Inexpensive 3D printer can ‘print’ anything from plastic waste

Right after the first examples of 3D printing surfaced in the 80s, the idea of printing objects rather than manufacturing them in plants, came into vogue. Recognizing the endless possibilities of 3D printers, researchers and designers came up with systems that could print buildings from any suitable material. Carrying on with the trend, students at the University of Washington have now come up with a 3D printer that can print just about anything using nothing more than garbage.

To show the true potential of the 3D printer, the student team previously printed a boat using recycled milk-jug plastic and now the team won $100,000 for their printer at the 3D4D Challenge held in London last week. The affordable 3D printer can turn shredded, melted plastic waste into just about anything. The prize money will now be used to create giant 3D printers that can create lightweight composting toilets and rainwater harvesting systems from waste plastic.

The idea here seems commendable as the printer won’t only reduce plastic waste by recycling it into something useful, but the products developed will further better environmental conditions, while giving people in the developing world better sanitation facilities.

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