Have you heard about 3-D printing? So many industries are looking for ways to cash in on it. I’m sure you want a 3-D printer as well – who wouldn’t? After all, this is a really cool technology, allowing you to make or “print” whatever you want.
Even if you consider the cost of purchasing the plastic filament for the 3-D printer, you’re still saving on manufactured products. For example; if you were to buy these same manufactured products from the store, you would have to pay twice the amount than costs incurred when you print them at your own home. And it is not just that your costs are decreasing, there is an additional benefit. You are also preserving the environment and saving Mother Earth.
Want to reduce this even more? Make your own plastic filament. And what will you use for this? Your old recycled milk jugs. There are many ways in which milk jugs can be recycled, but when you make a plastic filament from them, a lesser amount of energy is required than the one that is consumed in traditional recycling methods.
Researchers first analyzed a milk jug made of HDPE plastic. They cut the jug into small pieces. These were passed through a shredder and then were fed into a RecyleBot which converts plastic into filaments. The researchers stated that compared to a standard plastic recycling program, their proposed technology consumes 3% less energy. They added that percentage may not be much, but there were some areas where it could result in substantial savings. In a lot of cities, excessive costs are incurred due to the transportation of plastic from the waste site to the plant and then to the factories. In all these areas, savings can be as much as 80% which is quite significant.
If you buy 3-D filaments from the market, you will have to pay something between $36 and $50 per kilogram. With recycled plastic, you can produce the same filament for just 10 cents. This also includes the costs of buying RecyleBot.
HDPE plastic does not bear high quality. As this material cools down, it shrinks, so you can use it for printing simple things like a pencil holder or a statue where a decrease in size will not have much effect.
So grab your milk jugs out of the recycle bin and start a 3-D printing press at your own home.