Recycling failed prints

I’ve been 3D printing for a few years now and I’ve accumulated a good amount of ABS and PLA used plastic. Things like failed prints or excess from the “poop chute”. What should I do with all of it?

I’ve read online that most recycling places don’t take #7 plastic. I looked online for a local place and they said they take it online but when I got there they told me they only take #1 and #2 plastic. Is there anything I can do with the failed prints (besides making 6000 maracas)? Are there any services that take scarp 3D printed plastic? For reference, I’m in New York on Long Island so I’m open to finding a local place too.

Some filament manufacturers have recycling programs, and there are some desktop units available for re-melting into new filament - from what I understand it’s mostly educational facilities that buy these, so maybe there is a school with a makerspace that might have one and welcome (well-separated) scraps?

Could you please exemplify which recycling filament machines you are referring to? I’ve already tried a couple of DIY models made available by some makers, but despite all my best efforts, the overall quality and dimensional consistency of the resulting filament is poor (at best). Similar results with a DIY filament machine for extruding recycled PET. So I’m really interested in finding out if there are out there any reasonably priced desktop (home use) filament making machines, or tested DIY projects that deliver quality consistent filament. Thx in advance for any information you can share on this topic.

I don’t have any personal experience using any of these, and the units I’ve heard of come up on a Google search for “desktop pla filament recycler”, sorry!

Too bad, then. It means that I’ll have to keep looking for a feasible and reliable solution…while my X1C still keeps throwing away more filament than it uses for the actual print. If only Bambu guys would come up with a software update that would cut down to half or more the amount of thrown away filament, then things would be less tense for me and many X1 serie users. Also, while @ it, Bambu team, either reduce the amount of filament used for the color tower or get rid of it entirely (I’d go for the latter).

cheers. :wave:

Not only should they reduce the filament pooping by half and get rid of the purge tower they should also make the X1C create it’s own filament from hopes and dreams and make it run on unicorn farts instead of electricity.

Everyone here might just fall for a smart ass… I don’t. So please refrain for ever interacting with me in the future.

Make unreasonable demands, get unreasonable responses.

Neither of my previous “demands” (they were in fact requests) are technically unreasonable. When the printer throws away to clean up the nozzle at least twice more the amount of filament that is required for the print, adding on top of that a purge tower to do the very same thing, well, that I find indeed unreasonable. Requsting you guys to modify the g-code to cut down the amount of unnecessary disposal of good filament and removing the purge tower doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable request, considering that it’s your code, you should be able to do just that. It’s not like I’m only one saying that; a simple Google search would turn out hundreds, if not thousands, of your customers complaining of the exact thing: unreasonable and unnecessary amounts of thrown away filament being one of the most common and relevant reasons for discontent amongst the users. For the past year or so, Bambu has managed to build itself, with the launch of the X1 series, quite a good public image both in the media as well as among the 3D print consumers. It came out as innovative, breaking away from old concepts and becoming a trend setter that has shaken the existing manufacturers and reshaped the industry in a manner that is now copied by reputed brands like Creality, QuidiTech, Flashforge…etc. Even Prusa is now paying attention to you guys. However, all this public qudos and recognition won’t mean sh1t if you guys will stop listening to, and trying (really trying) to come up with technical solutions to the problems or requests coming from your target audience: the end users. Failing to listen to your end users will translate in users’ disappointment and discontent, loss of trust, and ultimately loss of credibility, of reputation and of revenues. Instead of treating your users’ questions and requests ironically and arrogantly, you should pay attention to the common problems and issues raised by them, and try your best to come up with adequate solutions. Being patronizing towards your customers has never helped a company build a healthy and long-term relationship with them. Loyalty and trust are earned, not given. You either gain you customers’ trust and loyalty, or you don’t. Thing is, once you gain the trust you need to maintain it. Maintaing users’ trust and loyalty are another challenge, as nowadays both trust and loyalty are not that easy to maintain with competitors doing their best to hold on on their existing customers and grab as many discontent users from their competitors. Empires have crumbled because of loss of trust and loyalty. China’s own history should be proof enough of that.

I’m pretty sure @DirtyEngineer doesn’t work for Bambu, so his patronizing shouldn’t be blamed on Bambu, but should be blamed on the ridiculousness of your complaint.

I saw another post that explained that you can adjust the levels of how much purging is done between colors and even eliminate certain purges that are done.

You should reduce them yourselves to the levels you like and then maybe you will understand why Bambu didn’t just eliminate the color tower as you suggest.

Everyone’s entitled to his/her own opinions. My request was, first of all, addressed to Bambu’s staff and I’ve expected an answer from them. And while my earlier post might look ridiculous to some people, I still think it’s a legit and justified request. Now, you might disagree with me on whether the request is ridiculous or not and I’m willing to accept a reasoned position as to why it can’t be done. However, my previous post doesn’t by far justify him patronizing someone just because he thinks he knows better.

The Bambu staff doesn’t usually respond to any posts on the forum. So you will have to settle for the sometimes sarcastic or snarky responses from the rest of us.

Don’t get offended too easily, it is just part of the banter.

Taking care of the environment (and your wallet) is totally reasonable.

In Bambu Studio, you can adjust all flushing volumes, and the OrcaSlicer Beta has some interesting multilateral options (haven’t tried them myself yet).

When it comes to recycling filament on a larger scale, two main challenges hold companies back: First, thermoplastics degrade with each heating cycle, so they can’t be reused forever. Second, with fresh raw materials costing around $6 per kg, recycling needs to be cost-effective. Even if you get scrap for free, sorting it (likely by hand) adds costs. The process involves shredding the plastic, then extruding these shreds once to create somewhat uniform pellets. These pellets are then extruded a second time to produce filament with acceptable tolerance.

Machines like those from 3devo or Filabot (US-based) are needed for this, but they’re expensive and maintenance-heavy.

In Germany, “Recycling Fabrik” lets you send in sorted scraps (PETG or PLA), offering discounts on their filament in return, and they even cover shipping. Their shipping label offers are snapped up quickly, showing there’s a definite market for this.

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of such an offering on the US market.

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There are probably places in the US that do it. In Canada there is a place near Toronto that take filament to recycle. They don’t pay for the material, but if you have a large amount, they will pay for shipping. They require plastic types to be separated, not not color. They just make and sell spools of whatever color comes out.