Recyclebot

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A RecycleBot is a waste plastic extruder that creates 3-D printer filament from waste plastic and natural polymers.

Status
This OSAT has been designed but not yet tested - use at own risk.
This OSAT has been modeled.
This OSAT has been prototyped.
This OSAT has been verified by: MOST.

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Contents

[edit] Distributed Recycling of Waste Polymer into RepRap Feedstock

Recyclebot-process.png

Source: Christian Baechler, Matthew DeVuono, and Joshua M. Pearce, “Distributed Recycling of Waste Polymer into RepRap FeedstockRapid Prototyping Journal, 19(2), pp. 118-125 (2013). open access

[edit] Abstract

Purpose - A low-cost, open source, self-replicating rapid prototyper (RepRap) has been developed, which greatly expands the potential user base of rapid prototypers. The operating cost of the RepRap can be further reduced using waste polymers as feedstock. Centralized recycling of polymers is often uneconomic and energy intensive due to transportation embodied energy. This paper provides a proof of concept for high-value recycling of waste polymers at distributed creation sites.

Design/methodology/approach - Previous designs of waste plastic extruders (also known as RecycleBots) were evaluated using a weighted evaluation matrix. An updated design was completed and the description and analysis of the design is presented including component summary, testing procedures, a basic life cycle analysis and extrusion results. The filament was tested for consistency of density and diameter while quantifying electricity consumption.

Findings - Filament was successfully extruded at an average rate of 90 mm/min and used to print parts. The filament averaged 2.805±0.003mm diameter with 87% of samples between 2.540± 0.003mm and 3.081± 0.003mm. The average mass was 0.564 ± 0.001 g/100mm length. Energy use was 0.06 kWh/m.

3DPI.tv on Recycling with Recyclebot


Practical implications - The success of the Recyclebot further reduces RepRap operating costs, which enables distributed in-home, value added, plastic recycling. This has implications for municipal waste management programs as in-home recycling could reduce cost and greenhouse gas emissions associated with waste collection and transportation as well as the environmental impact of manufacturing custom plastic parts.

Originality/value - This paper reports on the first technical evaluation of a feedstock filament for the RepRap from waste plastic material made in a distributed recycling device.

[edit] Recyclebot evolution

Full technical information, BOMs and build instructions found at the links below.

[edit] Recyclebot version 2.0 and 2.1

[edit] Recyclebot version 2.2

[edit] Recyclebot version 2.3

[edit] Recyclebot version 3.0

[edit] Other types of RecycleBots

Recyclebot and Friends Galley

[edit] Quick payback time calculation

Assumptions:

  • commercial filament currently sells for about $35/kg
  • electricity cost from [1] is $0.10/kg
  • plastic if recycled cost $0/kg
  • if you buy pellets sells from $1-$10/kg

Payback time in kg produced = recyclebot cost/(commercial filament cost avoided - (elec+plastic))

Worst case = (filastruder+filawinder)/(commercial filament cost avoided - high end pellets -elec recyclebot)=$450/($35-$10.10)=18kg

Best case = filastruder plus floor winding/(commercial filament cost avoided - recycled plastic) = $290/($35-0.1) = 8.3kg

Rich case = filastruder+filawinder/(commercial filament cost avoided - recycled plastic) = $450/($35-0.1) = 12.8kg


Then you stick the filament in your RepRap and print $1000s of dollars of goods for pennies: see Life-cycle economic analysis of distributed manufacturing with open-source 3-D printers

[edit] Recyclable Polymers

Image Made of Used in Melting temperature C
Type1
PETE Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Soda & water containers, some waterproof packaging. 260°C
Type2
HDPE High-Density Polyethylene. Milk, detergent & oil bottles, Toys and plastic bags. 130°C
Type 3
V Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Food wrap, vegetable oil bottles, blister packages. 160°C
Type 4
LDPE Low-Density Polyethylene. plastic bags. Shrink wrap, garment bags. 120°C
Type 5
PP Polypropylene. Refrigerated containers, some bags, most bottle tops, some carpets, some food wrap. 130°C
Type 6
PS Polystyrene. Throwaway utensils, meat packing, protective packing. 240°C
Type 7
Others. Layered or mixed plastic.


These symbols are meant to indicate the type of plastic, not its recyclability.

  • Types 1 and 2 are commonly recycled.
  • Type 4 is less commonly recycled.
  • The other types are generally not recycled, except perhaps in small test programs.
  • Common plastics polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) do not have recycling numbers.
  • Plastics 3, 6, and 7 probably contain BPA and should not be used to store anything that will be consumed by humans.
  • The majority of plastic packaging was made with one of six resins there are codes for those six as well as a seventh, 7-OTHER, to be used when the product in question is made with a plastic other than the common six, or is made of more than one plastic used in combination [2]. Currently, 7 plastics can sometimes be recycled into bottles or plastic lumber. However, polycarbonate plastic, one variety coded number 7, is made with the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA. The National Toxicology Program reports that BPA may have adverse effects on the development of the brain and behavior of fetuses, infants and children, and advises consumers to limit BPA exposure by avoiding number 7 plastic containers.[3]. There is a potential academic project here to call for greater granularity in the plastic codes - if anyone wants to work on this please contact me. -- Joshua 17:18, 31 July 2013 (PDT)

[edit] See Also

Perpetual Plastic Project

Perpetual Plastic Project - Giant Room Size RecycleBot that takes people through all the steps

ProtoPrint

ProtoPrint employees waste pickers in India to use a FlakerBot and RefilBot that make HDPE waste into filament

[edit] Articles about the RecycleBot

The EKOCYCLE Cube 3D Printer - Prints in Post-consumer PET
The New Scientist - Ethical Filament Story
  • RecycleBot turns old milk jugs into 3D printer feedstock -- 3Ders
  • Researchers Develop RecycleBot to Recycle Plastic Using 3D Printers -- Azom
  • 3D Printer Recycles Milk Jugs -- Laboratory Equipment
  • RecycleBot: An open source recycling plant - Personolize
  • How Recycled Milk Jugs Can Make 3D Printing Cheaper and Greener - Green Optimistic
  • Your 3D Printer Could Eat Empty Milk Jugs Instead of Expensive Plastic -- Gizmodo,I4U
  • RecycleBot zet oud plastic om in grondstof voor 3d-prints - Tweakers (Dutch), DMorgan
  • La basura puede servir para imprimir en 3D - El Correo (Spanish)
AdaFruit Industries:3D Hangouts with Matt Griffin, Noe & Pedro Ruiz