“What to do with your old or failed prints?” That’s a question all 3D printing enthusiasts will sooner or later ask themselves. It feels wrong to just throw it in the trash. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to make use of old filaments. Previous articles have gone into depth about re-usage of filament leftovers. Below are some of the best purchase options that can help make recycling much easier.
Recycling old material requires shredding it first. To do this, one has to clean the items to be shredded and then grind them down to a size small enough to fit through the extruder.
1) Filamaker Shredders
Filamaker shredders are specifically designed to shred old prints. It grinds ABS and PLA down to pellets with ease. While it is quite expensive, it is uniquely equipped to cut old printed objects.
The ProtoCycler+ is unique in that it is both a shredder and a filament extruder.
The next step is to wind the shredded material on a filament spool. This is done by passing the resin or plastic pellets through a heated nozzle and then converted into a thin strand of filament.
1) Lyman Extruder
The Lyman Extruder got mass acclaim for being a simple and cheap solution in a niche market with mostly expensive products. This is a hand-cranked option that is very low-tech but effective. While it was designed to process ABS or PLA pellets it can also recycle post-consumer plastic waste products.
2) Extrusion Bot
Extrusion bot can extrude both ABS and PLA pellets. It automatically spools the filament using a motor. The extrusion bot boasts an impressive output of over 4 ft/minute. The extrusion bot is also a very compact solution that doesn’t take up all that much desk-space.
3) Homemade Extruders
For the more DIY-savvy 3D printer hobbyists, there is always a homemade option. Many folks on the Internet have suggested their own methods of making your own recycling rig. The most thorough one so far appears to be a method involving PTC Heaters to act as the hot-end and stainless steel rods (among other items) that costs about around $100.