WOOF group has spent the last two months researching. engineering, extruding, printing, and dumpster diving for the greater good. WOOF submitted the first 3D printed milk jug boat into the Seafair Milk Carton Derby. Not a simple task, they hacked a 4′ x8′ plasma cutter, slapped a homemade extruder on, and dealt with 2% shrinkage, to produce a beautiful boat. The boat weight is 40 lbs (~250 1 gallon Milk jugs) supports 150lbs, yet cuts through the water like a canoeyak.
After spending weeks in a dumpster, sorting milk jugs and cleaning them. Scrapblasters was gracious enough to do some controlled small batch shredding to maintain clean mix of only #2 HDPE milk jug plastic. WOOF was finally ready to print. With the hopper feeding beautifully, the first test print was a success.
Scaling up the process had its own trials, but the WOOF team has a diverse group who balance out problem solving with skill and ingenuity. They worked with materials that were cheap, effective, and readily available. This technology has great application in many third world countries, and islands where plastic processing is limited or, the materials must be shipped off island. However the greatest contribution is not the plastic being reused, but the land and water masses it reclaims turning them from dumping sites to useable spaces and ecosystems.
More about their printing process is available on their Blog http://fabbersuw.blogspot.com/ (or click WOOf @ UW) on the right.