OK, this one is going to get some strange feedback. And you know what? We're quite fine with that. Yes, you read it correctly in the title - we set out to turn a Squatty Potty into filament we could print with.
If you've been following our blog posts recently, you know we've made filament from Lego, old filament spools and, most recently, Craftsman Vacuum Nozzles. We're always experimenting because it helps us learn even more about our products and the wide world of plastics.
In this case, a somewhat-sarcastic suggestion during a brainstorming session took hold and led us down the path of the Squatty Potty. We purchased a few for research - 5, to be exact. We need 10 pounds to really run a full battery of tests. Why new ones, you ask? Well... do you want to be printing something with someone else's used Squatty Potty? I didn't think so.
With no markings on the plastic to identify the polymer, we had to move forward based on our best guess, which was Polypropylene. If you've worked with a lot of different kinds of plastic, you start to learn their general composition simply from the feel and flex of the material.
As with all plastic recycling, you have to remove everything that isn't going to be extruded. In this case, that included some stickers and rubber feet. Once we removed those we cut them up into large pieces and then fed the pieces through a grinder.
Technically, we ground them twice through two grinders, as the first grinder didn't produce pellets small enough for our extruder to handle. Once we had pellets, we were off to the races.
We had some concerns that the filament we made would have a cooling issue similar to the Vacuum parts from last week. If you haven't read that piece, we found that during cooling the filament didn't retain a round shape, but instead cooled into more of an oval. This created some issues with printing that we're working to address.
In this case, though, there was no issue with the shape of the filament. We ended up with decent filament, within specification, and it was time to move on to printing.
What would be more appropriate to print with recycled Squatt Potties than a Poop Emoji? We couldn't think of a thing, so guess what? That's what we did. It came out surprisingly good, leaving us with a rather high impression of the filament.
If you're interested in getting our write up for the Squatty Potty filament steps, you can click here and download the white paper.
Or, if you want to get one of the limited samples of Squatty Potty filament, you can find it in the store, here.