AMS Spring 2023

Waste Not, Want Not: Bracelets & Rings Using Leftover 3D Printer Filament

6K SmarTech

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FECAZYWI5TI1F5P.MEDIUMAs an artist, I know that there is something sad about the little leftover scraps of the material that was a precious part of the process of creation. I have tried many times and in many different ways to figure out how to use hundreds of fabric circles or dozens of snippets of string that were the byproducts of some creative frenzy or the other. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they just sit in my drawer until I finally realize (i.e., my husband tells me) that they aren’t going to make themselves into anything and I need to throw them away.

I knew it was only a matter of time before somebody came up with something to do with the little bits of leftover filament. After all, we spent hard earned money on that filament and it’s almost like throwing money away if we just let them go.

Along comes Instructables contributor Lily Jackson, who goes by “MITinventorbot” with a proposal to create simple jewelry from the filament and a small 3D print. What better way to express your love for filament, right? Before you go and return the dozen roses and diamond ring that you have purchased for Valentine’s day, remember this is a simple design that has been created – really more of a starting point than anything else. You might want to gussy things up a bit if you are going to use it as an expression of your utmost respect and adoration.FDWQ832I5TI1HXZ.MEDIUM

Rather than being a beautifully finished design project, this is the seed for an idea and its accessibility (and the culture of crowdsourcing) means that now that it has made its appearance, a host of variations are bound to follow. Sure, it’s easy enough to make the ring or bracelet that MITinventorbot is sharing, but the real question there is: would you have thought to do it?

After searching through several thousand hits on Google, I didn’t see anyone else using the scraps to make jewelry. I did, of course, find hundreds of people recycling the filament into new filament, but as for direct uses of the scraps themselves, there was very little. I did come across a recipe for 3D printed maracas to be filled with the scraps as the noisemakers on Thingiverse, but that’s a horse of a different color.im7314

In the hands of a jewelry artist, it’s easy to imagine that an entirely new line of creations could arise using the leftover filament as a base material…in fact, using the filament might be sufficiently appealing that jewelry fans begin to give their scraps away to people who want to make 3D prints!

What do you think about this fun way to use otherwise scrap material? Let us know if you’ll make something from your scrap filament, or have an idea how to build on this idea, over in the Instructables User Makes Jewelry from Scrap Filament forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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