04 March 2015

Hi RepRappers!

We are six 4th year Mechanical Engineering students at the University of Bath. We have taken on a challenge to design a system recycling old 3D printed parts and waste material into filament! We are sponsored by RepRapPro and are expected to have a fully working mechanism by the end of May. 

Our progress will be published on this blog during the next three months, feel free to let us know what you think! We're sure some of you have already tried this and have some very valuable experiences to share :)

Now, about the project itself - the idea for the project is to develop an open source,kit form, desktop sized machine that can break down old 3D models and waste support structures and turn them into reusable filaments for more printing (specifically PLA and ABS). Ideally this will cost less then £200. There are a few similar plastic extrusion machines out there such as Filabot and ProtoCycler so we would have to work on setting ourselves apart from them. 

We have already brainstormed each function of our design:
  • Breakdown of Waste Material

  • Mixing With Virgin Material (Pellet Form) and Filtering The Size of Granules
  • Mixing
  • Colouring and Materials

  • Extrusion Heating

  • Extrusion
  • Spooling and Post-Processing
Our next step is to look into the feasibility of all the different methods we brainstormed - if you have already done some research into these areas or are just happy to help it would be much appreciated!