Recycling Lego Bricks into Filament for 3D Printing
Here at Filabot, we’re always pushing the boundaries of what can be recycled. We take inspiration from our own lives and, as you might imagine, every one of us here grew up with LEGO blocks.
Which is how it came to be that we developed a method for recycling Legos into Filament. Which we then promptly used to print things that are Lego-compatible. We can’t print actual Lego bricks – we’re not the company. You can even get your own sample of the formerly-Lego filament, for free. Keep reading!
There’s an obvious “why” in here – Lego bricks are incredibly durable, and they rarely break. They’re not exactly expensive, so buying them to recycle them into other bricks… is a bit silly, isn’t it? Yes, it is. But only if you’re looking at it from a practical, usability standpoint.
We’ve always said that our goal at Filabot is to help you extrude the widest range of plastics. Legos are plastic, so we needed to see what it would take to recycle them and if our equipment was up to the task. Legos are made of ABS plastic, so it seemed like a good bet.
You can download our official white paper study here – where we go into detail on not only how we recycled Legos, but how you can, too.
In the end, this really was a “because we can” sort of project, but as with everything we do, it gives us greater knowledge of the wide world of plastics. From that knowledge, we can create better machines, extrude other plastics, and more.
If you’re not inclined to download the whitepaper, here are some bricks…errr, bits… you might find interesting.
- Transparent lego bricks are made of a different material than the opaque ones, so we had to sort them before grinding.
- We ground bricks into 2-3 mm shavings
- The actual extrusion was fairly simple because we’re working with ABS plastic. You can extrude Lego with either our Filabot EX2 or our Filabot EX6.
We can’t condone you printing anything that would violate Lego patents, but we would like to see what you make. Feel free to shoot us an email or tag us on social media. If you’d like to get your own formerly-Lego filament, head on over to the store to place your order. Supplies are limited, so act soon.