Wednesday, March 27, 2013
At Michigan Technological University, the smarties are shredding up those plastic milk jugs and feeding the scraps to the 3D printer--to emerge as a cell phone case or a safety razor.
The website Thingiverse.com has thousands of open source instructions for the neato-torpedo printers, which are coming down in price to as little as $500. You can even make parts for the printer on the printer--thus saving that cost.
The big cost is the filament--the plastic that is laid down in layers. So they made a device that turns the jugs into filament--again, check out Thingiverse.com.
Milk jug filament can be harder to work with but the price is right.
Twenty jugs makes about a kilo of filament--at $50 retail, this could be a little moneymaker for people in poor countries, too.
As we all make our own gadgets!
Two articles: March issue of Rapid Prototyping: Distributed Recycling of Waste Polymer into RepRap Feedstock by Christian Baechler and Matthew DeVuono. And Proceedings of the Materials Research Society--upcoming: Distributed Recycling of Post-Consumer Plastic Waste in Rural Areas, by Jerry Anzalone and students Megan Kreiger, Meredith Mulder, and Alexandra Glover.