One of the major drawbacks of 3D printing is the price of print stock. In some of the more expensive systems, 3D-print material can cost as much as $450/kg for photopolymers. Even the price of cheaper filament material can come in at $48/kg.
To make the world of 3D printing a little more affordable, a company named Filabot has created a machine that will “grind down various types of plastics to make spools of plastic filament for 3D printers.”
According to the Filabot website, their machine is capable of processing numerous types of plastic including, HDPE, LDPE, PET, ABS, Nylon 101 and PLA. You might be asking yourself, “What type of objects are made from the alphabet soup of plastics just mentioned, and do I have them laying around my house?”
Fortunately, you do!
Milk jugs, water bottles, bottle caps, packaging and even Lego’s are made of these plastics. So, it’s likely that you already buy items containing the material you’d need to make your own filament.
One of the biggest concerns about 3D printing has always been sustainability. How were we going to create the material that makes our 3D prints? It looks like Filabot may have found a partial solution.
Images Courtesy of Whitney Trudo