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A project log for Recycling Household Plastic for 3D printing

I'm attempting to recycle my household plastic into usable 3D printer filament

EMEM 02/16/2019 at 02:080 Comments

First log here, just going to cover stuff I've already done before adding this onto Hackaday.

------------ Research -----------

Obviously, the first part of this was research. Starting by figuring out what would be required for filament extrusion, then moving onto how to shred plastic into small enough pieces to fit in the extruder. By far the most difficult part was finding a way to shred the plastic affordably. There was some work done previously (see here: $50 Plastic Shredder/Grinder/Recycler). While cheap, I wasn't confident in it's ability to shred anything for a prolong amount of time without the motors dying. The other idea I toyed with, and eventually went with, was a garden shredder. I figured if it was capable of mulching wood branches into fine pieces, suitable stiff plastic should function as well. 

--------- Shredding - Testing Phase --------

This is where I am at the moment. The mulcher was a great success, successfully turning my coke bottles into a fine plastic mulch. In fact, it was almost two effective, producing quite a bit of fine, plastic dust, resulting in me halting my experiments until I could get a hold of a dust mask. After initially having issues getting bottles through, the single bottles not fitting into the limited entryway of the shredder, and the ones I managed to get in not shredding effectively, instead just being pushed around by the blades, I figured that I should make any plastic I put in as branch-like as possible, seeing as that is what it was designed for. So, I took about 3-4 2.5L Coke bottles, cut the tops and bottoms off, cut down the middle so I had a sheet of plastic, removed the label, and rolled the sheets up into a cylinder. This yielded far better results, although some larger chunks of plastic tend to fall through towards the end. I now have a large plastic bin full of shredded plastic bottles, and am now waiting for my next pay to buy the FilaStruder and requisite winder. I'm also looking for a source of PET pellets to supplement the shredded material, as plastic loses strength when re-extruded if not combined with %15-20 virgin material. Updates coming soon, hopfully


Initial Attempts

Current Haul of Plastic
Ozito 2400W Rapid Garden Shredder

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