3D printers are cool. They use plastic the way a printer uses ink. You can make lots of neat stuff with them, like bikes and bionic arms and eagle beaks. You can also make guns, but that’s not the 3D printer’s fault. All this stuff has to be made out of pristine, expensive plastic filament, though, which means a lot of potential waste (how often do you get something right on the first try?).
Which is why this new invention, called the Filabot, is cool. It makes filament out of recyclable material. Bottles. Plastic wrap. Old toys. Stuff you tried to make in the 3D printer that was completely misguided. Anything old and useless can now become something new and useful. Oh, except for you. You have to stay old and useless. But you can use the Filabot and your 3D printer to create stuff, which could make you feel young. For a little while anyway.
We don’t know yet how much these things will cost — they’re not on the market, because the creators are still working to make ‘em perfect — but in last year’s Kickstarter you could get a Filabot for a $350 contribution. Which seems entirely reasonable for a machine that lets you dump in plastic waste and get back raw material for eagle beaks.