3D printer filament recycling from water bottles

UWF provides many tools to its students to facilitate their education. One of these tools is the SEA 3D printing lab. At Sea 3D, students can turn their ideas into objects through additive manufacturing. 3D printing in the form of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) creates a 3d object by heating material to its glass transition point, a temperature where the material becomes mailable, and extrudes the materials in layers. The process creates excess materials in the form of supports, failed prints, and parts that are not to the required specifications of the design or those which require a re-design which then are discarded as waste. Throughout the summer, the process of turning used materials back into usable materials was refined and codified. As part of this effort, a recycling initiative was implemented to find the parameters needed to prepare and create usable materials from water bottles and number one recyclables. The process involves shredding the bottles, drying the shredded materials, and melting it into usable materials. Many parameters had to be found, refined, and a new printer had to be built to print the recycled filament. The process resulted in a system that can take 70 water bottle and turn them into a spool of filament.
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Abstract/Description: UWF provides many tools to its students to facilitate their education. One of these tools is the SEA 3D printing lab. At Sea 3D, students can turn their ideas into objects through additive manufacturing. 3D printing in the form of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) creates a 3d object by heating material to its glass transition point, a temperature where the material becomes mailable, and extrudes the materials in layers. The process creates excess materials in the form of supports, failed prints, and parts that are not to the required specifications of the design or those which require a re-design which then are discarded as waste. Throughout the summer, the process of turning used materials back into usable materials was refined and codified. As part of this effort, a recycling initiative was implemented to find the parameters needed to prepare and create usable materials from water bottles and number one recyclables. The process involves shredding the bottles, drying the shredded materials, and melting it into usable materials. Many parameters had to be found, refined, and a new printer had to be built to print the recycled filament. The process resulted in a system that can take 70 water bottle and turn them into a spool of filament.
Subject(s): Recycled materials
Undergraduate Research
3D printing filament
Date Issued: 2021