Launceston College students using 3D printing technology to see their projects to fruition have a new tool at their disposal: milk bottles.
The college's STEAM NGN facility now features the equipment required to break down old milk bottles from across the school into a form that can be used by one if its 3D printers.
"The beauty of that was that the students got to see the whole recycling process," said STEAM NGN advanced skills teacher Kent Poulton.
The machines, one of which can shred plastic into fine pieces before another reforms it as a thin filament used by the printers, also enable the off-cuts produced during printing with standard material to be returned to a reusable form.
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The shredder was built by staff member, with the filament extruder purchased. A new moulding machine will allow some items to be created at a larger volume still than the 3D printers at "virtually zero cost".
Students with projects spanning from engineering to object design have now made use of the new capabilities.
"So students with their enterprise projects, they're seeing the potential of using recycled materials which are cheaper and more easily accessible to produce things that have a higher profit margin," Mr Poulton said.
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