APR 23, 2019 7:50 PM PDT

Gigabot X: An Environmentally Conscious 3D Printer

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Fused particle fabrication (FPF) can change the manufacturing of outdoor sporting goods like Kayak paddles, snowshoes, and skateboards.

Recyclable feedstock takes plastic that otherwise would have been wasted and turns it into 3D printed products using fused particle fabrication (FPF). Large prints like skateboards are tricky for smaller 3D printing set-ups, but the Gigabot X produces them in hours. Credit: Nathan Shaiyen/Michigan Tech

In a study published in Additive Manufacturing, researchers from Michigan Technological University developed an open source industrial FPF 3D printer called Gigabot X. The printer will utilize waste particles and reform it into large, strong prints.

Recyclable feedstock takes plastic that otherwise would have been wasted and turns it into 3D printed products. Credit: Michigan Tech

"This isn't a gadget to make toys for your kids; this is an industrial machine meant to make real, large, high-performance products. With well over 1,000 Fab Labs worldwide spreading fast and morphing into environmentally friendly 'green fab labs', the Gigabot X could be a useful tool to add to their services as well as other makerspaces," said Joshua Pearce, Richard Witte Endowed Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "Of course, for our testing we wanted to use recycled plastic."

"Once the capital costs are taken care of, which can often be less than a year, FPF or FGF machines have an enormous potential to make profit. Economically, they absolutely make sense," said Pearce. "The bottom line is that Gigabot Xs pay for themselves under a reasonable load and provide double or triple digit returns on investment under most scenarios. Essentially, if you're using it more than once a week then you're making money easily."

Source: Michigan Tech

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
MAR 26, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
MAR 26, 2021
New 'Bio-ink' Gets 3D-Printed Organs Closer to Reality
For the many people waiting for transplants, 3D-printed organs can't come soon enough. Researchers have been making stri ...
APR 10, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Japanese Spacecraft Launched to Clean Space Junk
APR 10, 2021
Japanese Spacecraft Launched to Clean Space Junk
  There are currently around 900,000 pieces of man-made space junk orbiting Earth- mostly from now-defunct satellit ...
MAY 06, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Using Biology as Technology: A Paradigm Shift
MAY 06, 2021
Using Biology as Technology: A Paradigm Shift
Digital networks have changed the world by integrating into almost every aspect of our lives, but they have yet to direc ...
MAY 21, 2021
Neuroscience
New Method to Predict Treatment Outcomes for Epilepsy 95% Accurate
MAY 21, 2021
New Method to Predict Treatment Outcomes for Epilepsy 95% Accurate
Scientists from the University of Nottingham have found that the way neurons are connected within different brain region ...
MAY 21, 2021
Neuroscience
Reasoning Exercises Boost Children's Math Skills, say Researchers
MAY 21, 2021
Reasoning Exercises Boost Children's Math Skills, say Researchers
Researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found that children who practice visual working memory and rea ...
JUN 17, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
A RADICA Approach to Viral Diagnostics
JUN 17, 2021
A RADICA Approach to Viral Diagnostics
  The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a wave of new technologies for rapid viral diagnostics, given just how critical ...
Loading Comments...