Precious Plastic – V3.0 Need Feedback
Recently we have started thinking on Precious Plastic Version 3.0
Since we’ve launched in March 2016 many of you got on board sharing, helping, providing feedback (we need more), building the machines and getting their hands dirty with plastic recycling. We’re truly proud of you all.
..And let’s admit it, it’s a lot of fun!
Based on the feedback from people building the machines all around the world, people trying to get started and the thousands emails we’ve received, we’ve come to realize the urgent need for a new version of Precious Plastic before we lose the momentum. The new version will make it easier for people to connect, stay safe, collaborate, find people, stores or scrapyards, learn how to make a Precious Plastic business and much more.
We have a list of things we believe should be improved but we would like to know what our community has to say in regards. Below is a list of areas, topics, needs and features we believe are key to the future success and scaling of Precious Plastic.
Is there anything we’re missing out?
Comment below and let us know how you would improve Precious Plastic.
1 CONNECTING THE DOTS
We realize that at this moment in time Precious Plastic is held back from a fallancy in our online platform. We see many possible connections being missed out because we’re lacking an updated digital platform for people to connect locally and effectively. Connect between themselves, investors, machine builders, people with spaces but also a digital platform that makes it easy to find recommended shops, scrap yards, favorite hardware store, online stores and difference nodes in the Precious Plastic worldwide ecosystem.
2 IMPROVE THE MACHINES
The current machines work good and do the job. However, from the feed backs of many of you, we now have a series of improvements and hacks that we would like to work on and implement in V 3.0 to make the machines more safe, efficient and cost effective.
3 DESIGN EASIER
Precious Plastic is now at a point where many people around the world have built the machines but are still struggling with running them effectively. In Version 3.0 we want to focus on products made with Precious Plastic methodologies. From the conceptual stage to design thinking and execution we would like to help our people make the best possible products. Products that look great and last long elevating plastic status quo. As usual, we would be sharing video tutorials for free for everyone on our website.
4 STARTER KITS
It has become clear that we need to ease the building process to get more people recycling. Even though we will not sell the entire machines, we will look into providing started kits for some of the most complex parts. We will need to develop partnerships with business to make it easier for Precious Plastic communities around the world to buy kits for each machine and help getting started.
5 BUSINESS MODELS
Working with business experts we want create an open source business model for Precious Plastic ventures around the world. This will help people turn plastic waste into a business. It is precisely within this market oriented approach that we see the greatest potentials for a beneficial chain reaction that can boost plastic recycling and improve livelihoods around the world.
6 OPEN SOURCE FUNDING
We don’t make money with Precious Plastic. Actually, we invest a lot of our own money & time. Sometimes we get grants, awards or donations (thanks) but it is not enough. We would like to opensource the funding process so that all of you could help us to keep Precious Plastic alive.
We think that Precious Plastic is much more than a bunch of geeks 🙂 machine builders, we like to think of Precious Plastic as a movement of like-minded plastic heroes. To align people’s views and opinions we have been flirting with the idea of creating a manifesto to outline Precious Plastic’s philosophy.
People all around the world are getting started recycling plastic waste. Soon there will be a lot of Precious Plastic objects being made. We think there will be soon the need for a digital marketplace to ease the exchange of Precious Plastic goods.
9 PRECIOUS PLASTIC FUND
A dream of us at Precious Plastic is to create a fund for people with less financial means to finance the purchase of the components and tools to create their own Precious Plastic workshop and get started with plastic recycling.
These are the most crucial things we would like to works on for version 3.0 But we welcome any feedback or suggestions. In the end, we want to make it easier for you to get started. Let us know if there is anything missing or can be improved.
Hello my name is Daniel I live in the U.S. and for some reason we still haven’t adopted the metric system. So the plans don’t work as well because metal suppliers don’t carry steel in metric sizes. if there could be plans for metric units and plans for imperial units of measurement that would be great. it would help out all of us in the United States.Toggle replies
I second the call for an option in imperial measurements – we’re in the Caribbean and it’s easiest to order machine cut parts from the US but they don’t really do metric.
Then my feedback would be that the end products should drive the front end machine development. We need to find, for each different type of plastic, a key end product that will be useful in the majority of communities. For example, here in the Caribbean the fishermen use a lot of polypropylene rope that is bought from China – Huuuuuuuge carbon footprint. If we can recycle plastics here on the island to make ropes that the fisherman can use and then give back to us for recycling later on, we are completing the loop.
I think it’s important to minimise the carbon footprint of the end products too. So something that can be sold locally is key.Toggle replies
I have not built any of the machines yet, because I have not had the money yet. But I have enough ideas of things that I want to change in the designs, that my machines would qualify for “3.0” when they are built.
1. Build an electronics module that would have 2 PID controllers, 2 LED indicator lights, 2 Solid State Relays, like what is used on the Extruder, but with a switch separating it in half. The idea, is to have 1 Electronics Module that can be unplugged from one machine, and plugged into another machine, thus substantially reducing the cost of electronic components. By turning the switch on or off, the whole module can be used for the Extruder machine, or half of it to run the Compression machine.
2. Have 1 variable speed motor on a separate stand, that will run both the Shredder, and the Extruder, and also possible future machines. Either the machines could be on stands with lockable castors, or the motor could be on a stand with lockable castors, for the purpose of moving the motor back and forth between machines. Since the motor is one of the largest expenses of the Precious Plastic system, being able to run multiple machines (1 at a time of course) with the same motor will make it much cheaper to get started.
3. Combine the Injector machine and Extruder machine into 1 machine. Instead of the motor, attach a gear (maybe from a bicycle) to the extrusion screw. Then have another gear attached to a drive rod that runs parallel to the injector barrel, terminating at a small gear box, at the very edge of the Extruder’s stand’s table top. The small gear box will have a second drive rod at a 90° angle to the first drive rod, which will allow the motor to be connected parallel to the front of the table top. That is the purpose of the gear box, it could contain bevel gears, or cog wheels depending on what can be obtained. Now, if you do not bolt or weld the table top to the stand, but instead fasten it to a hinge on the front, you will be able to have both horizontal, and vertical orientations with the same machine. To do a plunging injection, instead of the auger method of injecting, you could pull the extrusion screw out of the barrel, and fasten a short rod to the end of the screw, that just fits into the barrel. You also need to temporarily mount onto the back of the barrel, a piece that you can screw the extrusion screw into, so that when you run the motor, it will screw the extrusion screw in or out of the barrel. The rod on the end of the screw will be the plunger.
4. On the Compression machine, mount a small metal fan on the bottom or top of the inside of the oven. A rod run through a hole in the bottom or top of the oven will connect the fan to a small motor. The fan will circulate the air in the oven, helping to eliminate cold spots.
If my descriptions are incomprehensible, I could try to do some sketches.Toggle replies
It is probably dangerous to switch electronic boards by plugging it back and forth. But it is possible and cost effective to design a 4-in-1 board (ie one board can be adapted to all four machines, differing only the firmware to be flashed). My latest circuit board is injection + shredder. By then you need 4 identical boards.Toggle replies
It would also be really useful having a go-to set of plans for alternate power sources for some of the machines.. i.e. Human powered shredder, Solar compression oven.
And I know there has been extensive talk on motors, but maybe developing an easy to make gear system for smaller/cheaper/cost effective motors out there.Toggle replies
What do you think about making an extension to the Extrusion machine to make kind of thread? do you think can be done? not like 3d thread something more for handmade products like: https://img0.etsystatic.com/010/1/7531652/il_340x270.457355554_972t.jpg
or sewing thread.
like, bionic yarn.
So the real future of 3D printing seems to be resin based SLA and DLP printers. I would love it if there was a way to make your own 3D printing resins from waste plastics using an open source machine similar to the extruder machine you guys came up with for the filament 3D printers. If this were possible, it would change the face of plastic recycling.
Also, I really want to build all of the machines and start up a recycled plastics production in the UK, but I don’t have any money, tools or workshop space to do this. Any available funding would be great for people like me.Toggle replies
We too are working on some of those points.
Next week we’ll hold the first workshop with our machines (only extrusion and shredder + other techniques) where we’ll be teaching people how to design, create, communicate and sell products made out recycled plastic. We haven’t had much time experimenting the techniques but they will come.
We’ve made some minor improvements to the machines for our needs and I’ll share them in a specific post.
My absolute favorite (because I hated the thing 🙂 ) is a quick remover of the shredder filter, so that you can quickly clean it an change types of plastic.
In the pics I’m showing how it is attached without the shredder in it’s placeToggle replies
@davehakkens one of the most common requests that you see everyday on multiple posts, is to have dxf/pdf files with measurements in imperial units, and not only metric units. In some places, finding steel sheets in MM is nearly impossible, so that restricts many people from building their own shredder.
Sometime ago, @timmy (email@example.com) posted that he was able to convert the machine units to imperial system and successfully build a shredder, he might be able to provide us his blueprints to add them to the Precious Plastic .zip package.
How about asking members with existing machines to make parts out of recycled plastics for new members in their area and rewarding them with kudos and Plastic Prestige. Parts such as the hopper assemblies and the electronics housings could be re-designed to be made out of plastic. I haven’t built any of these machines so I’m not sure what kind of strain they would be put under but maybe even some of the parts in the shredder such as the hexagonal shaft and particle filter could be made out of plastics. The machines would look super funky with colourful hoppers and other bits and you could have a whole set of tutorials on making the moulds for these parts. Obviously all of this would make it cheaper and easier for new members to set up shop… Just an ideaToggle replies
There is a network of hackspaces in the states. Their resources would make them great Precious Plastic “stations” but some require you to pay to access their facilities :/
Universities in the states are also a great place to build the Precious Plastic network. Students have access to resources and are often connected to their neighboring communities. Speaking fees could also help fund your projects!!!
@davehakkens I would be willing to do the conversion to imperial units and common parts for the plans if you want.
Haven’t built them yet, but have switched other plans over for personal use before. Basically anything metric in the USA, Canada, Mexico costs a premium. Ussally 50% more all the way up to 300% more.
As to version 3.0: that is alot of priorities for a small team! Maybe pick one or two and get them done, or set up a way for others to contribute then make task available to volunteers on a timeline.
As for recommendations: creating a new stand for each piece of equipment is kinda a waste of space and material, especially if you can dual purpose some of the equipment, Like motors and switches. But I also understand making the units in modules and showing only a compete idea at a time for simplicity and ease of building!
Love the work! I Look forward to following closely.Toggle replies
I definitely agree with reaching out to universities in the United States. There are several research teams that would be willing to dedicate their time to developing the machines and molds/product design. Students could work on these machines as a senior project or something. Not to mention that there are many universities that have facilities specifically for the funding and facilitations of startups and projects with community based platforms. Many schools that are polytechnic have metal shop facilities that students can use for free and often have an easier time getting a hold of affordable materials.
I think developing a way the shredder could attach to machines one might find in a wood shop or metal shop could also help mediate the difficulty of getting a motor for those who do not have the funds, such as college students. Some college programs require students learn technical skills such as woodworking and metal working. I think it makes the most sense tapping into a college student network where people already have several of the resources needed to develop the project and are also looking for ways to make money while solving a pressing issue.
Although I believe universities are the best option funding wise, “Hacker”/Makerspaces are definitely a great option or the development, storage and usage of the machines. If not the best option in my opinion. It would be cool if machines could be developed and used in makerspaces. I work as staff at a Makerspace and I’ve wanted to make the machines and teach classes on them, but as a college student its also been difficult finding the monetary resources to get started.Toggle replies
Hi, I’m following the development of these machines, really cool initiative.
My thoughts on the injection mold machine would some sort of quick release on the nozzle part. When you pull down on the handle it locks onto the mold. Instead of screwing on the mold. Might just speed up the handling of the mold. However I’ve not made this machine yet but saw one similar recently with this quick release method. This is just an initial thought I had as an alternative to a screw nozzle.
Metric or imperial is really irrelevant, all you really need is whatever fits.
US, Africa, SE Asia, everywhere I’ve worked I’ve always had to make do with what’s at hand. Kinda like a recipe – if you want it exactly do the word for work but sometimes ballpark is fine also. Stuff can be built up or down as required or what you have.
Biggest problem for the extruder is the pipe the screw goes in. Most pipe in the US is rolled and welded leaving a seam on the inside and difficult to remove, sigh. DOM (Drawn Over Mandrel) can maybe work, it’s better than seamed but not as good as extruded.
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