Technology is allowing people to create mad yolks in the home – just remember the FormBox that we’ve talked about before. Creating 3D models in the home would have been pie in the sky stuff not to long ago but now the Renegade 3D pen is making it easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than ever.
The Renegade, while sounding like a baddie from Die Hard bares only a resemblance to the movie series as it’s as resourceful as John McClane (we’re looking at you Die Hard 4.0, with your crashing police cars into helicopters). The Renegade specialises in one thing, but it’s remarkable. It’s a 3D pen that prints models, but instead of using expensive filaments, this 3D pen uses recycled plastic bottles, paper, bags and a whole load of other materials you’d find lying around your home.
How does the Renegade 3D pen work?
The Renegade is a cross between a hot glue gun and a 3D printer. The device pulls your recycled material through a screw feed which heats the material to a point where you can manipulate it. The only real limit here is the users imagination and of course how ever many bottles of Coke you can get through.
Renegade uses 5 to 7 mm strips cut from PET plastic bottles, plastic bags, or plastic files with a thickness of 0.14 to 0.35mm. It can also use standard PLA, ABS, nylon, TPE, HIPS, wood and other types of filament with a diameter of 1,75 mm. Did we mention it also comes in black or white? Saving the environment, creating awesomeness and all in the colour of your choice.
You may be wondering how you turn the plastic bottles into the required strips: you use a ChupaCut of course. The ChupaCut is a bottle shredder that produces perfect plastic strips for use in Renegade. The ChupaCut is one of those strangely satisfying things to watch operate too.
The ChupaCut will slice spherically to allow it to skim 3mm, 6mm, 9mm or 12mm without ever having to change a thing and unlike previously patented competitors, ChupaCut has curved slots that significantly reduce friction force and provide a very efficient rotation of the bottle, keeping it at an acute angle with the blade as it’s being cut. This also keeps the blade sharp for longer, and results in an easier, faster, and more stable cutting process.
The Renegade community
Not the next instalment of Mad Max but instead a great example of the spirit within the “maker-movement” community. There is an online area where users can print out templates upon which they can use the 3D pen, ranging form simple creations to quite complex ones.
The bigger picture
Currently there is approximately a trillion bags and bottles used around the globe annually. It takes 1000 years for plastic to degrade. It’s nice to see a product that is functional, innovative and effective. Two 2 litre bottles is enough to replace 25 standard filaments saving roughly €20 quid a pop. That’s incentive enough to make this a nice starting point in 3D printing.
The Renegade is on Kickstarter now.