The Plastic for Parts project team at the University of Guelph has been working hard to assemble a machine designed to recycle plastic water bottles into 3-D printer filament. This device is called a Polyformer and consists mostly of 3-D printed parts made from PLA filament. The objective of this project is to reduce waste in the community while gaining a resource to assist with other projects in the club and on campus.

In order to begin the build process, approximately 200 hours of 3-D printing went into creating the structural base of the machine. Once printed, heat sinks were added and the base was screwed together. The second half of the build consisted of an electronic circuit assembly. The team faced many set backs throughout this, such as short circuits and faulty wires. However, everyone worked hard to continue the build. We soldered and crimped many wires and connectors and at this point have completed majority of the electronics component. With help from the Polyformer Discord and GitHub this project is almost complete!

Once finished we will be able to cut plastic bottles into thin strips which will be fed through the machine, melted and reshaped into a cylindrical strands designed to be used as 3-D printer filament. There is a control knob and a screen on this device that will be used to changed the settings for extrusion, motor speed, heat and much more. The applications are endless for this project. Some ideas we have at this moment will be to print plant baskets for our hydroponics project and to create personalized key chains or tokens.



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