Recent research at the UK Universities of Bath and Birmingham describes an advance in PLA filament decomposition that could lead to practical means of recycling PLA waste. The key appears to be a Zinc catalyst. See Anatol Locker’s Finally, There’s a Better Way to Recycle PLA for more information.
If you’re a conscientious environmentalist who also enjoys 3D printing, you’ve probably lain awake pondering the environmental effects of all your discarded rafts, failed prints and other PLA waste products. PLA is not biodegradable, strictly speaking, but composting is possible. The All3DP article New Initiative Aims to Recycle PLA Waste… describes a high school student’s laudable efforts (Project PLA) to address the issue and includes a helpful overview video.
Although 3D Printers are popping-up all over campus, use of these printers is usually limited to particular departments or for particular purposes. For those times when it is necessary to refer someone to a commercial service, All3DP has published a useful guide: Best Online 3D Printing Service – 2019 Guide.
Sure you can print in plastic, but did you know that it is also possible to print in chocolate? In the spirit of the most dentally dangerous holiday, here’s an interesting diversion from the usual discussions of 3D printing. As fabrication technologies continue to advance, we can only imagine what other medias we might eventually “work” in. Happy Halloween!
Prosthetic limbs, design prototypes, replacement parts, custom tools, topographical models, personalized spatulas: all objects that have been produced with 3D printers and just a few examples of what TU students might print when OTS Student Computing Services (SCS) launches its 3D printing facilities in the fall.
At the heart of the operation are two Ultimaker 3 fused deposition modeling (FDM) printers. Somewhat analogous to a glue gun, an FDM printer extrudes a fine bead of melted filament—in our case, a type of plastic commonly referred to as PLA—building, layer by layer, from the bottom up. Continue Reading