Recycling is awesome. Duh. Sure, it’s gratifying to know that all those plastic water bottles are getting put to good use somehow. But wouldn’t it be cool to know exactly how? And wouldn’t it be even cooler to be able to do it all yourself? Well, it looks like you might be able to soon.
Web magazine, Yanko Design recently introduced the 3D-Reprinter, a design concept from Yangzi Qin, Yingting Wang, Luckas Fischer and Hanying Xie for a printer that runs off recycled plastic. Imagine all those soda bottles or grocery bags you go through as the source of a something like a phone or a gorgeous new bracelet.
If you’ve heard of Coca-Cola’s EKOCYCLE Cube, this is kind of like that with one major difference; with an EKOCYCLE Cube you have to buy pre-made cartridges, which are created in part from post-consumer recycled PET plastic bottles. With the 3D-Reprinter, you’d be able to stick an entire bottle or bag straight into the machine.
The concept allows you to bypass that blue bin, simply toss your bags and bottles into the top part of the machine and press the start button. By its default setting, the plastic would automatically create larger bottles or plastic bags. But if you want to print out something entirely new — a purse or a Snuffleupagus, for example — all you have to do is select the file you want printed and watch it do its thing. For anyone trying to create a prototype or 3D print for fun, this would be an almost entirely free way to do so once you have the printer in your home.
For now, this is just a really (really, really) good idea, so the EKOCYCLE might have to hold you over ’til we (pretty pls) see the 3D-Reprinter on Kickstarter. The EKOCYCLE will set you back about $1,199. But hey, it also comes with a collection of 25 fashion, music and tech minded accessories curated by the company’s Chief Creative Officer, will.i.am (yes that will.i.am). So that’s pretty sweet.
What’s your take on a 3D recycling printers? Is it the way of the future? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.