Recycle or reusing PLA 3d print materials and acrylic materials from laser cutting


#1

Hi all,
Over in London we were discussing that there is some waste of PLA material that is just sent to normal waste.
Also Acrylic seems to be a point of having more plastic.

What solutions do other spaces have?

I contacted https://rigid.ink/ and they are trying out a master spool system (so at least the spook does not go to waste).

I have found online a commercial solution: https://www.filabot.com/ and some DIY Solutions: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:380987 and https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:62544

I just thought that it would be nice to maybe if we all mail our PLA to the same point that will later sell us back the recycled material it would be interesting. Also as more and more people are buying 3D printers.


#2

There is not a very good case for recycling PLA. It comes from sustainable sources and uses more energy to recycle than to create (at the typical scales these are done)

The best is to see that it gets industrially composted rather than landfill.


#3

How does one get it industrially composted?


#4

This depends upon how the PLA has been treated, according to the use.

PLA,as is, when it’s freshly printed, degrades under UV light, same as every food-safe plastic, so sunlight can cause degradation in the material properties.

If you bake the parts made from PLA, they will last a lot longer, and have better structural strength, but this is at the expense of the recyclability of the material.

Untreated PLA will compost relatively well, though if it’s shredded and then exposed to UV light first, it will break down more easily, as most of the initial activation energy costs for the reaction have been paid for by the sun.

One good source of information can be found here, https://preciousplastic.com/

There’s always the option of using Vacuum Pyrolysis, but this process is very energy-intensive, so it would need to be combined with a power system that uses renewable energy sources to get the full benefit of the savings from the process.


#5

I am tempted to offer a service and get one of these boxes if reuse is not a realistic offer.
Other spaces can send their stuff to me and I will collect the stuff and post it.

The bigger spaces can probably order one if their production is high.


#6

I’ve built a filament maker machine, it’s missing a decent dc motor, but i’m gonna opt for a 12 volt car windscreen motor once I get the chance to go to the local scrape yard. Once I get it really going, I’ll build 5 in total, the real problem comes from making pellets. If anyone has a plasma cutter, i’d be really interested in using it. Avoid the L298N its only good for low amps, hence the relay.

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