Infinite Plastic Experiments
“I want to reuse the plastic for 3D printing and color it myself”
Plastic for 3D printing can be purchased in ready-to-use filaments on coils in all colours imaginable, but in this research project, the goal was to make filament on my own, using pellets/recycled scrap and an extruding machine.
ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a thermoplastic polymer made from fossil fuel. It is one of two main types of plastic used for 3D-printing, the other one being PLA (polylactic acid).
ABS pellets are commonly white. To give the self-made filament a personal and special touch, LEGO bits, which also consist of ABS, were shredded down in several experiments, and added to the pellets in the extruding machine. By adding different colours over time, the resulting filament turned into a wonderful rainbow-range.
PLA (polylactic acid) is a polymer made from natural biodegradable materials such as corn starch and sugarcane. Apart from ABS, it's the most common material for 3D printing. Even though a much better approach than ABS environmentally, it is still using up resources and contributes to deforestation and monoagriculture. Thus, recycling is an important approach, especially in a place where a lot of rapid prototyping is happening and thus many misprints and supportmaterial is wasted.
Since extruding and reprinting was already successfull in the ABS experiments, the most crucial part of the experiments is the crushing down of parts. Especially when they are printed as solids, very strong machines are required. A handdriven grinder proved not strong enough.
The row of experiments is still to be continued.