It’s about to get easier to 3D print with recycled plastic


3D printers generally print in one of two types of plastic; either ABS, which is used to make Legos, or PLA, typically found in some types of food packaging.

Despite the abundance of ABS and PLA, it’s still expensive to buy the long strings of plastic filament that 3D printers require. A 2.2 pound spool of filament, which generally costs between $25 and $50, is enough to print nearly 400 chess pieces.

As printers get larger, people will want to print bigger objects to match. Add in regular print job fails that waste filament and material costs can add up quickly.

One emerging type of 3D printing tool could alleviate some of the cost. The Filamaker is a machine that takes in used plastic and outputs fresh strings of filament that are compatible with 3D printers.

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