DIY desktop 3D-printers may be taking off, with basic flatpack modelsavailable for as little as £250, but the printing material itself still has a hefty price tag. A 1kg spool of plastic filament – which is heated then squeezed out in layers like icing to create objects – costs around £50, keeping it in reach of only the most enthusiastic hobbyists.
But the home-printing revolution may now be on its way, thanks to an invention by American college student Tyler McNaney. The Filabotbrings a miniature industrial recycling plant to your desktop, grinding down everyday plastic waste and transforming it into ready-to-use printing material.
Everything from water pipes to drinks bottles, plastic wrappers and Lego bricks can be fed into the contraption – which grinds, melts and extrudes the plastic into a filament of either 3mm or 1.75mm diameters. It can also melt down failed or broken 3D prints, allowing for increased trial and error, or the ability to upgrade redundant parts.
Read More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/architecture-design-blog/2013/jan/15/f…