World’s Fair Nano Coverage: ReDeTec’s ProtoCycler Makes It Easy to Recycle Plastic for 3D Printing

Design requires, by necessity, a lot of iterations of an object before you get it “right.” What do you do with the eleven 3D-printed models you cranked out before settling on design #12?

A company called ReDeTec (which stands for Renewable Design Technology), was in attendance at the World’s Fair Nano in San Francisco showing off their machine, the ProtoCycler. This lets you grind up your unwanted plastic parts, and the machine then turns the shredded plastic into freshly-spooled filaments, ready to serve again.

The company decided to make the grinder hand-cranked rather than powered for safety reasons; the idea is that there’s little chance you’ll accidentally grind one of your hands up when you’re the one doing the cranking. As far as plastics, it will recycle both ABS and PLA right out of the box; the company notes that “while water bottles (PET), coffee cup lids (PS), etc aren’t currently supported, they should be possible” if you’re willing to mess around with the machine’s settings manually.

While other DIY plastic recycling machines exist on the market, the goal of the ProtoCycler is ease-of-use. “In automatic mode,” the company writes, “all you have to do is select your plastic, and hit ‘go’ – ProtoCycler takes care of the rest. Startup, shutdown, extrusion, and spooling are all automatically controlled, so you get fantastic filament, every time.”

You can learn more about the machine here.