Our extruder has a 2 hp motor, which is very powerful relative to some other Precious Plastic machines we’ve seen. We’ve found it is best for making beams and injection molding, vs making pots or hand molded items. At such a high speed, and without a variable drive, it works best for hot and high speed extrusions. Here are some of the beams we’ve made:
Architectural recycled plastic beams, created by Emma Prichard. Produced with help by Midori, Francesca and Darcy.
This photo is looking inside the steel square tube that is used for the mold. Usually we insert another beam inside the end of the tube opposite of the nozzle to provide back pressure and create a better texture/shape, but in this case we wanted to see what the beam looked like as it was extruded. It doesn’t extrude in a linear manner, but rather the outside cools first and the center stays molten and continues to be pushed forward, creating the “rings” present when you alternate colors as the beam is being extruded. The cooling process also creates color striations on the inside of the core, as seen in this beam sliced into thin sections.
Detail of varied colors created by adding different colored plastics as the beam is being extruded.
detail of a beam sliced into thin sections to showcase the colors of its core.
A collection of beam experiments on display at the Paragon Arts Gallery.
Check out some beams made by Eric at Hedron Hackerspace with our extruder! (
Thanks to Eric at Hedron Hackerspace!
Using heat to weld thin beam sections together to create new shapes