inc; and XEDEC Tri-Screen 2, by Xebec. 

“3D printing enables manufacturers across industries the option to design complex products with near immediate customisations that otherwise might be impossible to produce using conventional manufacturing methods,” UBQ Materials co-founder and co-CEO Tato Bigio said. 

“The use of UBQ in the printing filament offers manufacturers the ability to gain the benefits of 3D printing, while capitalising on the reduced carbon footprint enabled by UBQ. With this innovation, 3D printing may become the most environmentally conscious means of production available. We are thrilled that the SXSW Innovation Awards judging panel recognised this significant achievement and are incredibly proud to have been named the winner in this category.” 

UBQ Materials converts unsorted landfill-destined waste, including all organics, into a fully recyclable thermoplastic that substitutes oil-based resins for manufacturing in 3D printing – a space that has typically relied on oil-based thermoplastics. With the UBQ-based 3D filaments, manufacturers can take full advantage of the flexibility and cost-efficiency of 3D printing, while maintaining a low-carbon footprint for eco-conscious production.  

For more information about the SXSW Innovation Awards and to view the complete list of 2022 winners, click here. 

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