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Plastics manufacturing has been one of the rapidly growing industrial manufacturing field mainly because of the embracing of the new technologies . Thus these leads to increased production hence more plastics output to the market whose after use turns out to be a waste that must be gotten rid off since when left unattended it ends up being an environmental hazard. Thus the two journal papers selected involves the manufacturing of the plastics whereas the other one is mainly concerned on the recycling of the used plastics (Graettinger et al., 2005).

Therefore as a result of increased production of the plastics due to the utilization of the rapid manufacturing techniques this translates to more plastics waste production (Atzeni et al., 2010). Thus the two selected journal papers contrasts with each other since one is involved in the manufacturing process whereas the other one is involved the recycling of the waste produced as a result of increased production.

One of the selected journal paper is focusing on the advancements of the rapid prototyping (RP) which is a technique that has been in use for quite awhile mainly in the manufacturing of prototypes. However, the ability to make physical objects within a very short period of time as a result of the models developed using the computer-aided design (CAD) has greatly helped in cutting down the developmental step of production. Moreover,  the fabrication of functional and conceptual prototypes usually made from polymers of the plastics is already very well established and known in the market (Graettinger et al., 2005). In addition, parts that are made as a result of the adding materials in a layer-by-layer are not only used  as tools for visualization or assembly testing. Moreover, the production of the plastics functional parts is actually the major part of the evolution of layer manufacturing. However, rapid tooling nowadays which include fabrication of dies and moulds as well as rapid manufacturing (RM) has currently become research subject that is widely spread. Also the techniques mentioned above that are involved in rapid prototyping during plastic manufacturing are also referred by several other designations which include direct fabrication, direct manufacturing and digital manufacturing (Graettinger et al., 2005).

Alternatively irrespective of the improved methods of plastics manufacturing the other journal paper cover the issue of recycling the already used plastic bottles in the formation of geotechnical fills (Atzeni et al., 2010). Thus irrespective of minimizing the cost through cutting of the cost, this is also an environmental friendly method. Geotechnical fills in most of the times are usually made from the natural materials that are locally available. In addition, these geotechnical fills are often used in the building of roadway embankments, also used in the filling behind the retaining walls as well as in the backfilling above pipelines that have been buried. This is mainly because when the load on these structures is lighter therefore they are able to be built in a more economical manner.  In addition, soft ground construction has in most of the times been very challenging phenomenon to many geotechnical engineers as a result of excessive settlement which acts as an increase in the overburden stress increase function (Atzeni et al., 2010). Thus the control of the fill’s total weight preferably by using recycled materials such as plastics usually offer a solution that is attractive in the reduction of settlement of the underlying soil that is soft.

In addition, most of the expanded polystyrene has for a long been used in the geotechnical fills applications. However, these expanded polystyrene often called geofoam have a wider application in the geotechnical fills (Atzeni et al., 2010). These are usually very crucial in the geotechnical applications as recycled plastic materials hence plays a great role in the value creation and reduction of the cost that would have otherwise been used if other materials were to be used. Their weight is also relatively smaller compared to other products hence are easier to transport to their respective destinations.

Key points

            Rapid prototyping is actually one of the most crucial method that is nowadays used in the manufacturing of the plastics as a result of the benefits that accrue from it. This is mainly because of  the drastic reduction of cost and time used in the developmental phase due to the embracing of the computer-aided design which shortens the time needed for models development (Graettinger et al., 2005). In addition, these techniques are also very vital the increment of the plastics production as a result of the improvements in the manufacturing methods used. However, there is also the issue of plastic bottles recycling which apart from being a cost effective practice it is also an environmental friendly exercise since it contributes to the elimination of the plastics from the surroundings (Atzeni et al., 2010).


Nowadays it is already easier to attest the convenience that is associated with the rapid manufacturing. For instance, apart from plastics manufacturing the rapid manufacturing fabrication is actually a reality both for the customer designed products  as well as the reduction of time band cost required to achieve this (Graettinger et al., 2005). In addition, to the increased production and output there is also an increase in the waste accumulation after the use of these plastic products. Thus the need for recycling arises whereby these wastes are actually put into another meaningful use which apart from reducing the costs involved it also functions in as an agent of environmental clean-up (Atzeni et al., 2010).

There is also a clear evidence that the rapid manufacturing demonstrates adequate rapid manufacturing for relatively large and mass of the customization products. In addition, there is the offered convenience of the design freedom as a result of using the advanced techniques in manufacturing (Graettinger et al., 2005). Alternatively based the tests as well as the field installations of the recycled bottles used in the geotechnical fills it usually becomes evident that the reusing of these bottles for this purpose offers unimaginable benefits compared to other that had been used for the same before.




Atzeni, E., Iuliano, L., Minetola, P. and  Salmi, A. (2010). Redesign and cost estimation of rapid manufactured plastic parts. Rapid Prototyping Journal, 16(5), 308 – 317.

Graettinger, A.J., Johnson, P.W., Sunkari, P.,  Duke, M.C. and Effinger, J. (2005). Recycling of plastic bottles for use as a lightweight geotechnical material. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 16(6), 658 – 669.

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