Mar.4, 2014

At end of last year, an evolved version of the garbage recycling bike was seen on the streets of Taipei in Taiwan. It takes PET bottles and plastic bags and turns them into fashionable 3D printed products in about half an hour.

This bike, a mobile mini-factory is called the Mobile Fab. It consists of a plastic shredder, a filament extruder and a 3D printer. Its goal is 'to promote 3D printing on the streets' using material from recycled plastic bottles.

People who are familiar with 3D printing know that the filament materials have always been costly. But with the Mobile Fab you can turn the PET bottles into filament required by 3D printing and immediately start printing on the street.

"We have done all kinds of design and production experiments and tried to recreate 3D printing machines. We have used our knowledge in digital interactive technology, 3D printing, parametric design to optimize current design and added all the functions we need. I believe design today is an interdisciplinary job and this will be the future of design industry." said Han Kaiyu, Co-founder of Mobile Fab.

Before you can change the world you have to change yourself

In order to change Taiwan's design industry Han Kaiyu founded the Fabraft Design Lab after graduating from Department of Industrial Design of National Taipei University of Technology. In conventional thinking it is very hard for individual designers to find practice opportunities. It is extremely expensive to produce a prototype model, not to mention the difficulties of finding accesses to your consumers.

Han Kaiyu and 3 other friends founded the Fabraft Design Lab last year to experiment a new method.

Fabraft Design Lab combines 'design' and 'lab'. Han Kaiyu explains that 'design' focuses on products for the mature market and business models, and the 'lab' products are those in an experimental stage and they need to spend most effort in development. Almost all cases start in this 'lab' environment and after proven successful they are moved to 'design'.

The Mobile Fab was born in the 'lab'. The team first did research in recycling plastic and how to transform them into 3D printing material. Then they came up with an idea to load a 3D printer on a bike. This way, the hottest bike in Taipei is transformed to a new universal bike with an integration of environmental protection and promotion of new technology.

The Mobile Fab has now several hundreds of trial users.

"We want to use the most familiar method to promote 3D printing. The Mobile Fab with a plastic shredder, a filament extruder and a 3D printer is a small mobile factory. People only need to bring plastic products such as plastic bottles, plastic bags or cups and hand them to the cyclist. They can then see how the materials are turned into 3D printer materials. The 3D printer can then use the material and print out different white badges we designed for them. This whole process takes less than half an hour." said Han.

Han Kaiyu explained that through this project, they want to show to the ordinary people the convenience of 3D printing and the value of recycling, hoping to change the way of thinking in Taiwan's design industry.

3D printing can not only produce prototypes, but can also be used to create an end-use products that can be sold immediately. "Understanding 3D printing is an important skill in the Maker movement." says Han. His next project is to develop a Mobile Fab truck version.

This is how the trolley is welded on the bicycle.

RepRap 3D printer

Plastic shredder

Images credit: Mobile Fab

Posted in 3D Printing Services


Maybe you also like:


Kish B C wrote at 5/25/2016 12:50:56 PM:

Dear Mr. Han Kaiyu, I like to meet you with my buyer. kindly let me know whee we can come and see you. We want to do Business with you. Looking forwar to meet you. Rgd Kish B C 0933711415

Bb wrote at 3/5/2014 8:08:23 AM:

I wonder how that plastic shredder works!

Peter wrote at 3/5/2014 6:23:22 AM:


cee wrote at 3/4/2014 1:29:39 PM:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive