menu

Desktop Machine Recycles Plastic Into 3D Printing ‘Ink’

Desktop Machine Recycles Plastic Into 3D Printing ‘Ink’
Design

The Filabot turns old soda bottles and product packaging into filament, making the new tech a more sustainable process.

Allie Walker
  • 14 january 2013

3D printing is poised to disrupt nearly every industry–we can 3D print houses, kidneys, and even miniature replicas of ourselves. As the potential output scenarios of 3D printing grow, our thoughts turn to input; while 3D printing replaces the need to use traditional, more costly resources like wood, the use of plastics isn’t the most eco-friendly. To help make the process more sustainable, Vermont Technical College student Tyler McNaney created The Filabot, a desktop machine that recycles common plastics into 3D printing filament.

Instead of purchasing pricey 3D printing filament from the likes of Makerbot (which start at $48/spool!), users can think of their recycling bin as their ‘source’ for all of their 3D printing needs- The Filabot turns old milk jugs, soda bottles, and even product packaging into uniform filament by grinding, melting, and extruding the plastic. The machine then rolls the filament onto a spool, ready to be fed into a 3D printer to create something new. One milk jug and detergent bottle can produce eight feet of filament– just think about how many plastic items you recycle each week, and the new items you can make with a 3D printer are endless!

The Filabot turns 3D printing into a self-sufficient model; users are free to experiment and print as much as they like without spending additional money–if something doesn’t come out quite right, they can feed it back into The Filabot and start over again. The machine moves the possibilites of 3D printing forward as users are unrestrained by extra cost, and lowers the footprint of 3D printing with the use of recycled plastics.

The Filabot

photo credit: Whitney Trudo

Design
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Michelle Phan

cosmetics, e-commerce, online retail, beauty, lifestyle, fashion

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

Retail september 23, 2016

Live Beacon Simplifies Cloud Sharing For Businesses

The battery-powered device and smartphone app allow anyone to send location-specific content without the hassle of code or hardware

No search results found.