Melted PLA Scrap-ART

by RichRap, published

Melted PLA Scrap-ART by RichRap May 17, 2012



Melted PLA Scrap-ART by RichRap is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Turn your worthless PLA scrap into unique works of art :)


You will need -

An oven
Baking tray
Aluminium foil
Scrap bits of PLA and any failed prints
Beer - (to help with artistic inspiration)

Lay the Aluminium foil on the tray and place your largest scrap parts onto it, don't space them too much apart as they will produce a smaller pool of plastic than you would think.

Optionally use some filament to make a round or shaped outer ring to keep all the plastic in if you want a nice shape. (PLA Pizza Anyone?)

Pop it in the oven, heat up to 210 Degrees C for about 15 mins

Then scatter on the smaller parts and heat at whatever temperature you like - 160 Degrees will make things go soft and still keep some shape of what they once were.

It's also quite interesting to throw in some ABS parts as that shrink, distort and go soft creating a more 3D sculpture.

Keep an eye on the cooking, and remove when you have the desired effect, leave to cool for a few mins and then you can trim the foil and PLA to size (wear oven gloves, if you handle it HOT!) you can form it around shapes, bottles, plates etc. or cut out butterfly shapes if you like. You should have about 5 mins cutting time, or pop it back in the oven to make it soft again.

I hope some of you try it, it's good fun and you may just make a masterpiece.

I'm calling my two first attempts - Raspberry Pizza Pi (As a tribute to the Great RPi case by HansH) - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:16104 ) and 'April-12' as this was all my failed plastic in April of this year.

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Make Anything did this, hope this was posted first:)

Hi RichRap.
Thanks for sharing this great idea.
So here is the solution for the Alu-foil. Use backing paper.(grease proof paper) A peace of cake to peal that off when your bakery has cooled down. Available in every super marked (when you do not already have it) .
Although mine was a little overcooked it still came off in a wink.

P.S. Do not use the air circulation of the oven because very hot air will be blown over the scrap resulting in a lot of smoke and possibly worse.

Made four of these (I have a lot of scrap because I am head of my school's 3D printing department so i get to choose what we do with the scrap). Had two neat discoveries during this process. I did most of my melting for the base at 260 and then the top parts at around 160. Had two neat discoveries.

If you were like me at all, it was really difficult to get the aluminum foil off of the bottom. Figured out using a layer of non-stick coating like you use on a pan does the trick. Be liberal with it!.

Second thing, if you make the layers thin, you can get an awesome stain glass effect if you put a light behind it. :)

I'll post my creations soon!

Tried with ABS. Results were mixed. The pieces did melt a little and stick together. But they also turned brown pretty quick too. Large blocks did not melt into pools. I tried temperatures ranging from 150C to 220C, and probably left it in the oven too long. I'll try again at 240 for about 10 or 15 minutes.

MAKE SURE you have good ventilation when you do this. There is a little smoke and the smell of burning ABS gets fairly strong.

Cool, post a picture if you can.

PLA works best, but if you use ABS 'noodles' (the little bits of waste from the nozzle) mixed in with mainly PLA parts, it makes for a more 3D effect as they don't melt very much at 190 degrees.

The pink, yellow and blue bits in the middle on my first print are little noodles of ABS as I could no
t sort them out from the PLA.

I made one of these at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:22737http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... but ended up with foil stuck to the PLA lump... Maybe it was the lack of beer?

I still think this could make some very interesting cast plastic objects (particularly with multicoloured PLA feedstock)... Anyone know what would make a good casting mold?

Lump of junk PLA

Cool, the foil needs to be sacrificial, it allows you to trim the art to shape or form it around things.

I did try casting some into a metal cookie cutter, but it stuck fast, so maybe lined with Kapton tape it would work. or use some release agent before cooking?

I will try it with some red wine tonight... will bee fun

Ha, I was just thinking about doing this last night as I looked at my overflowing bin of PLA scraps!

Hehe... Fun with beer and PLA :-D