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The California-based company Micromidas has a two-pronged environmental mission: reuse sewage that usually ends up in landfills to create biodegradable plastic. I spoke this week with Ryan Smith, the company’s chief technical officer, about the process — and the future of plastics.
Here’s how it works: after removing water from sewage, the solids (shudder) are put through a system wherein even more water is removed (and sent back to the sewage line) and other solids are drawn off. A ‘consortium’ of bacteria (different organisms address different sewage constituents including sugars, proteins, fats, etc.) get to work, and produce a malleable bioplastic polystyrene akin to a coffee cup top. “It’s the kind of plastic that can be used in packaging of all kinds,” says Bissell.
The UP! personal 3D printer from China retails for $1500, with goop running at $50/kg. From this early adopter's review: It runs at 0.3mm resolution, and the finished models show striations from successive layers of goop, but light sanding produces a smooth finish. For objects with funny extrusions and sitcky-outie bits that aren't stable until they are fully printed, the printer calculates and adds support struts on the fly, and these have to be removed with a hobby knife after printing.
You can even replicate a 3D printer itself... and best of all... it's reprap open source!
You smell like flowers!
Originally posted by LeLeu
But what about Mr.Hankey, he's still cool to play with right?
Don't forget to brush your teeth