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A new Opportunity for 3D Printing: Creating 3D Objects out of Filament Waste

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3D filament waste, photo courtesy from www.geeetech.com

Nowadays, 3D has definitely found its way into the printing industry, it has become more and more popular throughout the years, not only for big companies and businesses but also regular people are buying 3D printers for their own entertainment and for startups at their homes.

Having a rapid prototyper may be a great way to transform a simple 3D model into a concrete 3D plastic object, and because of it easy way to create basically anything in just a few hours, it has evolve and upgrade the way of creating almost any kind of prototype. Obviously the printing time will depend on many factors like size, thickness, density, support material, etc.

 

The other side of the coin

The truth is that not everyone that owns a 3D printer is aware of the amount of waste it creates when using it. Actually is really easy to just throw away the waste and that’s it. But what about recycling in a way to create new 3D objects using just the waste?

3D-printing-filament-waste

Photo courtesy from www.geeetech.com

Creating 3D panels with just the waste is really easy speaking in a handcrafted way. Obviously it can be done in a more industrial way, but having a simple oven and lots of 3D printing filament waste can get you really cool and functional results without even making a big effort. If you own an industrial oven, you might consider using it to get bigger boards and therefore, bigger 3D objects.

3D-recycle-process-all3dp

Photo courtesy from www.all3dp.com

What will you need?

First of all, it’s worth mentioning that you can make flat panels with different molds. Obviously the most common is a square or rectangular mold. But by using molds of different shapes and a little imagination you can turn it into a completely different 3D object.

Another way to reuse the waste, if you own or have access to a laser cutter is to use it to finish the created object. It can make the process even cleaner and well made. Here is how to do it:
The main idea of this is to melt all the filament waste putting it into the oven inside a flat mold to create a board to cut it later with laser, or another cutting tool like a dremel. It can be created from a bunch of single-color filament waste or even convert it into a rainbow piece using every color you have.
So first you need to cut all of the waste into little pieces. This can be made by hand but for faster results you can use a blender. Then you should add all of these pieces into your mold. You may want to add a non-stick spray to the mold so it is easier to remove the board when it’s done.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 ℃ and put the mold inside for 30-35 minutes. When it’s completely melted you should remove the mold from the oven and wait for it to cool down.
When its totally chilled you should remove it and then put it into the laser cutter to shape it the way you want.

3D-recycle-all3dp

Photo courtesy from www.all3dp.com

So basically even if you don’t have enough time to sit down and design a new object, these boards can work as coasters, wall panels, benches, chopping boards, or any other home decor item.

_3D-recycled-board-all3dp

Photo courtesy from www.all3dp.com

 

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