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working with PET Bottles

This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile gravatar of Sören Sören 4 days ago.

Profile gravatar of Johe BruneauJohe Bruneau
tafnstuff

working with PET Bottles

18/04/2017 at 15:38

Hi Folks!

Maybe you experienced, maybe you didn’t but it is quite difficult to use PET to work with Dave’s machines… Also there are a lot of tutorials on the internet which shows some easy way to work with plastic bottles to get some strings or to use it as connectors… The purpose of this topic is to share these experiments and see if we can go further !

1 Plastic bottle string :

I found three kinds of DIY plastic bottle cutter :

1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7sS0nTnU70 ( So so : difficult to hold the bottle and to pull the string in the same time)

2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpNL4RRPgHE&t=10s ( Bad : difficult to put the bottle in the slot, the string often breaks and it gets blocked inside )

3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zqp_zA6m-w&t=6s ( my favorite )

I invite you to make your own opinion 🙂

This compagny is selling its own plastic bottle cutter, the video is interesting because it gives quickly examples about how you can use the string you do:

How to make a strong rope with several plastic bottle strings :

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Profile gravatar of Johe Bruneau
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18/04/2017 at 16:31

2 Basketry with plastic bottle string

I did some tests using our new string for basketry. I think there is a real potential to get some lightweight and strong item ! (furniture for instance)

I did some frames in metal and tried different ways to weave around.
In a second time I used a heatgun to stretch the strings and get a surface smoother and stronger.

However I noticed 3 bad points:

– When I used the heatgun, the plastic shrinks and it twisted the metal frame ! 🙁
if i do not use the heat gun, the result is to rough.

– On the pyramid picture, the faces were full but after the plastic shrank, i got some space at the bottom.

– the knots I did when I need to attach a new string ( to change the color for instance) are too fat, I burnt them with a lighter to get them smaller, but still they are.

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Profile gravatar of Johe Bruneau
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20/04/2017 at 12:03

3 – Shrinking power/strong>
I keep doing some tests with PET Bottles, I found this really interesting video made by Micaella Pedros, showing how to use bottles to make some kind of connectors to build any kind of thing !

So, with the heat, the plastic is shrinking and can take a print. It reminds me the process of a thermoforming machine.

The process I want test is :
– to cut the bottom or / and the top of the bottle
– to put a mold into
– to use the heat gun to make the plastic shrink around the shape.

I would like to make simple objects like mobile phone’s protections, boxes ( could be nice to use plastique bottle to make packaging), little toy cars … Have you got any ideas about simple objects in everyday life ?

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Profile gravatar of Johe Bruneau
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26/04/2017 at 14:38

Next step:

First results, I tried the « shrinking casting » on different shapes and materials.
My first conclusions are :
– The outside edges and the plane surfaces give a good result while the inside edges, the recesses are allmost impossible to get.
-The plastic shrinks very randomly around the openings I did in the bottle. The plastic wasn’t closing in on the model.
– About the materials, I tried with clay, plaster, wood and metal. I recommend wood, and metal, because plaster and clay are too weak, and you might break your mold when you try to take it off the bottle.

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Profile gravatar of Johe Bruneau
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26/04/2017 at 14:40

Mobile protection

I randomly tried with an old phone to make shrink a bottle around, i’ve been pleasantly surprised ! It is at least as much strong an transparent that a normal protection.

Then, I cut a piece of wood with the same width and thickness than my phone, but longer because as i experienced before the openings are very rough, i cut the length i need in a second time ( i kept 15mm on the top to cut a tab that i will fold onto the top of phone to protect its side. Next i drilled the holes for each button, the camera. It’s difficult to clean the border, after using my Dremel to drill the holes, i tried to sand it … the result was dirty. The best way to have clean opening is to work with sharp tools ( cutter, scissors… ).

Finally get it ! If you use a thin plastic bottle, you can keep the protection on your screen, the tactile still is working through it ! However it took me too much time to do only one protection, the finishes take a while and the result will never be as perfect as the cheap protection you buy on the market for a few coin . 🙁 I still believe there must be better applications !

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Profile gravatar of Sören
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26/04/2017 at 18:28

Hi, i am also doing a lot of expiriments with PET. The biggest project is using those strings for building a bamboo bicycle. We built a very simple cutter and the last two weeks i spent in Uganda training locals to build an develope them further.

We were also working a lot with PET in the Injection mashine and it wasn’t even that bad. It did not turn out as well as other plastics but the first tests turned out better than we thouht.

http://www.faircycle.net
http://www.facebook.com/faircycle

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Profile gravatar of Gerardo Aguilera Galzarza
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18/05/2017 at 19:40

@soeren Congrats!

Do you use a heat gun to add the PET to the Bicycle?

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Profile gravatar of Tim Slab
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18/05/2017 at 21:59

great write up @tafnstuff. That plastic string has a surprising amount of pressure! Perhaps chloroform or acetone could also be used to bond and smooth PET forms.

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Profile gravatar of Sören
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19/05/2017 at 00:14

Hi – yea i used a heat gun – but we also tried it with ocal charcoalovens in uganda and it worked.

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