The Filabot recycles scrap plastic into inexpensive 3D printing filaments

This is too cool … and possibly a solution to our waste/recycling problems. Do it yourself 🙂

Desktop 3D printers have hit price-points that make them as affordable as color laser printers. But they also share the same problem – replacing the printing medium costs an arm and a leg. A kilogram of plastic filament costs about US$50, meaning the cost of turning your ideas into reality can quickly add up. But now the Filabot, a miniature plastic recycling plant, will provide a wide variety of plastic filaments from scrap.

Invented by American college student Tyler McNaney, the Filabot can make new 3D printing filament in 3.0 or 1.75 mm (1/8 or 1/15 in) diameters using nearly any household plastic, from PET and polypropylene to Nylon-101. A two-liter soda bottle (PET) weighs about 50 grams, which will be converted into about $2.50 of 3D printing filament. The Filabot can also recycle failed, broken, or obsolete 3D printed parts, making prototype development far less costly. McNaney has even developed an extrudable conducting plastic from scrap.

filabot-3d-printing-filament-scrap-plastic-extruder-grinder

Read the full article …

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