The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is about more than just the latest TVs, smartphones and gadgets. This year’s event also showcased technologies in robotics, health care and plastics recycling.
Canadian startup ReDeTec was one of the 10 semi-finalists in the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC), a funding competition that happened at CES (one of the world’s largest trade shows) in Las Vegas last week. ReDeTec makes a desktop recycling unit to produce filaments for 3-D printers.
According to its website, the mission of ReDeTec is to make 3-D printing affordable for all while keeping it sustainable by using plastic scrap instead of virgin materials. The company’s ProtoCycler comes with a built-in grinder that can theoretically handle all types of plastics, but it is designed for ABS and PLA.
The ProtoCycler is one of numerous new projects to recycle plastic scrap into 3-D printer filament.
Plastics Recycling Update previously wrote about another effort from Vermont-based company Filibot. A Dutch inventor created what he calls the Perpetual Plastic Project, a small-scale recycling system for creating filament. California-based ALT LLC is using crowdfunding to raise funds to produce recycled 3-D printing filament from PP, LDPE and HDPE scrap. And U.K.-based ObjectForm is creating 100 percent recycled content filament from various resins.
ReDeTec’s competitors in Las Vegas include technology companies working in robotics, cyber security and even craft beer.
“I actually like the fact that the group of companies is diverse — it means the XTC has done a great job of finding what are truly the best companies across all of tech, instead of just within a niche,” ReDeTec CEO Dennon Oosterman told Plastics Recycling Update in an email. “It makes it a little easier to stand out and forces us to step up our game — always a good thing.”
The top three finalists will travel to Necker Island (an island in the British Virgin Islands owned by Virgin CEO Richard Branson) in February to compete for the top prize.
After a successful crowdfunding campaign and safety certification from United Laboratories, ReDeTec is now working on mass production.
“If we manage to secure an investment, we’ll be looking to expand our current reach, particularly in the educational market, as well as scaling up our technology to have a larger impact worldwide,” Oosterman said.