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This DIY shredder turns garbage into 3D printing gold

Watch it demolish some plastic bags.


Posted on Jun 1, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 4:44 pm CDT

An intern at experimental research lab FabLab RUC at Roskilde University in Denmark created a shredder that breaks down plastics into pieces small enough to be melted down and used in 3D printing, marking the beginning of what could be a new era in recycling. 

Waste materials like plastic bags are inserted into the teeth of the machine and come out the other side looking like pencil shavings. Those shavings can be heated up in any household oven to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit to create sheet material, or 3D printing filament. 

Research intern Jason Knight’s project took nine months to complete and consists of a series of 4mm laser-cut “teeth” and 1.1 inch (30mm) wooden gears. He smartly fitted a safety extension for those prone to accident—because you really wouldn’t want to get your fingers caught in this powerful machine. 

Knight went one step further and created a step-by-step DIY instruction guide so all you engineers can turn your garbage into something life changing.

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*First Published: Jun 1, 2016, 6:20 am CDT