Prototype 3D printer Filament Recycler
Never a dull moment in our Drafting & Engineering Technology program! In addition to applied learning projects we always welcome and encourage student initiated projects.
Today Ian MacKinnon tested out his prototype 3D printer filament recycler. Ian has put a ton of work into this project over a very short period of time.
With three 3D printers in our lab there is always discarded material in the form of rafts used to adhere the print to the build plates, supports to support overhanging areas and prints that just go bad. Our primary printing material is PLA. Polylactic acid is a thermoplastic polyester made from plant starch. The recycler allows discarded PLA to be ground and recycled and extruded into filament that can be reused in the 3D printers.
Ian’s machine uses an old windshield wiper motor, auger drill bit, pipe and 3D printed components. Not shown is a paper shredder Ian bought for $5.00 and adapted to grind up discarded PLA components and pieces.
The completed recycler is composed of two stages – processing and post processing. With the processing components successfully tested Ian is moving on to developing the post processing equipment which cools the filament, ensures consistent diameter and winds it onto spools.
Way to go Ian!