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Student Sustainability Spearheaded by Kade Bolen

Kade Bolen
Kade Bolen MakerLab Lead

Congratulations to Kade Bolen, a talented student Lead of the Albertsons Library MakerLab, for successfully securing a grant from the Boise State Student Sustainability Fund! His proposal for a self-made machine to recycle scrapped filament, a byproduct of 3D printers, will revolutionize the way we tackle waste and resource conservation going forward.

On the subject of innovation intersecting sustainability Kade had this to say, “Being a learning space, we naturally have our fair share of failures; with our 3D printers, this means plastic waste that currently ends up in the landfill. We have a lot of patrons who worry about wasting filament, many for the environmental impact this waste has. With a machine to tear this plastic up and melt it back into a spooled rope of filament, they wouldn’t have to worry.”

Kade’s end goal is to convert unusable 3D products and other discarded prints back into usable filament. Typically, the process of shredding, melting, feeding, and spooling these threads is expensive and complex. Kade’s research reveals a low-cost, open-sourced solution to this problem, as well as planning modifications to better suit our campus’s needs. With the greenlighting of his grant, the filament recycler will be built by Kade in the upcoming summer months, set to be up and running by the fall semester.