Dr. Amy Moll
3D printing capabilities have expanded and grown at Boise State University with developments such as the MakerSpace in the Library as well as the Engineering Innovation Studio. PLA (polylactic acid) plastic is a widely used material for 3D printing. Currently the Engineering Innovation Studio alone spends about $3,000 each year on 3D printing filament, which is about 120 spools of filament. Our project is investigating a way to use recycled PLA to create 3D printer filament, while helping the Engineering Innovation Studio save money and reduce waste. Sources for recycled PLA include bad or wasted 3D prints, and other resources such as recycled water cups on campus. Over the course of the semester, we have identified specifications for an extruder system and shredder in order to begin recycling PLA. We will have created a cost-benefit analysis recommending an extruder set and shredder for the College of Engineering to purchase for the Engineering Innovation Studio.
Kuehl, Emily E.; Favillo, Luke; Buslach, Nate; and Moll, Amy, "Investigating Recycled 3D Printing Filament Infrastructure: A Cost-Benefit Analysis" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 100.