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We want to upgrade our injector to have pneumatics. Do you have the details on the pneumatic cylinder you used? How large of a volume tank do you need on your compressor for that cylinder? Any lessons learned that you can share with us before we start? Thanks!
I used these Tempco Strip Heaters for a sheet/panel maker that I made. These seem to make much more sense to heat flat plates. They make them in all sorts of sizes. Just be aware that the ends do not heat up so you need to account for that in the design of your press.
We’re hosting a Demo Day for Precious Plastic LA on Feb 24, 2019. Learn more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/precious-plastic-la-demo-day-tickets-56268106421
Come by our Demo Day Feb 24, 2019: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/precious-plastic-la-demo-day-tickets-56268106421
I think that it is a multi-pronged approach that should be taken to help solve the plastic pollution problem in a sustainable way and the international Precious Plastic community can help lead the solution.
1. Starting at the source, we need to help the companies that are the largest producers of single use plastic waste (i.e. from B.A.N. 2.0 study – Starbucks, Coke, Wrigley’s, McDonalds) to find viable alternatives to single use plastics as the delivery mechanisms of their products. Consumers currently do not have many convenient, non-single use or plastic-free options which is why the average consumer is not willing to change their behavior and why we have so much plastic waste. I think that money invested in research and development of production capabilities of viable alternatives is critical. And, efforts for outreach and activism to get these large multi-national brands to change will be necessary.
2. We still need to do something with the near endless amounts of plastic waste that exists today. I suggest that we figure out ways to easily and quickly convert the large amount of plastic waste into USEFUL objects. So far Precious Plastic has done great at driving awareness and making plastic recycling accessible to everyone, but I think that we need to make sure we aren’t turning garbage into garbage and thus making things that will be thrown away (or only a small percentage recycled). As a community we should focus on creating objects that will be used for 5+ or even 20+ years like building materials. For this reason, I think that machines focused on building wall panels and building materials will be most worthwhile.
3. Figure out ways to take plastic ‘out of circulation’ – since the use of plastic is going to continue to cause problems for our oceans and global pollution till it is either 100% recycled (which is highly unlikely to ever happen) or we have come up with better alternatives. My somewhat idealistic vision is that we could figure out ways to collect and protect the plastic so that it never goes back into circulation. Think of building something like the great pyramids out of plastic that would be a protected monument that would never get torn down or recycled. It would ideally be a tourist attraction to drive awareness to the period of history when people thought there was no way to live without plastics.
I invite you to continue the conversation about how we join forces to make a global impact on the plastic pollution crisis.
I agree with most the points made here. We don’t want to take plastic garbage and recycle it into something that will become more plastic garbage in the future. But, Precious Plastic is great for making recycling feel sexy and accessible in order to gain interest in the movement for solving the plastic pollution problem. For example, we brought our shredder and injectors to an Adidas event (in partnership with Parley for the Oceans) where over 20,000 people attended and we were recycling plastic cups and coffee lids into Adidas keychains. There was over a 2 hour wait during most of the event. Most of these people wouldn’t have cared at all about recycling and plastic pollution, but by seeing the products recycled right in front of them, it was clear that it was very eye opening for many and I would only believe that we helped to drive awareness to the scale of the problem and make some people change their behavior. But, as we have created a shredder and injector and started recycling PP, PS, HDPE, and PLA, it has left me questioning if that is the right thing to do at scale. I still think yes, at least until we have better solutions and convince companies to stop making products out of plastics and using single use plastic packaging and containers.
In the ideal world, we would:
1. Come up with real solutions to help all companies transition their products and product packaging from plastics to other more sustainable materials built based on renewable resources or change the ecosystem to be based on reusables made out of more durable materials like glass and metals.
2. Work with governments around the globe to ban use of plastics (definitely single use, but ideally all plastics)
3. We collect all plastics ever made, and take them out of circulation by recycle them into beautiful protected monuments that will become tourist attractions indefinitely and never torn down.
Ok, back to reality. I throughly agree that we should make it a goal as a community to :
– not build things that will have a short life
– make things that people will want to keep and will be highly visible to help drive awareness to the plastic pollution problem
– put recycling logos onto anything we build and inform anyone who receives the products how they can be properly recycled (or be willing to take them back at the end of the use)
– use the interest in the project to drive awareness to get people to refuse plastics in the products they use and by
– refuse busying things made out of plastics ourselves (as much as is possible, because unfortunately some things currently just don’t come in anything but plastics)
Also, as we have dug into more detail about the potential hazards of breathing the fumes from melted plastics, we believe that it is very important to ensure proper ventilation (even being outside isn’t just good enough). I think that should be an important part of the information that Precious Plastic provides so that we make sure that the community that is a part of this project is not breathing toxic fumes.
From using the injector and evaluating making the compression machine, it seems that making parts on these machines is limited due to the time needed to heat up the plastic. It would be nice to create a heated hopper or some sort of heated storage tank/extruder that could be used as the input to the injector and compression machines. Has anyone tried something like this? I guess the risk is that the injector would clog up if the material does not flow well enough. The compression machine might be easier. I’m visualizing using something almost like a large heated caulk gun.
Or try out Onshape or Sketchup to make a 3D drawing. They are both pretty easy to use and have great tutorial videos.
We ended up running short on time to complete our aluminum molds so we rather created silicone molds and used the injector to extrude some liquid plastic (we used PS) and then hand pressed the plastic into the molds. We later found that we could also use a toaster oven to heat up the plastic to make it liquid and similarly press it into the molds and get some pretty good keychains. Here are some pictures of the keychains we created. And, here is a video of us making a keychain: https://www.facebook.com/preciousplasticla/videos/1070415263097141/
Have you hooked this up to a motor? Did it work? How big of a motor did you need?
We have been finding that since the shredder blades are fairly wide and essentially dull, that there is a lot of resisting force against the motor when shredding thicker materials or more plastic at a time. We are considering sharpening the blades or re-designing the shredder box to be more efficient.
Oddly enough, we found that this heavy duty paper shredder that cost us $300 seems to be more efficient at shredding cups, utensils and other thin objects.
Here’s a video of it: https://www.instagram.com/p/BfXQuIpB4Zs/?taken-by=preciousplasticla
We ended up using 1″ SS pipe. It still had a welded seam, but the seam was not nearly as large as steel pipe. We did a modification to the injector plunger to make it slide better. We made 2 injectors and tried 2 different things. On the first one, we milled a 2 mm wide channel along the whole length of the plunger. It worked for a while and then jammed and we still have to figure out how to get it out. For the second one, we turned down the thickness of the entire plunger by 1 mm except for the last inch. That seemed to work like a champ. We did over 500 injections with the machine over 2 days because we were making keychains at an Adidas event for NBA All Star Weekend. I’ll post more details about our shredder and injector builds soon.
We are Precious Plastic Los Angeles (facebook.com/preciousplasticla instagram.com/preciousplasticla) and we have built a shredder and 2 injector machines that we completed last week. We built them based on the Precious Plastic designs, but believe that there is some room for improvement. We are happy to discuss making you some machines.
We had that issue, as well because the shop that laser cut our shredder parts delivered them at a different thickness than the spec (because in US they could not get that exact thickness). We ended up having to modify the width of the shredding shaft to have 145mm of hex and adding some shims both on the shaft and the fixed shredding plates to get it to be snug. We found that you want almost no play along the shredder axle axis but it is okay to have a little wiggle of them turning around the shaft.
Update. I ended up purchasing 1.25″ OD, 1.00″ ID SS pipe from a local metal wholesaler. Initially I didn’t see there was a seam but once we cut it back at our shop it did end up that there was a minor seam. We tried filing it down a bit but that did not work, but hen we tried milling down a very small flat onto the 1″ shaft and that seemed to work. We took off about 0.02″ which seemed to be enough and I don’t expect the melted plastic will leak into it. We’ll keep you posted how it goes.
I have started Precious Plastic Los Angeles and we are aiming to start with building one set of machines and then help others in Los Angeles build them as well. We have received enough donations to build the shredder machine and are about 75% complete thanks to a donation of the laser cut parts from Bioplastic Recycling and a donation of shop time from the LA Cleantech Incubator. We need to get funds to build the rest of the machines. Please reach out to me if you know anyone interested to donate or support.
Great to hear there is another builder in US. It would be great to collaborate related to vendors you use for parts and maybe even go in on some bulk part orders for some of the machined parts needed. We have recently started Precious Plastic Los Angeles. We are almost finished with our shredder and will be building the injector next. Follow us here https://www.facebook.com/preciousplasticla/
After our first successful meetup, we have started building a shredder and have plans to build a full suite of Precious Plastic machines for the community. We are hosting our second meetup at the LA Cleantech Incubator on Jan 19th. I hope you can join us.
I’m not sure if you saw, but we have been working on Precious Plastic Los Angeles. We had our first successful meetup and are now working on our second one which is Jan 19th at the LA Cleantech Incubator. We have started working on a shredder machine and plan to build the full suite of machines for the community to use. Love to have you join us.
Anyone have the updated .dwg files of the Combined_laserfiles for the Shredder 2.1?
Also, did anyone else notice that the Quantities listed on the Shredding Dxf Laser Files drawing (02_shredding laser overview.pdf) are incorrect?