Students who mould 3D-printed waste to wire and make furniture say their invention could end the ''scandalous'' proliferation of unrecyclable printing by-products. Edward Baran reports.
Functional, funky furniture -- made entirely from leftovers. These stools are created from nylon powder waste from a popular type of 3D printing. An electric current is run through wires embedded in the material remaining from selective laser sintering or SLS. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STUDIO ILIO COLLABORATOR, SEONGIL CHOI, SAYING: "Throughout the development we were testing a lot of different kind of plastic that can melt around the hot wire and soon we discovered that the SLS 3D printer produces a lot of waste." The two English graduates - Fabio Hendry and Seongil Choi - invented the method to create the furniture. They build a shape from thin wire made from nickel-based nichrome. It's then fitted inside a container filled with a mixture of silica sand and the 3D printed waste powder. An electrical current causes the nichrome to heat to 500 celsius - causing the material to melt and bond to form a solid body. (SOUNDBITE) (English) STUDIO ILIO COLLABORATOR, FABIO HENDRY, SAYING: "It's very instant and fast, so for instance we create the structure of the wire, fill in the mixture material, turn on the heat for 20 minutes and after you have a fully usable piece of furniture that is very hard to do any other way." The pair say their invention could end what they call the "scandalous" proliferation of unrecyclable printing byproducts. And if they find investors they hope the furniture could in future be produced on an industrial scale.