3D printer filament created from recycled CDs and DVDs

3D printer filament created from recycled CDs and DVDs

Recycling is a process to change waste materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to plastic production. 

CDs are small and thin but they sure start to take up a lot of space after a lifetime of collecting them. These days, music has gone digital and just like cassette tapes were taken out of stores; someday soon CDs are sure to see the same fate. Before you race to the nearest trash can and dump out all of your old CDs, know that CDs are recyclable despite how many end up polluted landfills each year.


Credit: reShootz

A growing number of companies that are turning consumer waste into prosumer gold and the latest is reShootz, which will turn your old CDs and DVDs into 3D printing filaments. reShootz is a spin-off of Washington-based GreenDisk, a company that has been recycling electronic media for the past 22 years.  Now, with reShootz, the company plans to convert that waste into 3D printing filament. David Beschen, founder of GreenDisk and one of reShootz’s principals, says of the new company, “We were pleased to see how important sustainable practices and products are to the 3D printing community. Producing high quality, premium grade filament from this special set of recycled plastics is a natural. If someone wants to produce a product they will want the option of producing one that will qualify as environmentally preferred.”

Along with an increasing selection of 3D printers that now exist for literally every type of user, the amount of filaments that have been coming to market has also been seeing a dramatic increase in recent memory.  Not only has MakerBot announced that they are expanding their line of Composite PLA filaments which will include limestone, maple, bronze and iron-fused filaments, but Made in Space has even began selling the same space-approved filament that helped a range of 3D printed objects make headlines late last year.  Now, a new filament company has a high-quality filament that’s made from a piece of technology that most people probably don’t see too often anymore: CDs and DVDs.

"You have to understand the history of the material and its unique characteristics to produce a quality product,” said Mickey Friedman, a reShootz principal. “Over the years, we've learned how to best take advantage of this particular set of recycled plastics, and thanks to the need for a tight audit trail, we know how they were made and where they came from."

With this in mind, it should come with little surprise that quality of utmost importance to reShootz - something that is undeniably difficult when you have a range of different discarded material coming from multiple sources.  To help ensure that the quality is maintained throughout the process and into the final product, the company will focus on consistent flow, temperature and drying speed of their final product to ensure that the shape and diameter are up to their standards for being usable with most existing 3D. The company will launch the recycled filament in three separate product lines, which will include Performance, Production and Play. 

The reShootz Production line will feature filaments for more generalized 3D printing work and will consist of recycled versions of commonly-used existing filaments including ABS plastic, among others.  Finally, the reShootz Play line will consist of novelty filaments such as Sparkle, which will be made from whole discs and all of the included materials, which will give the material a sparkle appearance.  

The company is planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign for their Vüz filament later this summer but will be releasing the filament in advance for those who want a sample. (Source: reShootz)

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