3D-Reprinter recycles plastic bottles into 3D printing filament.
As the main filament for home printing is non-biodegradable ABS material that can only be properly disposed by dissolving in acetone, it would seem that '3D printing' and 'eco-friendly' are terms that are a universe apart.
Yet 3D printing is set to be a key player in creating a sustainable future for manufacturing, be that by scaling mass production or increased research into using eco-friendly materials. With additive manufacturing proving more resourceful than traditional manufacturing methods, an increasing number of industries are adopting the technology to manufacture their products.
The latest machine to demonstrate the recycling possibilities capable with 3D printing is the 3D-Reprinter from designers Yangzi Qin, Yingting Wang, Luckas Fischer and Hanying Xie. This 3D printer recycles plastic into new material for printing 3D objects, meaning plastic drinking bottles could become a source for 3D printing filament.
The machine encourages users to utilise home waste plastic to produce new products and promote recycling. The 3D-Reprinter works by processing plastic into powders which can then be used to print with.
Similar devices have already surfaced over the last few years such as the EKOCYCLE Cube from 3D Systems which also transforms parts from plastic bottles into useable 3D printing filament or the RecycleBot, that can take household polymer waste and turn it into valuable 3-D printer feedstock. Large scale projects like the ‘10 houses printed in a day’ venture in China have demonstrated how recycled materials can be extruded by 3D printing machines to eliminate waste.
Only basic information about the 3D-Reprinter has been released so far therefore we are yet to discover what the price tag will be. With such an emphasis on the rising quantity of wasted plastic damaging the environment and the right price point, it could prove to be a valuable machine.