14th February 2023
A design technician at a leading secondary school in Kingswinford has inspired students towards more sustainable thinking by creating a homemade recycling machine to support their 3D printing projects.
Adrian Edwards, DT Technician at Kingswinford Academy, part of Windsor Academy Trust, used a YouTube tutorial to build a manufacturing machine capable of producing the PET filament that 3D printers require using only recycled plastic bottles.
“3D printing is a hobby of mine and I like to learn more by following a few different YouTube creators,” explains Adrian. “By chance I came across one, JRT3D, who showed how you can recycle two litre plastic bottles into ten metres of filament by building a manufacturing machine from old 3D printers. Fortunately, I had all the spare parts and offcuts it suggested so I decided to give it a try.”
Adrian successfully built the filament manufacturing machine and brought it into school to demonstrate to year 10 and 11 students how technology can be effectively reused for a new purpose. He plans to further fine tune the machine so students can regularly manufacture their own filament before they make 3D printed prototypes for their design coursework.
Adrian continues: “It’s been great fun showing the students what can be achieved using spare parts and old bottles of fizzy pop; they’ve been really impressed. The next steps are to improve the connections between filament and printer, which I’m now working on, and I’m also looking at a way to better shred the plastic bottles, so the project continues!”
Kingswinford Academy’s headteacher, Ian Moreton said: “We greatly admire Adrian’s resourcefulness and ingenuity in crafting this machine, and demonstrating how we can all think creatively to reuse and repurpose plastic waste, which is a significant pollutant. Part of our wider sustainability goal is to instil in our students an ethos of care for the natural environment and inspire them to take even the smallest action, and I’m confident this sets a positive example. We greatly look forward to seeing what our students will produce with the recycled filament once the machine is refined.”
To see Adrian Edwards’ filament manufacturing machine in action, watch this video.