Recycling old 3D printed parts
I am Patrick.
I am a maker and 3D printer since 2012.
Not all 3D prints are working well or you have to print it again when you have missenineered something. I collected all my missprints since 2012 and now I want to recycle them. I bought a small hydraulic workshop press and an old oven and started to melt and mould the PLA Parts into Bowls.
My molds are a cheap stainless steel bowl set from ebay and they work great.
The only problem are the bubbles in the molten plastic. I have to find a way to get them out.
Here are the first results
welcome to Precious Plastic. Great initiative, those came out not too bad 🙂
There are a few dozen things which can go wrong. I see in your setup the stock thickness and the temperature but also timing as biggest source for voids. Often also moisture is a problem. You could try next time :
– smaller pieces / granulate
– fully dried stock material (there are tips and products to contain and store filament). You could leave it also 1-2 hours in the dryer machine
– multi pass pressing (slow) : put it back in the oven and press a little more next
– different temperatures
– fill the upper part with concrete
Thanks you for these tips.
I hope that my laser parts for the shredder arrive this week, so that I can granulate the parts and then dry it before melting.
I think most of the air bubbles come from the infill pattern in the printed parts.
maybe it is a good solution to heat up the printed parts to around 50 degrees Celsius for an hour or so to dry them before raising the temperature up to the melting point.
I hope you ordered the 32mm hexbar version. The PP shredder can already easily jam with thicker house hold waste already (2.5mm+). Waste like this may require 400 – 600 Nm range which results in a 3Kw+ 3phase motor and definitely wants a stronger axle.
Otherwise, a monthly exercise with the hammer may get it on specs 🙂
Since you have a shop press, you could make a sturdy container and try crushing the parts before heating them.
Nope. I ordered the Parts for the 27mm hex bar version.
I hope that it will work with the slow 1,5KW 30rpm motor I ordered.
Otherwise I´ll sell it on eBay and built the stronger one 🙂
I´ll give s2019´s idea with the shop press crushing a try tomorrow.
Yes, I saw this video. For this reason I wanted to built the same Shredder.
I ordered the same motor and I hope that is enough power for crushing the 3D printed parts.
2Hp at 30RPM should be more than enough to tear apart any 3d printed parts.
@thegreenengineers, cool, I will try that this week, I have old printers to be shredded 🙂
A few weeks ago I saw a Video on YT in which some resin castings are made.
They used a blowtorch to pop all bubbles on the surface after casting.
I tried the same after I melted the printed parts, just before I pressed it into the mold.
With success. All bubbles popped and I got a smooth surface.
After a little bit of cooling I filled the inner Bowl with boiling hot water to slow down the cooling process, because last time I got some small cracks on the surface.
I hope it will work.
I am very excited and I can´t wait to see how it comes out of the mold.
Here are some better pics of the bowls I made
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