Fishy Filaments

Fishy Filaments

Fishy Filaments takes used fishing nets and recycles the plastics contained in them to produce high value filament for use in 3D printing.

We did it!

On 29th Mar 2017 we successfully raised £5,078 of £5,000 target with 53 supporters in 56 days

New stretch target

Any additional funds will advance the design of the filament packaging, put towards a professionally made set of promotional material and any left over will be used to establish and register the company formally.

The spools used to package 3D printer filament are normally made of non-recyclable thermoset plastics. We are committed to using recycled material for the vast majority of the packaging material, though it is unlikely that we will  reach 100% (unless we can find a way to print the lettering using squid ink). To do this we need to work with an external packaging specialist.

To this point marketing the idea has been less important than the technical work or network building, but to make the step-up from pre-commercial to fully commercial we will also need to make that step in spending on marketing. Viewers will have seen the video used to support fundraising. It has been made with what we term "an appropriate amount of slickness" for the stage of the project. 

Finally as we switch from R&D to commercialisation there are some legal formalities required to establish Fishy Filaments as a limited company and register it with the appropriate authorities for waste handling, VAT and the like. Really dull but important stuff.

The Pitch;

The plastics contained in used fishing nets are a valuable raw material. They shouldn't be thrown away after one use.

Fishy Filaments wants to help by getting its hands dirty and making long term change for the better a reality rather than an aspiration.

We want to recycle marine plastics locally, by doing so capture the whole value of those materials for the local economy rather than burning it, burying it or exporting it.

We have the idea. We've proven the technology can work. We've built 'The Network' on the ground.

As a start-up we don't have the ready cash needed to take the next step and prove that the business works.

But as a crowd you do !

If you believe that is worth trying to establish a local plastic recycling capacity in Cornwall, one with both a social and environmental conscience, then we ask that you help us get to the next stage.


Some details;

We're working with the support of Fishing for Litter (South West) and The Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commissioners, with the aim of taking both caught marine litter and end-of-life fishing nets, processing them locally and producing a valuable hi-tech material for the fast-growing 3D printing sector.

The project has already demonstrated a world first (harbourside nylon gill nets to a 3D printed form) and gained valuable understanding of the science and engineering of net recycling.

The ultimate aim is to go into self-sustaining production, securing supplies of used fishing gear from around the county, and maybe further, making local hires and selling the 3D printing filament to a national or possibly global market. For Fishy Filaments a sustainable business is one that is self-supporting as well as being socially and environmentally responsible.

However before we can get to that full scale roll-out, there remains a phase of up-sizing and product testing that needs to be done. It is this advanced feasibility study that we are asking for help with. To complete it the R&D kit that we've used so far needs to be replaced by bigger and better production machinery.

The £5000 target is sufficient to buy the professional-quality equipment necessary to produce a testable product and construct demo pieces from that product.

Technically we've proven the process. Now we need to prove that a business can be built on it.


Fishy Filaments is offering a range of pledge options, some of which include 3D printed plastic items as rewards. These rewards are made from PLA, a bioplastic whose raw materials are cornstarch or milk. We have conducted independent tests to confirm that the PLA used does indeed degrade over time.

Given the nature of the issues surrounding marine plastics we have also given pledgees the option to NOT recieve a plastic item, even one that we feel is appropriate, and we respect that choice.

Our rewards include;

3D printed mirror mascots (~10cm long)

3D printed key fobs (~7cm long)

These items were produced by Fishy Filaments in Cornwall using an open source design posted on Thingiverse by StevenDuval (

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