April 21, 2014

Liz Havlin, a Seattle-based entrepreneur, is working on an Open Source project that turns recycled plastic into 3D printer ink.

"The idea is that we can use the garbage which is choking our oceans, beaches and wildlife to create income and foster innovation in impoverished communities around the world." Havlin wrote to us.

The extruder she is working on, called the Legacy, is designed by Seattle inventor Hugh Lyman who had won a contest by building the device that turned plastic pellets into 3D printing filament.

"Legacy is based on Lyman's design and includes a self-winding filament spool apparatus so when you have the amount of filament you need for your project, you simply snip the end and put the spool on your 3D printer," Havlin's Kickstarter site says.

83-year-old Hugh Lyman holds eight patents and has been building quite a few low-cost desktop 3D printers. His invention, Lyman Filament Extruder II extrudes different filament diameters depending on the nozzle hole size. With this home-made filament extruder, you can save 80% on the material costs. A spool of plastic filament costs $50/kg, and buying a kilogram of pellets and extruding your own filament will cost you only about $10. And if you buy 25 kilograms of pellets in bulk, you only need to pay $5 for each kilogram.

The key point here is that you could theoretically build such an extruder from parts that cost $250. Havlin researched Mr Lyman and visited him in his workshop. They hatched a plan to bring Lyman's redesigned extruder - Lyman's Extruder V4 - to market.

Lyman's invention is open source for anyone to use and build. After talking to potential investors, Havlin realized that investors were only interested in acquiring the IP in order to stop her from manufacturing the machines. She decided to launch the project on Kickstarter as an open source project.

Havlin will seek $30,000 on Kickstarter for the development of this filament project and to bring open source hardware to the world. For $499, backers will get a Legacy extruder kit which includes everything but the printed parts. For extra $100, the DIY kit will include all 3D printed parts. If you prefer a fully assembled Legacy desktop extruder, the project will offer you an Early Bird Special for $699.

"For every 5 extruder machines that are pledged for through this Kickstarter Campaign, we will send 1 to the Protoprint Project, the Plastic Bank, Africa or an organization of your choice (like a school or non-profit)." Havlin writes in her Kickstarter campaign. She will launch the Kickstarter project soon.

Posted in 3D Printer Materials

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Liz Havlin wrote at 8/21/2014 6:22:27 PM:

If you look in the comments on the kickstarter campaign - you can see where we are compiling info to build a shredder / grinder. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lizhavlin/wastestream-to-mainstream-recycling-into-3d-printi

Liz Havlin wrote at 7/30/2014 3:27:02 AM:

The Kickstarter Campaign is LIVE for the Legacy Extruder... looking forward to your feedback! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lizhavlin/wastestream-to-mainstream-recycling-into-3d-printi

cqui wrote at 4/29/2014 4:17:56 PM:

I would not combine the shredder to the extruder, the first is dirty and vibrating and will work at different speed depending on the material coming in, the other one need to be consistent and clean. I would also have a stage where shredded material are washed and dried before extrusion. As told, shredding is by far not specific to this kind of application, like fume filters for example, effort should go to the things that can not be sources elsewhere.

3dHellfire wrote at 4/23/2014 2:29:41 AM:

How is this different from the Filabot?

Scott_2341 wrote at 4/22/2014 7:34:20 PM:

So, there's not a shred of evidence that this will work ?

Toju wrote at 4/22/2014 3:27:08 PM:

I agree with the plastic shredder attached to the extruder. I am actually in the process of building Lyman's v4 extruder (you can find the blueprints and BOM on thingiverse) and i went to harbor freight and purchased an electric wood chipper (on sale 70 bucks) and that seems to work fairly well to chop the plastic into small pieces its just overly loud. once i get the extruder finished i am going to try it with the shreds that i made an see what happens. Would have been nice to have it as an all-in-one machine though, insert empty milk jug out comes filament (we can all dream).

TimK wrote at 4/22/2014 7:14:10 AM:

Yes, add a shredder, allow the end user to select type of plastic to be recycled (pla, abs, etc), have a replaceable filer for fumes, and fit whole thing in space of a trash compactor. Tag line - "when did throwing out stuff pay you back?". Scenario - insert spool, select plastic type to recycle, drop in recycles, turn on, come back and grab filled spool, trade out for empty one.

jd90 wrote at 4/22/2014 5:56:14 AM:

If their goal is really to recycle, then it looks like they left a major piece of the puzzle out - the plastic shredder. Their page doesn't mention that at all. There are much fewer (if any) open hardware shredders than there are open hardware filament extruders. Anything short of that, then this extruder is really just going to be about making filament from virgin pellets, not really solving the stated goal of recycling found plastic.

jd90 wrote at 4/21/2014 6:17:31 PM:

Pellets and reputable filament can be had for considerably less than the stated prices. I bought 2lb of pellets, shipped for the price given. If your aim really is to recycle, I think some kind of shredder is more important than the extruder. There are several open extruder designs, but no open shredder designs last I looked.

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