Plastic Waste Recycled Into ‘Ink’ for 3-D Printers_Featured_, Futurism, Technology Sunday, January 27th, 2013
Jeff Spross | ThinkProgress.org
Over the last year or two 3D printing has enjoyed a boom of sorts, as the technology has decreased to a size and price that’s at least somewhat feasible for the average consumer or hobbyist. At the same time the cost of plastic filament — the raw material 3D printers heat and then deposit to fabricate objects — has kept use of the technology beyond the reach of most individuals.
But now there’s a new desktop system that not only has the potential to solve the cost-of-filament problem, but to also make 3D printing an ally in efforts to cut down on the average household’s plastic waste.
The Filabot was developed by an American college student, Tyler McNaney, who raised raised over three times his initial $10,000 goal with a Kickstarter campaign to get the project off the ground. Aficionados were paying $350 for the first-run version fo the device, which can transform most forms of household plastic waste into filament, as well as recycle failed 3D printing projects for another go-round. Treehugger has the details:
The Filabot can turn most types of plastic into filament, including HDPE, LDPE, PET, ABS, PLA and NYLON-101. That means the machine can turn most plastic waste you might have around your house into a building material. Things like milk jugs, soda or water bottles, trays, plastic wraps, water pipes, luggage, packaging, biodegradable plastics and even Legos can become something new.
This also means that 3D printed projects gone wrong can also be fed into the Filabot to be made again, giving more room for trial and error without the fear of creating lots of plastic waste.
This system lets us imagine a future where we’re not only 3D printing replacements or repair parts for our things instead of throwing them away, but using waste plastic to in the process.
Filabot had a successful Kickstarter campaign last year where supporters paid $350 to get a first run version of these machines and the team is slowly working out kinks to get them out to public, though no official price has been released yet…
Image: Whitney Trudo