Filabot Makes 3D Printing Cheaper By Recycling Old PlasticBy: Zach Walton - January 17, 2013
Filament is expensive. Ask any 3D printing enthusiast and they will agree that the cost of the plastic filament used to print objects is oftentimes overpriced. If only there was a product that let you recycle all the worthless plastic sitting around your house into usable filament. Oh wait, there totally is.
Say hello to Filabot, a new machine that melts down junk plastic into the plastic filament used by the majority of desktop 3D printers. The machine can process a variety of plastics including HDPE, LDPE, ABS and PLA. The latter two are sold by major 3D printing companies, but now you can make your own if you’re up to melting down a few of your LEGO pieces.
Filabot already had a successful funding run on Kickstarter early last year when the creator, Tyler McNaney, asked for $10,000. In the end, he received $32,330 from 156 backers. Sixty-seven of those backers will be receiving their very own Filabot.
Not only is Filabot a great idea, but it solves one of the major hurdles facing 3D printing – sustainability. Not all 3D printers yet support PLA, a bio-degradable plastic. With Filabot, most plastics can now be melted down into filament to be used in future designs. It saves the creator money while putting the plastic in something besides a landfill. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation.