What to do with the scrap filament

So when my Ender prints it prints a line of filament down the side, and I print a skirt.

I hate just throwing away these when I’m done. So I’m wondering what others do with this sort of scrap. Is there a way to recycle it in the shop, or for collection?

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Sorry Admin can you move this? I didn’t see this was in the LowRider forum I thought it was in the general advice one.

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I have seen some videos that create guitar picks with melted scrap PLA


I throw mine away.

@acookb that’s cool

@niget2002 that’s what I’m doing now but if I can find a way to recycle I’d prefer to do it.

I hate the waste in the process. The skirts don’t really bother me, but when you design something and it takes a few versions before it fits, that ends up with a lot of trash parts. Or worse, when you print something on a whim, or a test fixture, and even the final version is garbage.

There was some survey I responded to asking what percentage of the plastic I use is trash. I think it is over 50%, probably over 75%.

The stuff I keep is worth it (in terms of money and plastic), and the whole process is enjoyable. I would just be doing the earth a favor if I decided to read ebooks instead.

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At the moment I’m not wasting a huge percentage - I tend to check fit by only printing a few mm of the actual fitting surfaces - much to my daughter’s disgust I have a 10 year old grandson who takes every bit, and I bag all the little filament “spider” scraps for him too.

One day we may melt it in an oven and flatten it over a wooden mould (if I ever get the LR to a point where it can do that) and make an object. There are plenty of how-to sites dealing with other plastics - stuff that melts at lower temperatures like filament should be a doddle!

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@bitingmidge I like the idea of melting it down and moulding it into something. I may start a scrap bin. I have an old toaster oven in the shop that I can use so we don’t use the one in the kitchen!

Yeah, I’m wondering the same thing about my scrap pile. Is home filament extrusion ever going to be cost effective?

PLA can be hot water molded. Often used to print flat armor patterns then heat in hot water and mold to needed shape around a protected form/body part.
It can also be heated and used in a home made injection machine (most plastics work for this).
Grind it up, extrude it into new filament (hard to do without a costly investment in one of the proven machines).
Glue them together into modern art pieces!
Heat and press into a brick form for stepping stones. (Better with ABS or PetG due to sunlight exposure of course).
Target practice at the range.


I love the idea of recycling filament. Even looked at building my own extruder. One important thing I learned is that the polymers degrade each time you heat them. So while you can use it for molding, it is not recommended to use it for structural parts as it will be weeker.

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