Jan. 25, 2013 at 3:59 PM ET
As enthusiasm grows for 3-D printers, so does a familiar complaint to just about everyone still living in a 2-D inkjet world: the maddeningly high cost and inefficiency of replacement cartridges. Enter the Filabot, a contraption that turns just about all your household plastic waste into "ink" for 3-D printers.
3-D printers melt strips of plastic filament into a gooey paste that is spewed out one layer at a time to create all sorts of plastic parts, gizmos and architect models. The printers are a sign of the future, when we can print just about anything we’d ever want with the press of a button.
For now, the printers mostly deal in the realm of plastics and are popular among early-adopter techies, designers and people on a mission to change the world for the better. In addition to the cost of the printers, which have begun to fall, plastic filament starts at around $50 for a 2.2-pound spool.
The Filabot was developed by Tyler McNaney, a college student, and financed with funds raised on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding website. It sits on a desktop and is designed to grind and convert everyday plastic waste such as milk jugs, water bottles, and plastic wrap into filament for a future print job.
Early enthusiasts paid $350 for first-run versions of the device, according to Treehugger. A final price for the public version is yet to be announced, but it should pay for itself rather quickly and keep household plastic waste out of landfills and the oceans. What’s more, it means you recycle bad print jobs.
To learn more about it, check out the promotional video below.
- via Earth Techling