Students Design Portable System to Promote Plastic RecyclingS. Himmelstein | August 07, 2018
Alarmed by the growing volume of waste plastic globally and the lack of attendant recycling technology, a Dutch designer engineered four simple machines to pelletize such waste and repurpose it as furniture and other useful objects.
The open-source blueprints for these machines inspired 25 students at Australia’s Monash University to improve on the designs, rendering them safer and more user-friendly. After forming and melting plastic pellets, the modified system passes the material through an extruder to make filament for 3D printers, and through an injector to squeeze plastic into molds or a compressor that can make objects like bowls or structural beams.
The four systems are being merged into one portable unit that can be easily demonstrated at schools and community events. A 1 m2 pallet foundation supports flip-out workbenches for preparation and post-processing of products, and a central tower that accommodates the electronics and controllers, as well as video display screens.