2017 ~ Present | Helmsley Charitable Trust



To design and prototype a standalone system that recycles used plastic bottles in order to use the material for 3D printing purposes. The system will have individual components like a shredder for cutting the plastic bottles, a filament extruder and a feed mechanism for the shredded material to be transported to the hopper of the extruder, filament collection and retrieval system and finally a 3D printing system.

Issues Involved or Addressed

Single standalone system. Integrating the three main components for speed, accuracy and least amount of lead time. Delivery of product with cost and energy effectiveness. Adaptability in handling wide range of recyclable plastic products. Flexibility in extruding multiple polymers materials and printing with them. Controlling multiple motors in sync and interfacing sensors for minimum human input and better operation.

Methods and Technologies

  • Concept model designing.
  • Electrical circuits.
  • DC and stepper motor control.
  • Arduino/ raspberry pi microcontrollers.
  • sensors and calibration.
  • Heat transfer systems.
  • Polymer thermal property characterization.

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Preferred Interests and Preparation

CompE and CS - Background/interest in coding, writing and interpreting algorithms (mathematical, logical etc).
EE and ME Background/interest in microcontrollers (Arduino, raspberry pi), sensor interfacing and feedback, DC and stepper motor control.
ME - Background/interest in design of mechanisms, concept building and fabrication, CAD modelling, heat transfer, polymer thermal properties.

Team Advisors


Helmsley Charitable Trust