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Material Reuse Makes 3D Prototyping Affordable

Michigan Technological University researchers are working on a process that promises to save 3D-printer users money. Typically, 3D printing requires users to purchase plastic filament to prototype and create objects. The Michigan Tech team created RecycleBot, a plastics extruder that lets users utilize high-density polyethylene milk jugs for 3D printed items. The scientists made their plans open source to encourage people to take advantage of the technology. They estimate that 20 milk jug yields approximately 1 kilogram of plastic filament. The plastic filament typically costs between $30 and $50 per kilogram. Work they conducted with Queen’s University researchers has been published in Rapid Prototyping, while a second paper with Michigan Tech colleagues will appear in the Materials Research Society Online Proceedings. (EurekAlert)(Michigan Technological University)(Rapid Prototyping)

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