Home Applications & Case Studies YouTuber produces 3D printing filament from used plastic cutlery

YouTuber produces 3D printing filament from used plastic cutlery

In a new experiment, the YouTube channel CNC Kitchen has investigated whether used plastic cutlery such as forks and knives can be recycled into filament for 3D printers.

In his test, Stefan from CNC Kitchen first shredded plastic cutlery from retail outlets and dried the fragments. He then extruded filament with a diameter of 1.6 mm using a desktop filament extruder machine from Artme3D. This filament was very brittle and broke easily, but was in principle printable.

To improve the material properties, Stefan mixed 50% shredded plastic cutlery with 50% new PLA pellets for the next run. The result was significantly less brittle and could be printed well with standard PLA settings.

In another experiment, Stefan first cooked a tomato sauce with the plastic cutlery to test whether food residues affect the recycling process. After thorough cleaning, he shredded and extruded the cutlery into filament again. By adding 20% new PLA pellets and some red dye, an aesthetically pleasing, pastel red filament was created. According to Stefan, good printing results with smooth surfaces could be achieved with this filament.

Conclusion: With the right post-processing, used plastic cutlery can be recycled into usable 3D printing filament quite easily, according to CNC Kitchen.

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