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Finally, A Way To Upcycle Those Pesky Water Bottles!

Keep the Creativity Coming!

An overall view of the Polyformer, which is a device used to upcycle PET water bottles.
The Polyformer (media by JC)

One of life’s biggest questions has to be, “What will we do with all of this plastic?”. While this is not a forever solution, Reiten Cheng has developed a way to reuse water bottles to create the plastic filaments used for 3D printers. Instead of buying more of these filament spools to feed the 3D printers:

Typical plastic filament spools used for 3D printers to create plastic parts and models.
Plastic Filaments (media by JC)

You are using these:

A typical plastic waste item which is the PET water bottle.
Typical Water Bottle (Media by JC)

So what exactly has Reiten designed to accomplish this feat. He calls it Polyformer, and it in itself is a 3D printed, open-source machine that recycles PET bottles (like above) into filaments for 3D printers. 3D printers like the one pictured here:

A common 3D printer used for printing plastic parts and 3D representations.
Typical 3D Printer (media by JC)

Polyformer is designed to be built with mostly 3D printed parts, and more importantly, anyone can make it as the schematics are available for free download. Reiten Cheng aims to bring this technology to the masses to promote reusing or upcycling plastic and making enhancements to his design. This upcycling can be done in the home, and we can reduce the amount of plastic each of us contributes to the waste stream. Instead of buying more plastic filaments, you use existing plastic streams to 3D print your parts.

A close-up view of the filament obtained from upcycling an old water bottle.
Converted Filament (media by JC)

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