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New Off-grid Portable 3D Printer Takes Whole Plastics and Creates New Products on-site | Gigalab

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • This machine grinds ordinary plastic into shredded material, it then uses this shredded plastic to make products.

  • All the processing is done in a shippable lab, the size of a shipping container.

  • This gives us hope for more sophisticated designs that can provide new ways of dealing with plastic that is convenient and quick.

You may have heard of 3D printers, they basically turn plastic into things. The regular 3D printers require plastic pellets. In order to get these pellets, it requires a whole lot of processing i.e plastic needs to get sorted and then shipped to processing facilities, where it is melted down and turned into pellets. These pellets are then shipped out to whoever needs them.

The Gigalab is unique because it takes whole plastics, shreds them for you and uses the shredded plastic within the machine to make useful products. These useful products include personal protective gear or anything that is needed that can be made out of plastic.

The Gigabot X, however, can skip the pelleting process altogether. Unlike most 3D printers, it can take shredded plastics—which are irregularly shaped and don't flow as well as pellets—without getting jammed up and causing prints to fail.
“If you could manufacture on-site the things that you needed, especially during times of crisis, or during a natural disaster,” Craff said, “you're going to be able to support your community much more quickly than if you have to rely on outside help coming in.”

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