One of the main drawbacks to 3D printing that may be preventing take up, especially among home and hobby users, is the cost of 3D printers and their associated consumables. The Filabot Kickstarter project aims to reduce the material costs of the plastic filament used by most 3D printers by creating it from plastic containers that are normally recycled.
The Filabot project reached its funding goal on Kickstarter about a year ago and for the last 12 months the team behind it have been refining the design and are now in the process of shipping machines to the original Kickstarter backers. Once the backers have their machines the Filabot will be available for sale to the general public.
Filabot is the first desktop extruding system that makes spools of plastic filament for 3D printers from several different types of plastic. The plastic is ground up, melted and then the plastic is forced through a nozzle to be formed into the filament and wound onto a spool. The Filabot comes with two interchangeable nozzles, 1.75mm and 3mm diameter, so that the filament is compatible with available 3D printers.
The Filabot designers have tested many different types of recyclable plastics, including PET, PETE, PE-HD, HDPE, PE-LD, LDPE. This means you can feed all sorts of household plastic containers, milk jugs, soft drink bottles and various other types of plastics and create a brand new plastic spool for your 3D printer. You can even take those failed prototypes and bad prints and make new filament from them. Now that’s recycling!