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A question about the used filament


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Posted · A question about the used filament

At this time I don't have a lot of left over used filament.  But over time it will build up, what do I do with it? The local recyclers  don't take used 3D printer filament and the Benton County land fill will charge me to dump the used filament.

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    Posted (edited) · A question about the used filament

    "100% of all the PLA produced on the planet will end up in landfills." - GregValiant

    "PLA (polylactic acid) is typically made from the sugars in corn starch, cassava or sugarcane. It is biodegradable, carbon-neutral and edible." - Colombia Climate School "The Truth about bio-plastics"


    Additional: TreeHugger.com


    @reble How much scrap are you planning on producing?  You're supposed to make good parts ya know.

    I use the ends of spools for my little detective work around here.  The ends of spools and/or moist filament is useful as a learning aid and for experimenting with settings.  The scrap rate for that is 100%.


    I'm a graduate of the Detroit public school system so this may be a little shaky (I gotta dust off my slipstick for this).

    A 1kg spool of 1.75 is about 330meters or 330,000mm.

    At .2 layer height and .4 line width - 1mm of 1.75 filament will provide 30.06mm of extrusion.

    330,000 * 30.06 = 9,919,800mm of extrusion/spool.

    At 50mm/sec that's 55.11hrs of print time / spool.

    At a scrap rate of 50% (I've been higher) that's about 1/2 kilo of scrap every 2.3 days.

    If you print 24/7 for a year that would come out to around 159 (1)kg spools of filament of which 79kg (175#) would be scrap.

    A little salt...maybe some ketchup...you eat a 1/2lb of PLA per day, everything goes down the toilet, and the problem is resolved.


    A little feedback here, so don't eat it.


    Never throw tools away.  For those of you who don't know, this is a sliderule which was known colloquially as a slipstick.  It's amazing how something so small and light could be so cumbersome.



    Edited by GregValiant
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    Posted · A question about the used filament
    4 hours ago, GregValiant said:

    "PLA (polylactic acid) is typically made from the sugars in corn starch, cassava or sugarcane. It is biodegradable, carbon-neutral and edible."

    I don't see how someone can claim that (all) PLA is carbon-neutral. Energy goes into the making of corn/cassava/sugarcane and into the production process of the PLA, and the production of that energy may or may not be carbon-neutral. Also please don't tell people eating PLA filament is "safe". Even if the base PLA product may not kill you, you don't know what additives (colorants etc) are in the filament.

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    Posted · A question about the used filament

    1. "biodegradable" and "biodegradable under industrial composting conditions" are two different things.
    2. "edible" and "ingestible and non-toxic" are two different things.


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    Posted · A question about the used filament

    I know PLA is biodegradable but I am sure not going to eat it nor would I feed it to my dog. I was just curious as to what happens to the used left over PLA. At the rate that I am 3D printing I will be in an assisted living home before I fill the 1st box with used left over PLA.  :-)

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