Adventure

Bike Powers 3-D Printer

Turns plastic cups into parts

A photo of the printing head of a FELIX 3D Printer in action. The Mobile Fab printer is much smaller and more accessible. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Fabraft, a Taiwanese design factory, is making creative recycling available to the masses. The company's bike-powered 3-D printer breaks down plastic cups to make bike parts, literally putting the "cycling" into "recycling."

Inventor and Fabraft co-founder Kamm Kai-Yu says the intention is to promote recycling and demystify technology for the public at the same time, Reuters reports.

Fabraft used open-source software to build a small 3-D printer, which it then powered with a bicycle, PSFK.com reports. The team collects No. 5–grade plastic cups, which the machine grinds into a powder and converts into ink that is used to make gear-shaped tokens. LEDs are then added to the tokens to create bike lights that fit nicely on spokes. The whole shebang takes about two hours to complete.

To see how it works, check out this video gallery from Reuters.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
Lead Photo: Wikimedia Commons
More Adventure