I want to be able to use recycled materials as much as is reasonable in my sweet new molder, so I decided to start with what I had around the house. My family goes through a lot of milk, and we’ve recently switched to an organic product with an almost waxy, opaque plastic bottle. I suspect that these will do well in the molder once it’s ready, so this is what I started with.
Now, most paper shredders intended for the home are able to handle a credit card, and I know that the one we have has eaten its share of them, so it seemed like a good place to start. I figured that just cramming whole milk jugs into the shredder might be a bad idea, so I started by cutting the bottles up into reasonably flat pieces. I set aside the handles, necks, and parts of the bottom that seems over-thick and set to work feeding them through. Ultimately, the shredder did a reasonable job, though not as I’d expected. It sort of thinned and perforated the plastic, making it easy to pull and cut into thin strips. These strips should make it easier to feed material into the chamber than trying to spoon in granules.
In addition to recycled materials, I plan to work with some relatively virgin plastic. Luckily, Mike over at haveblue.org has been running through a fairly wide variety of the stuff in his search for a non-bank-breaking way to feed his sweet, sweet Stratasys. The result being that he has some material that won’t work for FDM but will work for PIM. I’m planning to relieve him of some of that inventory very soon.
I also got the word from Mike yesterday that the heating chamber is ready. No more procrastinating, I guess…