Desktop Miracle: Machine Recycles Plastic Into 3D Printing Fuel


Three-dimensional printing is an amazing technology that may eventually take over the entire manufacturing industry. Vermont Technical College student Tyler McNaney is single-handedly revolutionizing the way this emerging technology is used by introducing the Filabot, a machine that turns plastic garbage into filament used to create amazing objects with 3D printers.

McNaney’s Filabot includes parts to grind, melt down and extrude plastic into usable filament. The newly-recycled plastic is then wound onto a spool, ready to be fed into a 3D printer. Plastic bottles, milk jugs, plastic packaging, and even failed 3D printed objects can be reused and turned into something new and fantastic.

filabot filament

Imagine how much more incredible home-based 3D printing will get when folks don’t have to worry about wasting expensive filament. They can experiment away without fretting over how much each model is costing in raw materials because the failed projects can simply be recycled into new ones. Even more exciting: the Filabot can keep so many materials out of the landfill by encouraging useful recycling.

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See more in Futuristic or under Technology. January, 2013.