3D Printer Filament Recycler
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Rapid prototyping, also known as 3D printing, is a rapidly growing tool used in the field of engineering. 3D printing enables engineers to quickly produce components for testing or manufacturing purposes. While engineers take advantage of the benefits of 3D printing, there are also drawbacks, one of which concerns the plastic filament used for the 3D printing process. New spools of plastic filament are expensive, and the printing process generates plastic waste in the form of support structure material inside the printed objects. Additionally, failed prints contribute to wasted plastic filament. Valparaiso University’s College of Engineering uses 3D printing in numerous ways, such as supporting senior design projects, undergraduate research, and as a recruitment tool for new engineering students. To better align 3D printing within Valparaiso University’s mission for sustainability, this project will design and build an economical, sustainable device capable of recycling 3D printed plastic waste into new filament to be reused for printing.
Green, Theresa; Christensen, Louis; Luebcke, Ty; Takacs, Nicholas; Foy, William; and Homer, Samuel, "3D Printer Filament Recycler" (2016). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 533.
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