Date of Award
Santa Clara: Santa Clara University, 2015.
Extrusion is how 3D printing filament is created. Melted plastic is pushed through an extrusion die and is shaped into a long thin strand of plastic. Extrusion machines are usually sized for industrial use, capable of creating hundreds of feet of filament a day. This filament is expensive to purchase, and many end-users would prefer to extrude their own filament, from a virgin plastic input or plastic waste input. There are no homescale filament extruders on the market for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plastic waste. AkaBot was designed to allow end users to produce their own filament from a PET plastic input. AkaBot was designed and manufactured to created filament that has the required ductility for spooling and use in a 3D printer. It functioned well with PET pellets as the plastic input, but it was not as successful when trying to use recycled water bottles. The final filament product is dependent on the tension put on the filament as it exits the machine. At present, a skilled human operator is required to consistently produce acceptable filament. An automated spooling system for the filament would greatly improve the consistency of the output and decrease the cost of using AkaBot.
Dubashi, Jay; Grau, Brian; and McKernan, Alex, "AkaBot 2.0: pet 3D printing filament from waste plastic" (2015). Mechanical Engineering Senior Theses. 44.