filament updates: research study on how much energy recycling takes [updates]
Let's think about what we're really trying to achieve with the summer project of filament. We're trying to figure out if recycling plastic bottles through turning them into 3D printer filament will take less energy than traditional recycling methods. So we need to do a few things for this.
(1) What's the energy it takes to currently recycle a single plastic bottle.
(2) What's the energy it takes to take the products from recycling that bottle and turn it into something else (via injection molding or other manufacturing techniques).
We'll compare this to our manufacturing setup and see how much energy in-total it takes to turn one plastic bottle into filament and then print it into something. We will account for the energy related to the product of molds in injection molding and other types of manufacturing but we won't account for things like the energy required to transport the bottles as it may be the same in both cases. So basically it's like, "how much energy would we save if we did this instead of this without changing any of the infrastructure."
IT's about two things (1) ENERGY and (2) Some communities don't recycle all types of plastic so it's a GIS issue as well - we need to figure out who recycles plastic and where. Because this initiative can help in two cases. ONE to actually reduce the energy it takes to recycle something (universities can do this on-campus instead of sending plastic thousands of miles away), and TWO this can help in communities who don't recycle too much plastic - where it isn't a priority.
Right now, what I want to do, is come up with a sketch-design for the prototype of the filament extruder not the whole system, just the extruder you know. And kinda think about what parts around the basement I can use to built it.
The other thing we did was clear a space for all of this to happen - you know. We need a table with an experiment setup, experiment area ONE is occupied by a robot and a filter at the moment, I don't want to take experiment area TWO from my brother so here's the table we're using:
This table is, I think, 6 feet long so it should be more that sufficient space for both the 3D printer (which I think is coming today), AND the filament extruder we're going to build. The extruder will be a large size not because it needs that level of space, but we're going to make the hopper large. For the prototype, we're going to use some stuff that's been lying around from science olympiad days.
This frame we see here has a lot of extra components on it that will be removed, but the wooden part is basically a 24" cube. We're going to use a combination of wood, fabric, 3D printed parts, and the stuff we ordered to make it a full-scale hopper and extruder. We won't touch it now, not until the rest of the parts show up. But from next week I think we'll be doing these two things: new job, and this project!
We also found this massive heatsink that might possibly be able to help in cooling the filament when it leaves the extruder. The thing is the bag is a volt-meter and that's also pretty cool, it'll help us note how many volts are going to certain parts once we've figured out what those parts we want to measure the voltage across are. We'll see what the best design we have is - for now I'm just leaving these parts aside.
I think the 3D printer is showing up later today which means we might get to have some fun putting it together today and not tomorrow or something. In the meantime I'm going to be working on some stuff for my job.