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I recently got a 3D printer and have been experimenting with it a lot, resulting in a lot of failed prints (as well as successes, fortunately).

I'd like to, if possible, find a way to reuse the material from these failed prints. I am thinking about two methods:

  1. The obvious thing to do with the material is to chuck it in an old toaster oven and reuse it for injection molding. Is this something that is reasonably easy to do? If so, what temperature would be reasonable to use? What materials would be good to use for the mold? (off the top of my head, silicone or printed ABS with some kind of sealant seem the most promising)
  2. Are there other ways to easily reuse the material? I've noticed that when PLA is heated to somewhere around 50-60 degrees C (120-150 F) it becomes somewhat soft and malleable. Does anyone have experience molding hot PLA?


To be clear, I'm specifically asking about ways to reuse scrap PLA material, not just leftover filament, and not ways to turn it back into filament or to just recycle it. I'm particularly interested in the viability of the two methods I suggested, and if anyone has experience (positive or negative) with either I'd like to hear about it.

1 Answer 1

https://preciousplastic.com/ Is a fantastic project that promotes plastic recycling into useful objects. They offer free blueprints, videos on how to build the recycling equipment, and offer suggestions on what to make of your recycled goods.

Personally, I am looking into making garden bricks or paver stones. I have not found the ideal temperatures or heating methods just yet.