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. (Wikimedia Commons)
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, 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.

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