Asee peer logo

Design and Development of a 3D Printer with Recycling System

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Manufacturing Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.424.1 - 22.424.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


R. Radharamanan Mercer University

visit author page

Dr. R. Radharamanan is currently working as Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Mercer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MCIE) at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He has thirty eight years of teaching, research, and consulting experiences. His previous administrative experiences include: President of International Society for Productivity Enhancement (ISPE), Acting Director of Industrial Engineering as well as Director of Advanced Manufacturing Center at Marquette University, and Research Director of CAM and Robotics Center at San Diego State University. His primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of manufacturing systems, robotics and automation, innovation and entrepreneurship, quality engineering, and product and process development. He has organized and chaired five international conferences, co-chaired two, and organized and chaired two regional conferences. He has received two teaching awards, several research and service awards in the United States and in Brazil. His professional affiliations include ASEE, IIE, ASQ, SME, ASME, and ISPE.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Design of a Recycling System for the Cupcake 3D CNC Printer AbstractThis paper presents the design and development of a recycling system for the Cupcake 3D CNCprinter, a special class of machines designed for the automated construction of physical objectsusing additive layer manufacturing technology. The Cupcake 3D printer system is great forfabricating parts and designs that are not available on the open market. However, as with anyprototyping system waste product is produced regularly when designs are improved or discarded. In alearning engineering lab environment waste is even more likely to occur. The cost of the printerfilament and impact on the environment will increase as petroleum and other manufacturing costsincrease.The Cupcake 3D printer is used to quickly fabricate plastic parts for projects but generates waste thatcannot currently be reused by the printer. The existing system for the Cupcake printer lays down agrid of material as a base before it starts fabricating parts from the design files. The base aids instability while the printing process is occurring. After the parts are complete they are cut from thebase, and the base is discarded along with any misprints and support materials. The excess waste is aproblem for several reasons. The Cupcake prints with Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastics which all degrade very slowly inlandfills.To print a design, the 3D CNC printer platform will moves in the X-Y plane and the extruderalong the Z-axis with precision stepper motors while the extruder continually places a smallstream of melted ABS. The recycler’s addition to the printing system provides a way to reducecost and make the system more environmentally friendly. Use of a screw type extruder for therecycling system for the rapid prototyping machine which receives the castoff ABS as well asABS bought in pellet form. A gravity fed hopper was used to feed particulate ABS into the screwgrooves. A rotating auger bit inside an enclosure barrel forces the particulate down the tube. Anelectric motor was used to turn the auger which grabs the material to move it down the barrel.Prototype of this design as well as the Cupcake 3D printer was fabricated and tested to determineproper functionality. Parts printed using the 3D printer, the advantages of the recycling system,the difficulties encountered during the design and development of the recycling system, andrecommendations for future recycling system design are presented and discussed.

Radharamanan, R. (2011, June), Design and Development of a 3D Printer with Recycling System Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17705

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015