3D printing is being used to make innovative products using recycled waste that could otherwise end up in a landfill. Our story today covers an event in Tasmania, where bits of plastic marine rope were transformed into a 3D printing filament by a school teacher.
Marcos Gogolin is a part-time teacher at the educational research provider TasTAFE. He had been doing research on the plastic marine rope to productively recycle it. The idea came into his mind when he saw tons of ocean waste on the west coast of Tasmania. Their team gathered 4.5 tons of rubbish from the shore and it was then that Marcos became determined to reuse this plastic for productive use.
It was around this time that Marcos was given a 3D printer to develop courses at TasTAFE. The small bits of plastic that he found in the ocean were mainly from the fishing industry. He decided these bits could be used to make one component for the printer- The 3D printing filament.
Marcos made his team comprising of students from TasTAFE. They developed a basic machine that could churn out a 3D plastic filament. The team is hopeful that it will attract the attention of the manufacturers and investors who would develop the equipment further making it more viable. Gogolin said that this technology could intelligently be used for recycling the resources so that the need to produce new plastic is no longer necessary.
Even giant companies are not behind in their tryst to recycle plastic. Adidas has launched its line of sneakers made from recycles ocean plastic. Many other companies too, are using plastic wastes like water bottles to car parts for making the 3D printing filament. With plastic causing so much of harm to the environment, efforts of people like Gogolin are commendable as well as necessary.