Fiddling and fettling

While the gross parameters of recycling used nylon monofilament fishing nets are now pretty well known and understood, efficient production of high quality 3D printer filament is a work in progress.

Tweaking the extrusion speed, the temperature, the material preparation and presentation and the way that the resulting filament is handled as it cools are all in play. They vary with ambient temperature and humidity, and can change radically if a speck of errant dust makes its way past our quality checks. Knowing where to focus effort is an engineering calculation, driven by methodical collection of data on each test run and analysis of the trends that data might show.

Aesthetics and engineering are only two parts of developing a new filament, we also need to understand how customers might use the material, what sort of lifespan it might have, how it might be disposed of, recycled or reused. Fishy Filaments is a Circular Economy business model, so we have a responsibility to understand the material’s full life cycle.

In progress right now are;

Extrusion consistency optimisation (how do we make the most, best filaments from the material available)

UV/fresh water soak test (what happens when a printed form sits in sunlight when wet?)

Long term water penetration test (what happens when a 3D printed form sits in fresh or salt water but in the dark)

Detergent immersion and repeated wash cycle test (what happens when you soak a 3D printed form in washing detergent and subject it to repeated heat cycles that replicate a boil wash)

That said as we get better at producing filament and printing different types of form with it we are also producing nice items like these, just because we can.

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Author: Fishy Filaments

Recycling marine plastics into 3D printer filament

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