Plastic Recycling to 3D Printer Filament

Michigan Technological University

Students of The Enterprise Program at Michigan Tech propose to recycle more than just familiar food containers. Through the Open Source Hardware Enterprise team the Plastic Recycling to 3D Printer Filament project proposes to incorporate a wider variety of plastics into recycled filament. Additionally, the students will upgrade their machinery to use this new recycled product to produce the filament. The Enterprise team will sell the recycled filament as well as share the knowledge via a pair of open hardware tools. Plus, documentation will allow the team to share this business plan throughout the Upper Peninsula and other rural regions.

This project aims to focus on two plastics (PLA and ABS), commonly taken to landfills and incurring processing charges, as well as the higher volume (#1 and #2) with poor environmental performance. Devices developed during this project will be integrated into the community to improve recycling amounts of plastic by producing the profitable 3D printing filament.

The Upper Peninsula Recycling Coalition is community-based partner for this project, which promotes the reduction of materials going into landfills. The UPRC sponsors an annual recycling conference at which the OSHE students will present their findings at the end of the project.

 

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