This could be super-useful…

for optimizing vector art from 123D Make for cutting on the VLS…


When working with subtractive digital manufacturing tools like laser cutters and CNC machines, being able to get the most out of your materials can save you a lot of money. Summoning your Tetris skills can help you stack your items closely to help minimize waste. This can take a lot of time though, when trying to place a large number of parts. A new application called SVG nest can help automate that process — making it simple and fast.

Found on MakeBlog

Some research on home-grown FDM filament

You need plastic filament of course to print those super awesome coat hooks and wheel chocks. Since the price for these filaments tend to top the actual material costs, printing before mentioned life savers is kind of expensive and could become a problem to the development of the ever growing 3D printer community. A how-to on instructables.

This is where home or desktop filament extruders come into play. Some cunning makers/inventors have been developing a way for private individuals to produce their own 3D printer plastic at home, at only a fraction of its retail price. Another how-to.

ProtoCycler is a new product that allows you to recycle waste plastic into valuable 3D printer filament – safely, quickly, and easily! It comes complete with a built in grinder, intelligent computer control, safety certification, and real time diameter feedback, so anyone can make their own filament hassle free. Competition here.

Shredding ABS to recycle for making filament:

Filamaker can extrude fine and consistent filament from nearly every type of plastic. You can purchase cheap pallets of plastic or, with the build in shredder, recycle old prints or trash!

One item that seems to be lacking is an efficient means of granulating plastic in order to feed into an extruder. Most designs use pre-formed plastic pellets, which are also expensive. If a person could shred waste plastic or failed prints to feed into an extruder, the cost of printing material would be greatly reduced. Searching the internet reveals some impressive and well-build plastic shredders, but the complexity and cost are significant. This Instructable will show a proof-of-concept of a simple, low-cost, hand-operated plastic shredder for starting the process of reusing waste plastic for printing.

Comparison of shredders here.

Bootstrapping knowledge in the FABULOUS LABORATORY, one bone at a time.