It’s pretty awesome that we live in a technological age where printers can make objects out of recycled plastic. We’ve heard of plastic bottles being turned into graduation gowns, hats and other clothing. But with new 3D printers, plastic water bottles help produce cell phone cases, jewelry, toys, action figures and all manner of accessories and decor.
According to a CNN interview, the world’s first 3D-printed object was a tiny cup that could serve as an eye wash. Things have come a long way since then.
One innovative 3D printing company is 3DSystems, whose chief creative officer is former Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am. 3DSystems offers the CubePro and Cube 3 amongst other personal 3D printers, as well as the EKOCYCLE Cube that uses filament partly comprised of recycled plastic bottles.
The EKOCYCLE Cube can print objects up to 6 inches cubed in volume handles multicolor printing. The Cube also comes equipped with wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
How much would one of these sweet 3D printers cost? Retail starts around $1,000. Just think of how much recycling you’ll help accomplish, and how many neat things you can make!
To clarify, you can’t actually recycle your own plastic bottles directly into filament. Instead, filament is available for purchase from 3DSystems. The filament is partially comprised of recycled bottles, so it is in this way that you help support reuse and recycling.
The special filament is flexible yet durable and made from 25% recycled 20-ounce PET plastic bottles. When it comes to high-quality materials made out of entirely recycled plastic, the recycling process makes it difficult to use 100%.
Why It’s Important to Recycle Water Bottles
To get an idea of the amount of waste that is produced by consuming one-time use plastic water bottles, check out this amazing video. Even though water bottles are fully recyclable, only a small percentage actually make it through the process because they’re thrown out instead.
As will.i.am says,”Waste is only waste if we waste it.” Turn your ideas into beautiful 3D objects by visiting 3D Systems to learn about personal 3D printers, and they also have models for professional and production use.
3D Printing at Home
If you truly want 3D printing from recycle plastic water bottles directly at home, the design concept exists but you may have to be patient.
Designers have released details of the 3D Re-printer, where plastic bottles are loaded into the top of the machine, processed into powder and then utilized for a 3D print. It’s not yet available for the public, but this is a great idea!
Photos courtesy of 3D Systems.