Research Papers

Development and Evaluation of a Distributed Recycling System for Making Filaments Reused in Three-Dimensional Printers

[+] Author and Article Information
Dongoh Lee, Younghun Lee, Kyunghyun Lee, Youngsu Ko

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Konkuk University,
Seoul 05029, South Korea

Namsu Kim

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Konkuk University,
Seoul 05029, South Korea
e-mail: nkim7@konkuk.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 22, 2018; final manuscript received October 4, 2018; published online December 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Sara Behdad.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 141(2), 021007 (Dec 24, 2018) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-18-1265; doi: 10.1115/1.4041747 History: Received April 22, 2018; Revised October 04, 2018

Due to an increase in the number of applications for 3D printers, the use of thermoplastic resins such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and poly lactic acid (PLA), which are typical filament materials for fused filament fabrication (FFF) type 3D printers, has also increased significantly. This trend has produced an interest in recycled filaments, both to reduce the manufacturing cost of fabricated products and to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Also, this recycling system is very useful to make functional filament such as highly conducting or high strength filament by combining carbon nanotube or polydopamine during recycling process. This study presents the design procedures of system for making recycled filaments for 3D printers from waste polymer. The system integrates four main parts for recycling filament: a shredder, which crushes polymer waste into small pieces; an extruder, which extrudes filament from the crushed pieces; a sensing and control component, which regulates the diameter of the extruded filament via a closed-loop control system, and a spooler. Additionally, the dimensional accuracy, the mechanical strength of pristine, and recycled filaments were investigated and compared.

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Fig. 1

Schematic view of (a) an FFF-type 3D printer and (b) an enlarged view of an extrusion printing head

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Fig. 2

The recycling process from waste material to recycled filament

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Fig. 3

Schematic view of a filament recycling system consisting of the shredder, the extruder, the sensing component, and the spooling system: (a) shredder, (b) extruder, (c) spooler, and (d) sensing part

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Fig. 4

(a) Schematic view and (b) plane view of the shredder consisting of gears, blades, spacers, the housing, and the chain sprocket

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Fig. 5

(a) Schematic view of the extruder consisting of the hopper, pipe, screw, heating band, and extrusion nozzle and (b) enlarged view of the extrusion nozzle

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Fig. 6

(a) Schematic view of the sensing component to measure the thickness of extruded filament and (b) mechanism of a measurement

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Fig. 7

(a) Schematic view of the tension control device controlling the tension acting on the filament and (b) enlarged view of the rollers and hole for the filament

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Fig. 8

Schematic view of recycled filament being wound onto a bobbin by a spooling system consisting of the spooler (top) and the filament distribution device (bottom)

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Fig. 9

Thickness measurements for recycled filament taken at 100 mm intervals over 10 m of filament

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Fig. 10

(a) Specification for a 3D printed specimen for the tensile test according to ASTM D638 type V and (b) the directions of the printing process

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Fig. 11

Visual inspection of printing quality using (a) pristine filament and (b) recycled filament

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Fig. 12

The of strain–stress curves from tensile tests of (a) pristine PLA filament and (b) recycled PLA filament

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Fig. 13

The of strain–stress curves from tensile tests of (a) pristine PLA filament and (b) recycled ABS filament



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