Filamaker: turn misbegotten 3D prints back into filament


Given the somewhat extreme price point a lot of manufacturers set on their filament, this has to be about as popular as printer ink refill kits.

That said, getting an even consistency is hard, and if you’re throwing trash into your grinder/melter/extruder I have to imaging that impurities are going to be a constant problem. But lots of professional filaments have consistency problems too, so maybe it’s not so different.

Only possible problem I can see is that the device (really, ANY grinder/extruder) is going to have to be readily dis-assemble-able for detail cleaning, if you plan on using multiple feedstocks, or even multiple colors. . . .

…should have called it the Filibuster!

Damn. For a moment I thought this was a thing that would turn 3D films into ready-to-recycle stuff. :confused:

1 Like

Ha! Exactly. I read it as “Filmmaker: turn misbegotten 3D prints back into filament.”

Same. I’m thinking the whole time “you can’t recycle film.”

I think the problem is that “a 3D print” is a god-awful way to refer to a 3D-printed object.

ETA: Thinking more on it, I just don’t think “printing” is a proper way to refer to this process in the first place. Whether we’re talking about a motion film, or lithography, the whole idea is that you’re forming an image on an existing carrier medium. That’s not the case with 3D printing at all.

Analogously, while we call a copy of a film or painting a “print,” no one would ever use that word to refer to something like a duplicate statue casting.

Nah, unlike a filabuster, you can actually DO something useful with a Filamaker. . .

But I’ll be impressed if it can run continuously for 21 hours without stopping

Anyone know what commonly available, non-3D printed objects are made of the correct type of plastic and could be turned into feedstock with something like this?

Black plastic plumbing parts are ABS (at least here in usa.) Which most of these things use. I can’t say for certain here.

The article says it works on many different plastics and extrusion profiles, so what really matters is what your 3D printer needs as feedstock.

That said, ABS pipe is extremely common in the local landfill here.

(We have a rule in my family, which is that my vehicle is required to weigh less leaving the landfill than it weighed on my way in. I personally think this rule is extremely unfair.)

1 Like

I was at Toronto Maker Faire this year, and talked with a fellow about reprocessing old 3D Printed projects. He voiced similar concerns about the purity of re-processed stuff. According to the guy I spoke with, the re-melting process makes the plastic unever, so you can only get 2-3 reuses out of the plastic before it’s worthless.

Is what I heard true, in the opinion of 3D Printing fans out there? Or am I misinformed?

I had to read a couple of lines before I figured any different, too.

Are you kidding? Hollywood’s been recycling films for decades.


I’m trying to think of a way to mashup one of these with a 3D printer to make a new kind of useless machine.

A sort of 3D printer Ouroboros that prints a copy of itself, which consumes the original to create another copy of itself…

That would be ultra cool if it printed in chocolate.

It’s funny, the original BoingBoing article actually mentions that there is a grinder in one of the Filabot products. Filabot Wee is just an extruder, but Filabot’s plans do include a bot with a grinder built in.

I’ve read that it depends entirely on what kind of sneakers the Filamaker would wear, and whether a relief receptcle is handy (grin)