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Precious Plastic, open source recycling machines, offers 3D printing an eco-friendly future
Posted by 3DP4E

By Staff | 3ders

Dutch designer Dave Hakkens has developed a set of plastic machines to set up a small scale plastic workshop. This project, called 'Precious Plastic', is based on general industrial techniques and made to work with recycled plastic.

Plastic is cheap and produced in enormous quantities, but of all the plastic we use just 10% is recycled. "Mainly because the machines that produce plastic products are expensive, extremely complex and are used very efficient to keep costs low." Hakkens says. So "What do I do with all this plastic?" Hakkens explains in the video below.

This project is still in development, the current series of machines includes 'rotational', 'injection', 'extrusion' and 'shredder'.

Rotational open source machine: Often used to create large hollow objects, this machine is built of an old oven that heats the mold inside and can turn 360°. "This way the mold reaches any position. The mold is inserted in the oven and gets hot. Whilst turning around, plastic sticks to the mold and forms the mold/object."


Injection, "Most of our plastic products are made with this technique, usually quick and extremely efficient. This machine is much slower and easier to use. It can still produce a product every couple of minutes and use custom made molds." Hakkens adds.


Extrusion, one of Hakkens' machines, is used for extruding lines of molded plastic. Depending on the shape of the nozzle, this device can also be used to extrude 3D printer filament. Simply put shredder plastic in the bucket, the screw inside the tube presses the flakes forwards and the heating elements melt the plastic along the way, notes Hakkens.


Shredder: originally used to shred production waste and put this back into the production-line straight away, the 'shredder' machine 'can be quite tough to get your hands on one, the plan is to develop a machine like this as well -a low speed, powerful, efficient plastic shredder.'


Hakkens explains, "Whilst this entire project is still in development, the machines are shared open source online and improved by the community. [...] Our goal is to develop the ultimate plastic machinery together and share this open source online. We want that people all over the world can download the designs, build these machines and start a local plastic recycle center. In these centers local plastic waste is collected, transformed into new products and therefore making it possible to turn plastic waste locally into new products."


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