One of the most amazing things about 3D printing is that it is a disruptive technology. It is an alternative to mass manufacturing, allowing designers, inventors and makers the opportunity to create products locally without a large investment. Sure, there are the costs of the printer itself and the filament, but it’s a nascent technology and those costs are sure to continue to drop as adoption of 3D printing becomes more widespread. If there is one sad fact about 3D printing, it’s that despite the obvious benefits of being able to create practically anything under the sun, it generates waste plastic. A ton of waste. And the world is already overburdened by plastic waste.
UK-based OmniDynamics is looking to change that by taking that plastic waste and turning it into filament. Their Strooder filament extruder, as we reported on some time ago, makes bespoke plastic filament for anyone’s 3D printer from pelletized raw or recycled plastic. According to the British Plastics Federation, the UK uses over 5 million tonnes of plastic each year of which an estimated 29% is currently being recovered or recycled. Strooder is capable of turning waste plastic into filament, which in turn can used to 3D print new products. It also gives consumers more choice of the materials they can use, things like polypropylene which isn’t usually recycled, and access to more color choices. By mixing different colored plastics, makers can create multicolored prints utilizing a single spool of filament and a single extruder.
So how does Strooder do it? You can make filament with Strooder by loading its hopper with pelletized raw or recycled plastic. The plastic is then melted and pushed through a die to form a filament. It’s easy to use. All you have to do is simply select the material on the color touchscreen and press start, Strooder does the rest. ABS and PLA are preprogrammed and the savvier user can program the empty material slots to store the settings for their experimental materials. It’s a neat system and it not only opens a world of possibilities for the maker, it can help relieve some of the pressure of disposing of plastic waste on an overburdened planet. According to OmniDynamics:
“Strooder can make filaments in many different materials. It can extrude most recyclable plastics and can heat up to 250C. Plastics bottles from around your home are recyclable and can be made into filament for your 3D printer thanks to Strooder. Yet 5 million tonnes of plastic are thrown away each year in the UK alone. It’s time to realise plastic is a valuable material, not waste.”
While OmniDynamics raised over £64K through their Kickstarter campaign, launched back in 2014, which was well over the £20K goal, they are seeking additional funding through Crowdcube, the world’s first and leading investment crowdfunding platform. OmniDynamics has started shipping units to Kickstarter backers. They have finalized setting up their assembly line and acquiring suppliers. OmniDynamics plans to use the additional funds to increase production capacity to satisfy growing customer demand for Strooder. Some of the funds will also be used for marketing to reach additional customers.
The Crowdcube campaign launched on July 29th and ends on August 27th. OmniDynamics is seeking to raise £250,000, based on a company pre-money valuation of £1.25 million. They are selling 16.67% equity in the company. The funds will be divided as follows:
- £80,000 will cover building all the Kickstarter units and pre-orders, all of which to be shipped out by the end of November.
- £106,000 will go to purchase additional stock for sales going forward
- £25,000 will go into marketing
The remaining amount covers Crowdcube fees and general overheads for the company for the next few months, until they are able to start shipping products and can begin making a higher revenue through sales. If you’d like invest in OmniDynamics’ Crowdcube campaign, all you have to do is complete the free registration on the Crowdcube site. You can invest for as little as £10 to as much as you would like.
“After Strooder, OmniDynamics intends to work on providing settings for as many materials as possible and supplying more varieties from our website. We are also working on a Strooder-Spooler to wind up the filament onto spools for storage and a Re-Strooder to break up bottles and old 3D prints to be used as pelletised recycled plastic for Strooder.”
Below is a video of the Strooder from its Kickstarter campaign: